PLEDGES – Law enforcement officer recruits recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a graduation ceremony at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi this afternoon. Thirty-nine officers, including 16 Alaska State Trooper recruits, graduated from the 16-week basic Alaska Law Enforcement Training Session No. 1901. Officers will take jobs across Alaska from the North Slope to Ketchikan, while Trooper recruits will continue training for two more weeks in Sitka and then take duty assignments under the 12-week Field Training and Evaluation Program. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

February 28, 2014 Community Happenings

Fireweed Dance
    Theatre Performs
    Fireweed Dance Theatre members will perform 7 p.m. March 8 at the Sitka Performing Arts Center.
    The group allows dedicated dancers to experience new styles of dance. The performance will include dances by guest choreographers, including Frances Donahue, Toni Hawks Floyd, Aubrey A. Angelillis, Laura Turcott and Keturah Kinsman. Many dance genres will be represented including jazz, hip hop, tap, pointe and ballet.
    Tickets will be available to Old Harbor Books and at the door.

    Domestic Violence
    Task Force Meets
    The Sitka Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force will meet noon-1 p.m. March 4 at the Sitka Community Hospital classroom.
    The agenda includes preparations for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
    The task force was developed to create a community where interpersonal violence is not tolerated. The meeting is open to all interested persons. For more information, call SAFV at 747-3370.

     Bowl for Kids
    Sake Event Set
    Big Brothers Big Sisters will hold its annual “Bowl for Kids Sake” April 12 at the Keet Gooshi Heen gym.
    BBBS is seeking businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor and put together teams. Prior to the event, bowlers collect pledges with all proceeds going to BBBS of Sitka. This is the major annual fundraiser for BBBS and crucial for program sustainability organizers said.
    On the days of the event participants come together for bowling, pizza and prizes for top fundraisers, as well as door prizes.
    To find out more on how to participate as a sponsor, team captain or bowler, contact Barb Morse 747-3500 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Powder Puff
    Pickleball Set
    Powder puff pickleball at Hames Center is moving to noon Friday.
    All are invited. Call Susan at Hames Center, 747-5080, with questions about this paddle sport.

    Drums Alive
    Fitness Offered
    Drums Alive, a cardio class that incorporates the use of rhythm with exercise balls and drumsticks, is being offered at Hames Center.
    Coral Pendell will lead the class 5:15-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays March 4-27. For more information or questions go to or call 747-5080.

    Fifth-Grade Sets
    Band Concert
    The fifth grade band will present its Almost Spring Concert 7 p.m. March 11 at the Sitka Performing Arts Center.
    The concert will feature full band pieces as well as solos and small ensembles. Admission is free and open to the public.

    Legos and Books
    Program March 4
    The Legos and Books program at Kettleson Memorial Library is set 4:30 p.m. March 4.
    Participants will first read a book and later be challenge to make a Lego creation around it. Registration is required. For more information call the library at 747-8708.

