READY FOR HIBERNATION – Matthew Brechl wears a bear suit and pushes a jogger as he races in last weekend's 10 K WhaleFest Run on Sawmill Creek Road. More than 100 runners turned out for the event. The annual WhaleFest included a well-attended marine science symposium with participants from the University of Alaska, Penninsula College and Fort Lewis College, a film festival, an art show, a whale watching tour, a market, a banquet, a concert and a variety show. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

August 21, 2013 Community Happenings

    Blurb Book
    Class on Tap


    UAS- Sitka Campus, Office of Continuing Education is offering a Blurb Book workshop 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays Sept. 10, 17 and 24.
    Students will learn how to use Booksmart, a free download from Blurb.com. Participants can make a book from photos from a vacation, a wedding album, plants of Southeast, or highlights of the past few years.
    Instructor Harriet McClain said that ‘‘by the end of the three weeks you should be well on your way to pushing the print button and creating a hardcopy book.’’
    Class is limited to 10 students. The cost is $50. For more information or to register, call 747-7762.

    Mushroom Topic
    Of UAS Workshop


    UAS-Sitka Campus Office of Continuing Education will offer a workshop on identifying Southeast mushroom 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 6 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 8.
    Students will learn to recognize several species of locally common mushrooms and understand the basic biology of fungi and their role in the ecosystem. Cooking and preservation of mushrooms will be discussed. Dress for the outdoors as field trips will be followed by in-class time. Kitty LaBounty will instruct. The cost is $49. For more information or to register, call 747-7762.

    Kaagwaantaan Meet


    Kaagwaantaan Clan members will meet 2 p.m. Aug. 25 at Blatchley Middle School, Room 114.
    Song practice will follow. All are being encouraged to attend.

    Orientation, Open
    House at BMS


    An open house for sixth-grade students and new students to Blatchley Middle School is planned 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27.
    The welcome orientation for six-grade students only is set for Wednesday, Aug. 28. Community service opportunities for the seventh- and eighth-grade students start at 9 a.m. and will end at 12:30 p.m. Students should stop by the Blatchley office or call 747-8672 to sign up. A pizza lunch will be provided following community service work.
    Thursday, Aug. 29, will be the first day of school for all BMS students. School starts promptly at 8:29 a.m.. The school said that all students must be in class and seated by this time.
    School ends at 3:19 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 2:10 on Fridays.

    New Arrivals
Baby Boy Evenson


    Brayden Becker Evenson was born 1:25 a.m. Aug. 3 at SEARHC-Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. At birth the infant weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 19 inches long.
    Parents are David and Sydney Evenson of Sitka. The mother is employed as a human resources generalist at SEARHC and the father is a field services technician III at GCI. Maternal grandparents are Kathy and the late George ‘‘Papa’’ Erickson and paternal grandparents are David Sr. and JoEllen Evenson.
    Brayden joins a sister, Julianna Evenson.

    Spinning Taught
    At UAS-Sitka


    UAS-Sitka Campus, Office of Continuing Education, will offer a beginning spinning workshop 6-8 p.m. Sept. 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3.
    Students will learn about preparing and spinning fiber into handspun yarn. The class will familiarize students with the terminology and techniques of choosing, scouring, preparing and spinning into yarn various types of wools and other protein fibers.
    Students will learn to spin on both a drop spindle and a spinning wheel with opportunities to try various drafting techniques and brands of wheels.
    Class size is limited to six students. The cost is $50. Bobbi Daniels will instruct. For more information or to register, call 747-7762.

    Russ Betterton
    Services Pending


    Russ Betterton, longtime resident of Sitka, died this morning at Sitka Community Hospital after a short illness. Services are pending.

    Schools List
    Open Houses


    Sitka School District has announced the following open houses.
    “Meet Your Teacher” at Baranof Elementary School will be Aug. 27. Kindergarteners meet 1:30-3 p.m. and first-graders 1:30-2:30 p.m. An open house will be held 6-7 p.m. Oct. 10.
    Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School will offering an open house 2:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 27
    Pacific High School will hold an open house 5:30 p.m. Sept. 14.
    Blatchley Middle School will offer an open house for upcoming sixth-graders 6-7 p.m. Aug. 27.
     Ninth-graders and New Parents Night will be held with the Sitka High School open house 5-7 p.m. Aug. 26. Those new to Sitka High School are being asked to meet in the SHS library.


