FIRST DAY – Baranof Elementary School paraprofessional Brooke Rivera helps kindergartner Andrei Kyrie Joaquin find his class as children line up for school this morning. Today was the first day of school for a third of the kindergarten class, which was divided into three groups. The final group of kindergartners begins school Monday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

February 19, 2014 Community Happenings

Food Coop Meets
    The Sitka Food Co-op will hold its second annual membership meeting 10 a.m. Feb. 22 at Centennial Hall.
    All are invited to attend, but voting is open only to members. Items on the agenda include: 2013 review and reports, amendments to bylaws, election of board members and membership input.   
    The Sitka Food Co-op is a community owned and operated cooperative offering natural and organic foods at reasonable prices.
    For additional information visit the website

    Work Party Set
    On SJ Campus
    Saturday volunteer work parties continue on the SJ Campus, focused on finishing Allen Hall and improving the historic quad buildings.
    Participants meet at Allen Hall or Whitmore Hall at 9 a.m., break for a hot lunch at noon, and continue until 3 p.m. On Saturday volunteers will stain trim and wash windows in Allen, and paint and refinish floors in Whitmore.   All are welcome to join at any time.    Call Sitka Fine Arts Camp office 747-3085 with questions. 

    Grief Group Meets
    The Living with Loss adult grief support group will meet 6-7 p.m.  Feb. 26 in the Pioneers Home Manager’s House.
    Open to ages 18 and older, the support group is a safe place to discuss  grief with a professional counselor and peers. Call 747-4600 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

    Cajun Music
    To be Performed
    Sitka Folk and the Greater Sitka Arts Council will host the North Country Cajun Club March 7 at Allen Hall on the SJ Campus.
    Tickets are $20 for those age 21 and older. Attendees must show identification. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
    ‘‘This is Cajun honky-tonk music to make your boots scoot, it’s absolute it will be a hoot, and so uproot yourself, find the route and get your tickets at Old Harbor Books,’’ organizers said.
    Those with questions may call Ted at 747-5482 or Jeff 747-4821.

    Sitka Bear Expert
    Mooney to Speak
    Bear expert Phil Mooney will offer information about bear behavior and staying safe in the woods 4 p.m. Feb. 23 at Kettleson Library.
    All are invited to attend.

    Deadline Extended
    To Sign Up For
    Spring Camp
    Yaa Khusgé Yaaw Woogoo Knowledge-of-Herring Camp offers middle school students an opportunity to take a break from the classroom and have fun with science outdoors.
    The camp will be held noon-5 p.m. March 17-21 at Sitka National Historical Park. Daily camp activities will include observing herring and other marine wildlife during field trips, marine research throughout Sitka Sound, exploring Sitka’s coastline to learn about critical herring habitat, using remote operated underwater vehicles to view herring and conducting lab analysis of collected samples. Daily sessions will conclude with a presentation by scientists, Native elders or local herring experts.
    Potential participants are required to submit an application by Feb. 28 to Nancy Douglas at the Southeast Alaska Career Center, 205 Baranof Street, or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . A digital version of the application can be downloaded from the park’s website at Paper applications will be available at Southeast Alaska Career Center, Sitka National Historical Park’s visitor center and at Blatchley Middle School. For additional information contact Douglas at 966-1242. 

    Brewery Night
    Benefits Skippers
    The Baranof Brewery will host a benefit night for the Sitka Skippers 5-8 p.m. Feb. 26.
    It will include local brews, homemade salsa and a dessert auction.  Proceeds will help fund travel to regional and national competitions.

    Blue Lake Road
    Restrictions Set
    Sitka Police Department and the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement  division will be enforcing state and federal laws restricting traffic on Blue Lake Road.
    Motorists are creating a hazard for themselves and the heavy equipment and truck operators on the road, warn the city electric department and Blue Lake Dam project construction company.
    SPD has been asked to enforce the permitting/licensing that restricts public use of the road.
    Police will check Blue Lake Road and those caught on the roadway who are not authorized could face criminal trespass charges, or arrest if they fail to leave immediately.
    The construction company will begin tours again in April. Members of the public are being encouraged to wait until then and take a tour rather than risking their own safety by driving up the road on their own, SPD said in a press release.
    Society Schedules
    Annual Meeting
    The Maritime Heritage Society’s annual meeting is set 7-9 p.m. Feb. 25 at Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi.
    The topic is ‘‘Harvesting and Sharing Foods from Our Waters and Shores: Sitka’s Oldest Family Tradition.’’
    Eric Jordan will moderate as a panel of passionate food gatherers and members of the audience offer their stories and thoughts on why we love to find, eat, and share wild foods gathered from our waters and beaches.
    “Everyone’s invited,’’ SMHS Director Carole Gibb said. ‘‘Come and be surrounded by people who care about the ocean’s bounty, in a gorgeous venue, and enjoy an evening of discovery and laughter.”
    A reception and refreshments will be at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program.

    Open Mic Slated
    Sitka Folk and the Greater Sitka Arts Council will host an open mic event at the Larkspur Cafe Feb. 23.
    Signup begins at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. A $5-per-person donation is requested for the benefit fundraiser, Call Ted at 747-5482 for more information.