America’s Russian Connection brought to Life in Sitka

By Becky Latanich
Chief of Interpretation
 and Education
Sitka National Historical Park
    On a crisp February Sunday morning, a magnificent procession of Orthodox clergy filed out from Sitka’s historic Russian Bishop’s House adorned in their finest vestments. The Metropolitan of North America was dressed in sky-blue, with his bishops, priests, and attending clergy in golden robes. All exited the landmark building and walked – as had many of his ecclesiastical predecessors – through the former capital of Russian America, to St. Michael’s Cathedral through song-filled air. The event? The installation of David Mahaffey Jr. as the new Bishop of the Orthodox Diocese of Sitka and All Alaska.
    Bishop David’s investiture ceremony links the rich legacy that ties Sitka National Historical Park not only to the history of Russian Orthodoxy in Alaska, but more broadly to the history of Russian America. As caretakers of the Russian Bishop’s House, the park welcomed Bishop David on Saturday, Feb. 22, with a tour of the restored Russian America-era built structure along with its splendid chapel. The tour was followed by a tea service during which Park Supt. Mary A. Miller presented the incoming bishop with a commemorative plaque detailing the names all of the Orthodox bishops who had preceded him in service to the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska.
    On Sunday morning, Bishop David and his fellow prelates dressed for the procession to the cathedral in the upstairs restored residence of the Russian Bishop’s House. By doing so they paid homage to many notable men who called the Russian Bishop’s House home over the past 171 years, including Bishop Innocent, who was canonized St. Innocent by the Orthodox Church in 1977. Bishop Innocent’s presence and influence in the colonization of Russian American is a fundamental interpretive theme at Sitka NHP.
    Sitka National Historical Park enjoys a unique relationship with the Orthodox Church and the community of Sitka. Sitka NHP is the only National Park chartered to tell the story of Russian America and the long-lasting local and national impacts of those colonization efforts. The park preserves this lesser-known portion of American history by maintaining the Russian Bishop’s House as a museum and restored residence. The park also preserves the history of Russian America and its official religion by caring for nearly 400 objects in the museum collection – liturgical items that are curated on behalf of the Orthodox Church in America. While the Church owns the gilded icons, censers and other ecclesiastical pieces that decorate the bishop’s private Chapel of the Annunciation, under an agreement, the park provides full curatorial care for all of the holy items in the Russian Bishop’s House.
    Park Superintendent Miller notes that the “Ongoing use of the house for ecclesiastical purposes is exciting and emphasizes the importance of the NPS/Orthodox Church in America relationship. It is this ‘living history’ that energizes our ongoing interpretation efforts and brings to life the Russian American period. Special events such as the investment of a bishop only serve to underscore this park’s ongoing mission to preserve the Russian Bishop’s House and its associated significant Russian Orthodox collection for the enjoyment of the American people.”


Jordan Zellhuber
Ahna Cushing

    SHS Names February
    Honored Students
    Sitka High School has named Jordan Zellhuber and Ahna Cushing as its February students of the month.
    Sophomore Jordan Zellhuber is male student of the month.
    He is noted by his teachers as being genuinely curious, a disciplined student with an eye for detail. Jordan loves physical activity and is involved in cross country and track at school, and spends his free time running, hiking, camping, kayaking, bicycling and snowboarding.
    He is the son of Arika Zellhuber and Jay Brauch.
    Ahna Cushing, a junior, is female student of the month. She is involved in drama, debate and forensics and was part of the team that took third at state for reader’s theater. She is also performing in the spring play.
    The school said that Ahna is a mature, capable student, and she often shows her infectious sense of humor, knowing how to find fun in the littlest things.
    Ahna said that she’s excited to “use that prime parking space.”
    She is the daughter of Greg and Debbie Cushing.

    SAFV Board Meets
    The SAFV board will meet 5:30 p.m. March 10 at the shelter. The meeting is open to the public. For directions,  call Sitkans Against Family Violence at 747-3370.

    Film to Show
    Sitka Conservation Society will present the Sitka premiere of ‘‘The Meaning of Wild’’ 6-8 p.m. March 9 at the Sitka Performing Arts Center.
    Captured in high-definition, the film highlights scenery from Southeast Wilderness areas.
    Tickets at $7 are available at Old Harbor Books. It is free for ages 10 and under.
    The film will be accompanied by a selection of wilderness-themed short films, a photography exhibit and silent auction, and door prizes.
    Visit or call SCS at 747-7509 for more information.

    ‘Generations’ Topic
    Of Unitarian Meet
    Rich McClear will present the ‘‘Generations Theory of History’’ at the Unitarian Fellowship meeting Sunday.
    In the wake of the Vietnam War, two writers, William Strauss and Neil Howe, wrote books about the “Generation Gap.” They were trying to understand why the GIs and their kids had trouble communicating while other generations communicated fairly well with each other. Out of this work came the book “Generations,” which explores four “types” of generations, how they are shaped by child rearing patterns and how they may affect history.
    McClear said that several universities have adopted the theory as a predictive tool in disciplines ranging from history to political science to business management to marketing.
    Suzi and Rich McClear said they employed the theory as a tool when they taught American history at Sheldon Jackson College.
    Fellowship begins at 10:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 10:45 a.m. Soup and bread will follow the program at noon. The Fellowship Hall is at 408 Marine Street, with parking behind off Spruce Street.