    Easter Group
    Plans Initiative


    The Easter Group will hold a Sitka Homeless Initiative for Transitions planning meeting noon-1:45 p.m. Sept. 4 at the Sitka School District Board Room, 300 Kostrometinoff Street.
    The discussion will revolve around the community’s need for a homeless shelter and homeless transitional housing. The public is being encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Dorrie Farrell at 747-4109, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


    Easter Group
    Meets Sept. 9


    The Easter Group will meet noon-1:15 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Sitka School District Board Room, 300 Kostrometinoff Street.
    The agenda items relate to the work of the Easter Group, which revolves around working to end extreme poverty and empower people. The public is being encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Dorrie Farrell at 747-4109, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Quilters Gather


    Ocean Wave Quilters Guild will meet 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at Grace Harbor Church. All interested persons are invited to attend. For more information, call President Jan Lovett at 747-3653.


    Torgeson-Graham
    Wedding Planned


    Dewey and Joann Torgeson announce the approaching wedding of their daughter Bryanna Torgeson to Jesse Graham, son of Jeff and Sarah Graham and Kevin and Susan Briles.
    The bride-to-be, born and raised in Sitka, graduated from Sitka High School in 2005. She then earned a bachelor science degree in biolgoy from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore.
    The groom-elect is from Portland Ore., where he attended Rex Putnam High School. After graduating in 2005 he moved to Sitka and enrolled in Sheldon Jackson College.
    When Bryanna moved back to sitka in 2010, she and Jesse were introduced through mutual friends. While it took them two years to start dating, it wasn’t long after that their engagement was announced.
    The wedding is scheduled for Sept. 14. The ceremony will be held at the Performing Arts Center, starting at 3 p.m., followed by a reception at Centennial Hall.


    Write Women
    Contest on Tap


    The Write Women of Sitka and the Alaska Day Festival Committee are hosting the Fifth Annual Alaska Day Prose Writing Contest. The theme this year is “Celebrating 50 Years of the Alaska Marine Highway.”
    Entries must be prose, true or fiction, with a 1,200-word maximum. Prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded in each of the following categories: Elementary School, Middle School, High School and Adult.
    All entries must be accompanied by an entry form and postmarked by Sept. 28. Submissions can be mailed to Alaska Day Writing Contest, P.O. Box 174, Sitka. For complete rules and more information, visit writewomen.publishpath.com or contact Ann Wilkinson at 747-2707.
    The contest is open to all who live or attend school in Sitka.


    STA Panel to Meet


    The Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s Cultural, Customary and Traditional Committee will meet noon Aug. 23 in the STA Resource Protection Department office at 429 Katlian St.
    A light lunch will be provided and the public is invited to attend.
    Those who have questions regarding the meeting may contact Resource Protection Director Jeff Feldpauysch at 747-7469.

    Fishermen Sought
    For Fish Donation


    Commercial fishermen are being called for the second annual coho donation drive for the Fish to Schools program.
    Fishermen can donate fish when they sell fish to sponsors Sitka Sound Seafoods and Seafood Producers Coop through Aug. 25.
    Donated cohos will be served at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School, Blatchley Middle School, Pacific High School, Sitka High School and Mt. Edgecumbe High School twice a month. For more information contact Beth Short-Rhodes at 738-9942.

    Open Mic Sunday


    Sitka Folk will host an open mic at the Larkspur Cafe Aug. 25. Signup starts at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. It is a benefit for Sitka Folk. Call Ted at 747-5482 for more information.

    Alutiiq Carver to
    Give Class on
    Mask-Making


    As part of the Native Artist Demonstrators Program, Alutiiq artist Alfred Naumoff will give a three-session hands-on workshop on carving traditional Alutiiq masks 3-4 p.m. Sept. 17, 19 and 25.
    Space will be limited to six. Participants should plan to attend all three sessions and take a bent or curved knife, small planes, sandpaper, and small jars or tubes of black, red and white acrylic. The cost of the workshop is $30 per person. To register or find resources where tools may be ordered, call 747-8981.
    Naumoff has been carving for more than 30 years and he is widely recognized for his skill. He has sold his work to private collectors and through gift stores at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the Alutiiq Museum and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Additionally, he has contributed pieces to the Alutiiq Museum’s permanent collection, acted as a carving demonstrator at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and taught carving at the Palmer Museum.
    In 2005, Naumoff was one of 10 Alutiiq artists who traveled to France to study Alutiiq masks in the Pinart collection, a journey which inspired much of his present work.
    The Native Artist Demonstrators Program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum.
 
