CONFERENCE SET-UP – Jon Bolling, left, Craig city administrator, and Dave Kensinger, of Chelan Produce, hang up a banner at Harrigan Centennial Hall this afternoon in advance of the Southeast Conference annual meeting. The meeting runs from Wednesday through Friday and features a number of speakers covering topics ranging from health care to  mining in Southeast Alaska. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

April 12, 2019, Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor: This is an open letter to our Congressional Delegation.

I am a Christian conservationist and a constituent, and I’m in love with God’s creative handiwork found everywhere in our great state of Alaska. I also spend some of my precious time volunteering with the Citizens Climate Lobby.

As Christians, we have fallen asleep at the helm and now need to arise and draw deeply on our spiritual waters and disciplines to address the rising threat of climate change. 

We have less than 12 years to turn the climate change ship around or we will face severe consequences of inaction. I believe that as a best first strategy, we need to adopt H.R. 763 - the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. It’s a concrete strategy recommended by economists and health care practitioners as well as environmental activists that can move us in the correct direction. This revenue neutral policy will reduce carbon emissions by 40% in the first 12 years. It will improve health and invigorate the economy, and it’s bipartisan.

We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye or bury our head in the sand. The Divine’s beloved creation is groaning from our collective abuse and begging us silently to assist. We need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, now, and create innovative responses to draw down carbon from the atmosphere as Paul Hawken so eloquently gathered in his book, ‘‘Drawdown.’’ We need to see every river, estuary, old-growth forest, wolf and bear den, bird’s nest, and the sacred Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as the blessed land, water and beings they are and give them the same rights we grant corporations that have lead us away from our garden of Eden and down the crooked path.

Our local, state and national health, prosperity and future depend on our collective actions now. I urge you to return to your Catholic and Episcopal roots and lead us in a repentance, a dedicated turn-around, that will change history, embolden our nation and bring us back into harmony with creation.

Thank you for the work you do on behalf of those who elected you to office.


Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Sitka


Dear Editor: The Board of the Sitka Sound Science Center would like the community to know that work has begun to disassemble the Sitka Sawmill Building adjacent to Sage Beach. The 1941-structure will be carefully taken apart with the intent of reconstructing the building with its historic character. The foundation will be a slab on fill, and the building will be reconstructed with the salvageable parts including trusses, floor boards and parts of the siding.  We will be replacing the roofing and much of the siding. Again, saving all that can be reused.

The building is a contributing structure to the Sheldon Jackson Training School National Historic Landmark. We have consulted with historic building experts to ensure that the disassembling process is an acceptable method of preserving the character of this special place. We are grateful for significant donations from the Murdock Trust, the Rasmuson Foundation, The Alaska Historic Preservation Fund, the Alaska Historical Commission, the Karsh foundation, and individual donors and businesses from around the community. Welsh and Whitely Architects did the design and CBC Construction will do the deconstruction and reconstruction.

We are proud of the Mill Building’s contribution to Sitka’s history. Especially the role it played in educating students in the wood working and boat building traditions, and in starting Alaska’s first permitted salmon aquaculture facility, our very own Sheldon Jackson Salmon Hatchery.

Our plan is to re-assemble the structure and make modern improvements to the inside of the building that will make it a better support structure for our growing science research and education needs. The Sitka Sound Science Center gift shop and Ludwig’s chowder cart will be in operation inside the main aquarium building this summer. Our tours and summer camps will be occurring as normal. We know the construction will add to congestion this summer and we’d like to encourage the public to walk or bike as a way to alleviate parking issues. Our organization is excited about celebrating the building’s history and use into the future.

Thank you in advance for your patience and support.

Sitka Sound Science Center 

Board of Directors:

Rob Allen, Steve Clayton,

Kitty LaBounty, Madison Kosma,

Justin Penny, Alana Peterson,

Linda Waller, Trish White


Community Town Hall

Dear Editor: Last night UAS hosted a town hall-style meeting called Sitka Connected: Our Interwoven Community.

I would like to thank our panelists for their heartfelt and thoughtful words about just how interconnected we are as organizations serving the community of Sitka.

Thank you to Eric Jordan, Linda Behnken, Heather Bauscher, Becky Meiers, Rosemary Carlton, Charlie Woodcock, Cheri Hample, Steven Hartford, Amy Zanuzoski, Rick Peterson, Brian O’Callaghan, Mary Wagner, Joel Lueders, Bernie Gurule, Kari Sagel, Lisa Busch and Rachel Henderson.

I’d like to thank the members of the community who attended and helped guide the discussions going forward.  The ideas coming out of the town hall will help all organizations in Sitka continue to talk and support each other. I’d like to thank the committee members who worked to put this event together:  Math Trafton, Liz Zacher, Emy Roles, Angie Bowers, Cheryl Stromme, Michael Mausbach, Amelia Budd, Greg George and Eric Elsensohn.

Finally, this event would not have been possible without the expertise of Doug Osborne in organization and moderation of the event.  This is a great community, I’m proud to be a part of it.

Leslie Gordon,


Sitka UAS Campus Director

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