20 Local Businesses Identified as 2014 Sitka Green Businesses

By Michelle Putz
Sitka Global Warming Group
For the Sentinel
    Twenty Sitka businesses have been awarded the 2014 “Sitka Green Business Award” for their green business practices by the Sitka Global Warming Group.
    This year, 11 Sitka businesses received the highest recognition, the Platinum level award. Three businesses received a Gold level award, one business received a Silver level award, and four businesses received Bronze Level Awards. Special Recognition award were awarded in two categories. In the “Ongoing Projects” category, ALFA-Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association received a Special Recognition award for their ongoing boat fuel efficiency project. In the “New Projects” category, the Hames P.E. Center received a Special Recognition award for their work to transform their building and their organization into an energy efficient operation.
    SGWG started the program in the fall of 2009 to recognize, encourage and thank local businesses that are doing positive things for the environment and Sitka’s economy. They recognized that many Sitka businesses are engaged in practices such as carpooling, recycling, composting, installing bike racks, re-using items and energy conservation.
    SGWG said that these and other positive “green” actions benefit the environment, save money, and increase the community’s sustainability and resilience. The awards recognize leadership in sustainability in the local business community.
     2014 award winners by category are:
    Platinum (15-plus green practices): Alaska Airlines, Alaska Computer Center, ALFA-Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, AMSEA-Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, City of Sitka Facilities Department, Daily Sitka Sentinel, Down to Earth U-pick Garden, Shelter Cove Publishing, Sitka Soup, U.S. Forest Service-Sitka Office, Youth Advocates of Sitka.
    Gold (10 to 14 green practices): Petro Marine Services, Sitka Food Co-op, 
Stereo North.
    Silver (5 to 9 green practices): Sea Mart Grocery Store.
    Bronze (1 to 4 green practices): AC Lakeside Grocery Store, Alaska Marine Highway, Sitka Pioneers Home, SEARHC–Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
    Special Recognition: Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association for continuing to support their boat fuel efficiency initiative (ongoing) and Hames P.E. Center for transforming to an energy efficient operation (new projects.)
    Michelle Putz, coordinator for the awards and SGWG leader, pointed to an interesting development in 2013.
    “This is the first year that one of our award winners was also nominated for and selected to receive a ‘special recognition’ award. We are delighted to recognize ALFA for both their everyday actions and their large scale project to improve fishing boat fuel efficiency!”
    ALFA has been a Sitka Green Business Platinum award winner off and on since 2010. In 2012, ALFA and its Fishery Conservation Network began their fuel efficiency initiative. This initiative provides technical assistance and focused research to improve fuel efficiency in the southeast Alaska fleet.
    “ALFA is helping our fishing fleet in multiple ways with this project,” states Putz. “They are helping fishermen to reduce costs. At the same time they are helping fishermen reduce carbon dioxide emissions which, in turn, reduces the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on fish and fish habitat. ALFA’s fuel efficiency initiative is a great example of one organization supporting both the environment and the economy.”
    Hames Center was recognized for its large-scale energy renovations. Brant Brantman, sustainability strategist and building project manager, said that over the last three years, dozens of volunteers have been working specifically on the mission of turning the Hames Center, historically one of the heaviest energy consumers in Sitka, into an energy-efficient operation.
    Through weatherization, replacement of heating and hot water systems, lighting upgrades, and controls that are optimized for user needs, both oil and electric consumption have been cut to less than half of what they were before this massive community effort. The center also recycles extensively and teaches green building techniques to many volunteers.
    “It’s not only kept massive amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere, but allowed a community center to exist that was once thought to be too expensive to operate, serving thousands of Sitkans affordably,” Brantman said.
     Putz said she is pleased to see Sitka organizations, agencies and businesses supporting the environment and each other.
    “This is the fifth year we’ve given these awards and our local businesses continue to add new and better ways to do their work in a way that contributes to community, environment, and the economy,” said Putz. “Sitka Global Warming Group is proud to recognize these local businesses and hopes that efforts to ‘buy local’ can help keep our community health and vibrant.”
    SGWG bases awards on the current list 35 locally tested “green” practices. Businesses that are recognized receive a “2014 Sitka Green Business Award” certificate that are displayed in a business’s window or service counter to identify it as a green business. Green businesses are also listed on the SGWG website at (at Green Businesses).
    “We help businesses increase their web presence by including their link in our and help them link up with customers who are looking to reduce their environmental footprint,” Putz said.
    SGWG also provides businesses with the “Sitka Green Business Award” logo to place on their print advertising and websites.
    A second round of 2014 awards is planned for later in the spring. New nominations from other Sitka businesses will be considered if sent by March 30,. Nomination instructions are on the website.

