Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Caitlin Warbelow

Caitlin Warbelow, performing at Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in summer 2014. Photo courtesy Todd Paris/FSAF

It’s an annual tradition for hometown fiddler Caitlin Warbelow to perform in the Denali area every summer. Since she won’t make that journey to Denali during Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in July, she is coming earlier instead.

The Fairbanks-born musician will present a rare solo performance at Tonglen Lake Lodge at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. She’s back in Alaska for some family business, taking a few days off from Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical “Come From Away” and has arranged an Alaska mini-tour.

She also scheduled performances at the Golden Saloon in McCarthy and at the Kantishna Roadhouse in Kantishna. The solo performances will feature a bit of everything — Irish jigs and reels, America traditional tunes, Scottish airs and even a few of her own compositions.

Tickets are $15 at the door.


Imaging Center dedication 

The Fairbanks Imaging & Breast Center will be dedicated in honor of Richard and Gail Hatten from 5-7 p.m. on Friday. The event will take place in the center’s lobby at 1650 Cowles St.

Richard Hatten practiced as a radiologist in the community for 31 years. He also held medical leadership positions for 25 years, including chief of staff at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in 2001 and 2002.

“All who know him will speak to his dedication to doing the right thing, always placing patient care above all other concerns and setting an example for all around him,” said Radiologist Janice Chen.

Gail Hatten, who is a physical therapist, was also a dedicated volunteer. She spent 22 years as a volunteer at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. She also served as a trustee to the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation for 19 years.

The public is invited to attend.


Dandelion update

Final results are in for the Dandelion Demolition at Denali National Park last Saturday.

A record number of 87 volunteers showed up to remove invasive dandelions. (These dandelions are a different species than native dandelions).

Volunteers collected a total of 237 pounds. The person who dug up the most dandelions was Claudia, whose bag weighed 20 pounds. (Last names were not available). Lorna had the dandelion with the longest root at 24.5 inches. The biggest bloom/flower contest was won by Matthew, whose dandelion flower was 2.75 inches in diameter.

Every volunteer who participated received a special thank you gift, a re-usable bamboo cutlery set.

“These were an homage to the fact that every part of the dandelion is edible,” said Volunteer Program Manager Kathleen Kelly. “Roots can be dried and powdered, then brewed into a tea or chicory-like coffee, greens can be eaten raw or cooked and are loaded with vitamins A, C and K.”

Dandelions also contain vitamin E, folate and small amounts of other B vitamins.

“Dandelion greens provide a substantial amount of several minerals, including iron, calcium magnesium and potassium and make a great salad,” Kelly said. “Stems supposedly have medicinal value as an anti-inflammatory, allay fatigue and aid in digestion, and the flowers are often used to make wine and are used in body oil as well.”

The volunteer day was a success.

“I think the volunteers had a good time,” said Kelly. “They spent their Saturday giving back to their national park and learned about exotic and native plants and why their management is so important to preserving Denali National Park and Preserve.”

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.