    Digital Program
    At Park Aug. 21


    In addition to regularly scheduled ranger-led programs, Sitka National Historical Park will host a special evening program this week, ‘‘Digitally Preserving the Russian Bishop’s House,’’ 7 p.m. Wednesday in the visitor center.
    SNP Ranger Michael Hess will offer a look at how architects used computer modeling and a 3D laser scanner to document, measure, and preserve the 170-year-old Russian Bishop’s House for a special collection in the Library of Congress.
    Ranger-guided schedules this week are: Wednesday, 9 a.m. Totem Walk; 10 a.m. Battle Walk; 7 p.m.  Evening Program; Thursday, 9 a.m. Totem Walk, 10 a.m. Battle Walk, 2:15 p.m. Discovery Walk; Friday, 9 a.m. Battle Walk, 10 a.m. Totem Walk, 2:15 p.m. Discovery Walk; Saturday, 9 a.m. Totem Walk, 2:15 p.m. Battle Walk. Tours meet at the visitor center.
   
    Indian River
    Trail Hike Set


    Sitka Trail Works board member Deanna Bennett will lead a free hike up the Indian River Trail Aug. 24.
    The approximately 8-mile, 5-hour round-trip hike to the waterfall.
    The trail gains elevation gradually and runs alongside Indian River and then through stands of old-growth spruce. Water, a snack, hiking poles and a camera are suggested. Hikers should meet at the trailhead parking area on Indian River Road, across from Peter Simpson Drive, at 9 a.m.
    For more information call 747-7244, or visit http://www.sitkatrailworks.org.

    SAFV Offers
    Training to
    Community


    Sitkans Against Family Violence invites the public to attend one or all sessions of its community training sessions to help people understand issues surrounding domestic violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse.
    The sessions are offered 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 6-9 p.m. Mondays Sept. 7-21 at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 408 Marine Street. A detailed schedule is available on SAFV’s website at www.safv.org.
    SAFV advocates and local professionals will answer questions on why  women stay in a violent relationship, why men batter, and what happens to a child’s brain when she witnesses domestic violence.
    Attendees also will learn of programs in Sitka that focus on preventing interpersonal violence.
    SAFV said that according to a 2012 survey, 47 percent of women in Sitka experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or both in their lifetimes.
    ‘‘Isn’t it time for us as a community to pull together and change this sad statistic?’’ a SAFV spokeswoman said. ‘‘We all can learn how to talk about these issues, recognize individuals who might be in unsafe relationships, reach out to them in support, and make them stay safer in their homes. We can become educated bystanders who, in collaboration with other individuals and local service providers, may over time change how our family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers can live safer and with more respect.’’
    Training is free, and those who attend all sessions may qualify to become a woman’s advocate. SAFV needs volunteer advocates who fulfill the state-mandated requirement of a 40-hour training. Twenty-seven hours are offered in this class, and candidates are invited to spend the remaining 13 hours training at the shelter. Volunteer advocates have a better likelihood to be hired later if they wish.
    For more information, call Martina at 747-3370.

APS Conservators to Clean,
Repair Sitka Park Totem Poles

By Michael Hess
Sitka National Historical Park
    National Park Service wood conservators Ron Sheetz and Al Levitan performed Sitka National Historical Park’s first comprehensive totem pole condition survey 20 years ago.
    This week, these specially trained craftsmen return to the park to clean and conserve five poles along the Totem Trail, and train park maintenance staff on preservation processes.
    The rainy climate of Southeast Alaska takes its toll on the park’s totem poles. Cracks in the poles fill with tree needles and lichen, trapping moisture in the closed areas and accelerating deterioration. Metal caps installed on the tops of the poles become worn or damaged by animals, allowing rainwater to seep into the center of the wood.
    Experts in wood preservation, the conservators will wash the poles with a mild soap, remove residue of lichen growth, and then apply a fungicide, and water repellent  They will remove organic material lodged in the cracks of the poles, and replace the damaged metal caps.
    Several of the park’s totem poles include carved attachments such as beaks, fins, and ears. The conservators will stabilize loose appendages, and repair splits and cracks in the pieces.
    While the conservators will stabilize the carved features, carving repairs, like the massive Raven beak replaced recently by local Tlingit carver Tommy Joseph, are done by Native artists.
    Park maintenance staff will shadow the conservators’ work on the totem poles, learning the preservation processes to complete scheduled maintenance in the future as a part of the park’s long-term care of the totem poles.
    The park’s trails will remain open as the conservators and park staff clean and repair the poles.