    Family Fun at Hames
    Family Fun Day at Hames Center is slated 3-5 p.m. March 2.
    The program is available on the first Sunday of every month and includes climbing wall, bouncy castle, tunnels, bounce house, toys and games.
    Those who purchase a pass can get a free youth pass. Participants should take clean shoes. Visit for more information.

    Workout Hours
    Expand at Hames
    Winter workout hours at the Hames Center have been extended until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
    For the next few months, while sports club rentals are in the gymnasium, the entire upstairs will be open for those who work late, need a workout after putting the kids to bed, or want to get on a cardio machine while watching a buddy in sports below.

    Tickets Remain
    For Runway Show
    The Greater Sitka Arts Council’s 6th Annual Sitka Wearable Art Show and Runway Extravaganza is slated both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall.
    A few tickets remain for the 7 p.m.  show. More are still on sale for the 2 p.m, matinee. Purchase tickets at Old Harbor Books. More information is available from Jeff at 747-4821 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
    Show on Display
    The Alaska premier of Adventure Cycling Magazine’s Bicycle Eclectic Photography Show is being unveiled for the first time in Alaska at the Backdoor Café. The show will run through March.
    All are invited to drop by and find the local couple whose photograph is in the show, which is sponsored by the Greater Sitka Arts Council, ArtiGras and Adventure Cycling.
    Call Jeff at 747-4821 with questions.

    Tryouts Set for
    Baseball, Softball
    Tryout dates and times have been set for Little League Baseball and Softball Majors and Junior leagues.
    All participants should be registered prior to try-outs at Online registration will receive a $20 discount per participant. All players ages 9 and older are required to be registered online by March 8. Those who have issues signing up online, or have questions, are asked to call Karen Case at 738-6603 or Katera Richards at 738-8772.
    Tryouts are March 8 and 11 at the Sitka High School gym.
    Age groups on March 8 are: boys ages 9-12 (Majors) 8-10 a.m.; boys             ages 13-15 (Juniors) 10-11 a.m.; and all girls try out from 11 a.m.-noon.
    All ages of boys and girls are invited to try out from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on March 11.
    Visit the website for information and current updates.
    Players ages 8 and younger have until March 20 to register online.
    Office Closed
    The UAF Cooperative Extension Service sitka District office will be closed March 3-14. It will reopen March 17.

    Services Tonight,
    Saturday For
    Douglas James
    Services have been scheduled for Douglas “Dougie” Patrick James, a lifelong Sitka resident.
    The cultural services will start at 5 p.m. today at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House. Douglas will lie in state at Kaayaashká Hít, mother Coho house thereafter.
    The funeral will be 11 a.m. Saturday, March 1, at St. Michael’s Cathedral with Father Michael Boyle officiating. Interment will follow at the city cemetery. A reception will follow at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House. Those attending the reception are invited to take a salad or dessert to share.
    Family members may be contacted through Ron James, 447 Verstovia Avenue, Sitka, AK 99835.

