GROWING CONCERNS – Sitkans Andrea Fraga and Kaleb Aldred of Middle Island Gardens introduce themselves to an audience of around 100 this afternoon during the Southeast Alaska Farmers Summit in Sweetland Hall on the SJ campus. The three-day conference, organized by Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, Sustainable Southeast Partnership, runs through Sunday at several Sitka venues. Some of Saturday's topics include farming in Fairbanks, pest control and cultivating gourmet mushrooms. Vendor tables will be set up on Saturday and Sunday at Harrigan Centennial Hall. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Health Summit Picks 2 Top Projects for ’14

Sitka Health Summit planners have chosen creation of a task force to combat meth and other drug abuse in Sitka, and establishment of a “food hub” as the coming year’s priority projects for wellness in Sitka.
 The food hub will provide emergency food storage for the community and also serve as a food bank.
The projects were chosen from dozens aired at the planning session Friday. Each project will have $1,500 of seed money from the summit’s Health Initiatives Fund to start working on meeting the health goals.
Organizers said the groups working on each project are setting up their first meetings and getting their contact lists together, and Sitka residents who want to participate are welcome to contact the interim group leaders:
Sitka Food Hub, Marjorie Hennessy, 747-7509, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , first meeting at 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.
Together For a Meth-Free Sitka, Phil Burdick, 738-3945, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , first meeting at 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Sitka Fire Hall meeting room (pizza provided before the meeting).
The seventh annual Sitka Health Summit features four events over two weeks. It opened with the Sitka Community Health Fair Sept. 21, an event where Sitka residents could have basic medical tests done and learn about health and wellness opportunities locally available.
A lunch-and-learn program, “Whistle While You Walk,” was presented at Kettleson Library Sept. 23 by Dr. Don Lehmann, a sports medicine specialist, and Brian Hansen of Sitka Trail Works.
The all-day Sitka Community Planning Day: Selecting Sitka’s Wellness Goals was held Friday. The Sitka Health Summit will conclude when community wellness champion awards are presented at the Monthly Grind Oct. 5, at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi.
The Sitka Health Summit is sponsored by Sitka Community Hospital, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Alaska Communications System, the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus and the state Division of Public Health Nursing.
 For more information, call Doug Osborne at 966-8734, or go online to

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