Ron and Mary Hulse are trying to find out who put the lines on the coconut. Ron was working on a tugboat to free a grounded ship in Icy Bay on Feb. 29 when he found a large coconut on the beach, northwest of Yakutat.
The coconut, about a foot long, is painted white on one half, with a note written in black Magic Marker. The only words that can be made out are ``Dear Steve, The weather is great. ...'' ``It's not a little round brown coconut we see in the store. It's a natural coconut,'' Mary said. ``I think it's been quite a ways.''
The Hulses would like to find out where the coconut came from, even though Mary said she knows finding its sender is a long shot. ``I was just curious how far it traveled, who wrote the note and who the hell Steve was,'' Ron said.
A suspicious package sent to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Ketchikan turned out to contain classical music magazines instead of the explosives officials feared. Police cordoned off the street around the INS office last Tuesday and called in an Army bomb squad from Anchorage after an agent called in a report around the package. ``This could be literature,'' said Deputy Police Chief Mike Hunter. ``It could be pound cake. But why screw with it?''
Warmer than usual temperatures at Fairbanks' World Ice Art Championships forced some sculptors to work after dark. The mercury leaped above freezing as carvers were to start last Monday. But Mark Chapin and his teammate Travis DeMontigny, from Northern California, didn't mind. ``I enjoy working at night anyway,'' Chapin said.
One less place to eat
The Homestead Restaurant, a Petersburg institution for 80 years, will close its doors at the end of the month. The Homestead is the only 24-hour restaurant in the history of Petersburg and has been a hub for coffee and conversation. But enough is enough, say Otis and Diane Marsh, who agreed to sell the restaurant to NorQuest Seafoods for a cookhouse. ``It's been 16 years, four months and 29 days,'' Diane said. ``I'm pooped.''
Old town, new name
A small village at the mouth of the Yukon River has changed its name. What had been Sheldon Point is now known as Nunam Iqua, which means ``end of the tundra.''