    Food Security
    Topic of Talk
    “Community Food Security” is the topic of an open forum 3-4:30 p.m.  Feb. 21 at the United Methodist Church of Sitka, 303 Kimsham Street.
    Food security means “all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life,” organizers said.
    Lisa Sadlier-Hart and Major Evadne Wright of Sitka and Bonita Miller, Kenai, will lead the discussion.
    Topics will be local foods, current legislation and access for all. Contact Julia Smith, 738-6336, for information.

    ‘Bears and Ice’
    Topic of Talk
    At UAS Seminar
    As part of its ongoing natural history seminar series, University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus will host guest lecturer Tania Lewis 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 in UAS-Sitka Campus, Room 229. Tania’s topic will be “Bears and Ice”
    Lewis will talk about the effects of glaciation on food resources, distribution and population genetics of brown and black bears in Southeast Alaska.         ‘‘The geologic history of the region has had profound impacts on its plants and animals,’’ Lewis said. ‘‘Ice sheets devour suitable habitat and isolate small numbers of individuals in glacial refugia. Then retreating glaciers provide a blank slate for species to colonize, patterns of succession to develop, and previously isolated populations to rejoin.’’
     Lewis will explore the contemporary and historic biogeography of these two iconic species, including the rare and little known glacier bear, with the latest research results. She will include stories from the field, photos, and song.
    Lewis is wildlife biologist for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. She has been conducting wildlife research in Glacier Bay since 1997. She studied harbor seals, humpback whales, nesting seabirds and human impacts on wildlife, but her primary focus since 2001 has been black and brown bears. She conducted many years of research on Glacier Bay bear ecology and bear-human conflict and wrote the bear management plan for the park.
    Lewis recently received a master of science degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a thesis examining the distribution of black and brown bears along the shoreline of Glacier Bay, and the landscape population genetics of brown bears in the region.
    Funding for the seminar series is provided by a grant to the Sitka Sound Science Center by the Sitka Permanent Charitable Trust and by support from the University of Alaska.
    Funding for the seminar series is provided by a grant to the Sitka Sound Science Center by the Sitka Alaska Permanent Charitable Trust and by support from the University of Alaska.
Those with questions may contact Kitty LaBounty at 747-9432 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Karate to Register
    Sitka Community Schools registration for  Kenwa Kai karate sessions is set Mondays and Wednesdays March 10-May 7 at Baranof Elementary School.
    Cost for beginners, ages 6 and older, is $125. The class meets 5:45-6:30 p.m.
    Advanced classes for blue belt and higher is $150. It will meet 6:45-7:45 p.m. A family discount of $20 will be given for each additional student.
    Registration is at the Sitka Community Schools office at BMS.

    Pancake Supper
    At St. Peter’s
    St. Peter’s Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake supper is set 5:30 p.m. March 4 at the See House.

    Art Aerobics Set
    Sitkans are being invited to ‘‘tap into your creative juices’’ and sign up for  Art Aerobics, set 6:30-8 p.m. March 5 at the Yaw Building on the SJ Campus.
    The fee of $15 for adults and $10 for students 13 and older is to cover the classroom and supplies.
    For more information Contact Suzan at 747-3183.  Sponsored by the Greater Sitka Arts Council.  Part of Arti-Gras week. 

Skaggs Alaska Foundation supports Scientist in Residency Fellowship
    The Sitka Sound Science Center has announced that the Skaggs Alaska Foundation is supporting a new Scientist in Residency Fellowship Program at the Sitka Sound Science Center.
    The fellowship will support one scientist per year in a mini-sabbatical in Sitka.
    Mid-career scientists working in terrestrial or interdisciplinary sciences may apply for the one-month fellowship located in Sitka. Through his foundation, Skaggs has a long history of involvement in the Sitka community and making positive investments around the region.
    “Being on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Sitka is bathed daily in rich nutrients brought in by currents and semi-diurnal tide changes,” Sam Skaggs said, “This fellowship supports the human tide of intellectual excellence and exchange.”
    Scientists who are awarded the Skaggs Alaska SIRF Fellowship will spend three weeks conducting research, preparing for publication, writing or collaborating with a colleague, and one week participating in informal science education with Sitkans. The Skaggs Alaska Fellow will be given outreach and education opportunities that will help the community learn about scientific research and foster science engagement in this small, well-informed, natural resource-dependent, coastal community. Applicants will be selected based on their passion and ability to communicate science to a variety of audiences and research relevant to Alaska and field of interest. The successful candidate will be provided with travel expenses, housing, office space and an honorarium.
    ‘‘The Sitka Sound Science Center is honored by the generosity of the Skaggs Foundation,’’ the science center said.
    The fellowship expands on the National Science Foundation-funded Scientist in Residency Fellowship program that has a focus on ocean sciences.
    “With Sam’s support we are excited that we can expand the reach of this unique and highly successful program to scientists working beyond the marine environment,” said Victoria O’Connell, SSSC research director.
    The SSSC will advertise the fellowships internationally beginning this month.
    For more information go to Alaska Fellowship/ or contact Tory O’Connell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 747-8878 extension 7.