Artist to be at Museum
    The Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum will host Alutiiq artist Patrick Lind at the museum Aug. 22, 24, 28, 29 and 31.
    Lind will be working in the galleries most mornings and some afternoons. He will be providing a free two-session, hands-on Aleut/Alutiiq miniature visor and spear-making workshop on Aug. 24 and Aug. 27 from 3 to 4 p.m. To register for the miniature visor and spear-making workshop, call 747-8981. Space is limited. Students should take small paint brushes for details, a notebook, a small tube of tan and black acrylic paint
    Lind was born and raised in a small fishing village located near Kodiak Island. He graduated from high school with honors and worked as a commercial fisherman before earning his living as an artist.
    “My life has led me to be a cultural freelance artist,’’ Lind said. ‘‘Being surrounded by the rugged coastal region inspires me as an artist to take pride in my culture. Intensive research and studies allowed me to recreate histories past, rendering captive moments on canvas and art paper. My skills cover a number of mediums – wood, ivory, baleen, soapstone, and acrylic paints.”
    The artist residency program is made possible with support from National Endowment for the Arts.
    Summer hours at the Sheldon Jackson Museum are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The museum is closed on holidays. Summer admission is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors. Visitors 18 and under are admitted free of charge. An annual pass that allows unlimited visits to the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka and the Alaska State Museum in Juneau is available for $15. Assistance is available for visitors with special needs. Please contact the museum for more information at 747-8981.


Youth Advocates of Sitka Speaks at National Conference
    Two staff members representing Youth Advocates of Sitka traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference in July.
    Executive Director Annette Becker and Jessica Clark, program coordinator for the Family Resource Center, presented the Host Home Model as part of two workshops representing best practices for supporting rural homeless youths in the community. The National Alliance previously recognized the Youth Advocates Transitional Living Program as “Best Practice” from their Rural Youth Survey, Fall 2012.
    “Youth Advocates of Sitka selected the Host Home Model because we believed it would best meet the needs of homeless teens in Sitka,” said Becker.  “In this program, the homeless youth is paired with a local resource or host family, where they are able to learn life skills modeled daily in a healthy family environment.  In addition to being cost effective, this also allows the youth to build positive healthy relationships with adults in the community.”
    During a five-year period, Youth Advocates of Sitka placed 54 homeless youths in Sitka with local families.  The average length of stay was seven months.  At the conclusion of the program, 96 percent of youths transitioned out of the TLP program and into a safe living environment.    
    In addition to providing licensing and training for the host families, the program also provides futures planning, life skills development, education and employment assistance as well as mental health or substance abuse support as needed. 
    Over the past five years, Youth Advocates licensed, trained and supported 25 separate resource homes in Sitka.
    “One of the key reasons we’ve experienced success with this program is the willingness of Sitkans to open homes and families to these youth,” said Clark. “We have a diverse cross- section of homes, including apartments, trailers, and single-family homes.  This provides a great deal of flexibility in placement and helps us best meet the needs of the individual youth.”
    Last year the grant supporting the Youth Advocates TLP program was not renewed.
    ‘‘The grant ending put a temporary hold on youth placements,” said Clark. 
    “After attending the national conference in Washington, we are more determined than ever to find another source of funding,” said Becker.
    “We know that this program is successful and that it serves a population of youth in Sitka that would otherwise fall through the cracks,’’ Clark said. ‘‘Individuals or community groups interested in learning more information or how they can provide support are encouraged to contact Youth Advocates of Sitka at 907-747-3687.”
    “We will re-apply for the grant funding next year.’’ Becker said. ‘‘In the meantime, we are looking for sustainable alternatives to allow us to provide this service for homeless youths with help from the community.”

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