If you fly into Haines, Alaska, you’ll be on a prop plane so small that your pilot will call the roll.
“Melissa.” Yup. “Mary.” Yes. “Joseph?” Right here.
Just 2,500 people live in Haines — a small town in southeast Alaska surrounded by water. The scenery is incredible, with snowy mountains and lush green forest beyond. The city center is just a few blocks, with several bars, a few restaurants and a beautiful, award-winning library.
But lately, this idyllic place has been roiled by a bitter political battle. A group of residents wants to recall more than half the members of the local government, the borough assembly.
To better understand this community, and to find out what all the fuss is about, we gathered a small group to talk about their lives. On a weekday evening, they gathered in a circle at the community center. Among those who came: a motel owner, a fisherman … and one of the targets of that ongoing recall effort.
Photos: Elissa Nadworny/NPR