    Story Time Set
    The next Preschool Story time program at Kettleson Memorial Library will be 10:30 a.m. Feb. 20.
    “Moon and Stars” will be the theme. Readings, songs, games around literacy activities and a craft project are part of the program. For more information call the library at 747-8708.

    Teen Advisory
    Board at Library
    Kettleson Memorial Library’s Teen Advisory Board will meet 7 p.m. Feb. 21.
    TAB members help select materials for the library’s collection and make suggestions for the future teen area at the new library. Teens are invited to join the board. Registration is preferred. Snacks, free new books and pizza are included.
    For more information, call the library at 747-8708.

    Babies and Books
    Celebrate Saturday
    The monthly Babies and Books program is set 10:30 a.m. Feb. 22 at Kettleson Memorial Library.
    Keturah Kinsman and her group of dance maker students will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with performances and games for children and parents around the Dr. Seuss books ‘‘My Many Colored Days’’ and ‘‘The Foot Book.’’
    Children from birth to age 4, and  their parents, caretakers, family and friends, are welcome. For more information, call Kettleson at 747-8708.

    Carole Gibb

Maritime Heritage Society
Gets New Director Aboard
    Sitka Maritime Heritage Society has a new director at the helm. Carole Gibb has come aboard in time for the group’s annual meeting, set 7-9 p.m. Feb. 25, at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi theater.
    The meeting topic is ‘‘Harvesting and Sharing Foods from Our Waters and Shores’’ and it provides an opportunity for a panel and audience members to share adventure stories, personal insights, and memorable moments experienced while out gathering food on Sitka’s waters.
    “If past annual meetings are any guide, there will be humor and things you didn’t know about our local waters, history, and our fellow Sitkans,” Gibb said.
    An eclectic work history can be a liability in some places, but in Sitka it can be a plus.
    “My resume makes me look crazy outside Alaska, but here, and for this organization specifically, my background is a good fit,” Gibb said.
    The society’s current focus is to develop the Japonski Island Boat Shop into a thriving Maritime Heritage Education Center. Formerly of Pelican and Juneau, Gibb has worked in commercial fishing, grant-writing, property development, marketing and program planning. She also has a love of oral histories and authored a book, ‘‘Fishing for Courage,’’ which features true stories her Pelican neighbors shared with her, and lessons those stories yielded.
    The society recently received confirmation of a historic preservation grant through Alaska’s DNR Office of History and Archaeology, which will result in workshops and work on restoring windows and doors on the boat shop this summer.
    The group has full construction documents ready for a thorough rehabilitation of the boathouse, and will be raising funds toward this end, but in the meantime, the plan is to create a functional space for workshops and other programming.
    “So first we need a few things,” Gibb said. “Like lights. It will be expensive to install power to the building, and we’re brainstorming ways we might pay for it.”
    Gibb said she feels lucky to have such a strong board of directors, and it’s growing. The society has added two new members to its board this month. Brinnen Carter is the chief of resources at the Sitka National Historical Park. He brings to the group his experience with historic structures and cultural landscapes, and his personal interest in boatbuilding.
    “Plus, he has experience leading restoration of historic windows,” Gibb said, “which will come in handy at our workshops this summer.”
    Another new board member, Hayley Chambers, curator at the Sitka Historical Society, is enthused about the lessons and knowledge our maritime heritage offers on a daily basis.             Her master’s degree is in public history, and she has worked on preserving and maintaining historic buildings, as well as on board-leadership development, and educational programming.
    Our maritime heritage, Gibb said, unifies us.
    “Going back, it doesn’t matter what era you look at, or ethnicity, there’s one heritage we can all claim as Sitkans, and celebrate,’’ Gibb said. ‘‘Simply put, it’s about love of being on the water.”
    Looking ahead, the Maritime Heritage ‘‘wishes to preserve and cultivate this rich way of life,’’ she said. “So our next generation and generations after that, can experience it too.”

    Dancers Perform
    Sitka Kaagwaantaan Dancers will perform in honor of the Russian Bishop 1 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall.
    The group will also practice for Celebration 3 p.m. Sunday at Blatchley Middle School downstairs. For more information call Roby Littlefield.

    Grief Support
    Group Offered
    GriefShare, a seminar and support group for those experiencing grief and loss, is slated 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays Feb. 24-April 7 at the Assembly of God Church.
    No child care is available. Attendees are invited to take a bag lunch.
    GriefShare features nationally recognized experts on grief recovery on videos. Some topics will be ‘‘The Uniqueness of Grief’’ and ‘‘Top Lessons of Grief.’’
    The registration fee is $15 for the workbook. Scholarships are available. The website is
    For more information, or to pre-register, contact the church at 747-5848 or Mae Dunsing, leader, at 752-8716.

    Bagpipers Visit
    Sitka Fire Hall
    The public is invited to the Sitka Fire Hall 1-2 p.m. Feb. 22 to hear the Seattle Firefighters Pipes and Drums Bagpipers.
    Those with questions may call 747-6875.

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