    Home Energy
    Classes on Tap
    The Alaska Custom Homes Program will offer free classes on home energy efficiency 8 a.m.-4 p.m. both March 8 and 9 at the UAS-Sitka Campus.
    Homeowners, contractors and real estate professionals are being encouraged to attend to learn ways of cutting home heating costs up to 40 percent. Continuing education units are available. Registration is required and can be completed by calling 907-258-2247 or online at
    Topics and times on March 8 are: 8 a.m.  ‘‘Building Science Basics’’; 10 a.m. ‘‘Insulating for Safety and Comfort’’; 1 p.m. ‘‘Finding and Fixing Air Leaks’’ and 3 p.m. ‘‘Heating and Hot Water Choices.’’
    On March 9 will be: 8 a.m. ‘‘Innovative Walls’’; 10 a.m. ‘‘Crawl Spaces’’; 1 p.m. ‘‘Evaluating Doors and Windows’’; and 3 p.m. ‘‘Healthy Indoor Air through Ventilation.’’

    School Board Meets
    Sitka School Board will hold a budget work session 7:15 p.m. March 5 in the district office board room. The public is being encouraged to attend.

    Foods Network
    Seeks Local
    Experienced Sitka gardeners willing to share some of their knowledge are being sought by the Sitka Local Foods Network.
    The group is building a pool of volunteers who can teach gardening to local residents who might be new to growing local food. Needed are people who can teach all aspects of gardening, such as how to build a raised garden bed, how to amend soil, how to choose seeds and plant starts for Sitka’s climate and how to manage the garden once it’s planted.
    To learn more about the group’s education plans and efforts to build a pool of teaching volunteers, attend the education committee meeting 5:30-7 p.m. on March 3 at Centennial Hall.
    ‘‘While we encourage people who have completed the master gardener program to apply, you don’t have to be a master gardener for our list of teaching volunteers,’’ the group said. ‘‘Just send us a note expressing your interest in teaching or helping with a class, what types of classes you’re comfortable teaching, and the best dates and times for teaching that class. Please list your prior experience with these skills (such as I’ve been growing my own garden in Sitka for 12 years).’’
    In addition to skilled gardeners willing to teach basic gardening, SLFN is  also looking for people who can teach Sitka residents how to gather seaweed and other beach greens, how to go berry picking, how to preserve and can food, how to field dress a deer, how to cook with some of the lesser-known veggies that grow in Sitka, and other local food skills. Also needed are those who can teach specialized classes, such as permaculture, hydroponics, square-foot gardening and container gardening.
    The local University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service agent is retiring this spring. SLFN is trying to build a pool of volunteers who can provide gardening education until the UAF Cooperative Extension Service can hire a replacement, a press release from the SLFN said.
    To join the pool of teaching volunteers, send  information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the words ‘‘SLFN Education’’ in the subject line. Volunteers are also needed in the future, and are being asked to send an email if they are willing to teach at a later date.

    Tribal Council
    Meets March 5
    The Sitka Tribe of Alaska Tribal Council will meet noon March 5 at the Sheet’ka Kwáan Naa Kahídi.
    Those wishing to give a presentation or speak before the Tribal Council may do so at its regular monthly meeting March 19.  For information contact Kathy Hope Erickson, 747-7352.

    Youth Orchestra
    Concert March 12
    The Sitka Youth Orchestra will hold its 13th annual Spring concert 7 p.m. March 12 at the Performing Arts Center. It will feature symphonic works by Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, Rimsky-Korsakov and selections performed by some of the graduating seniors in the orchestra.
    The concert will also feature Tiffany Pearson performing a piano solo with orchestra accompaniment.
    The group is under the direction of Barbara Rocheleau and Jan Lovett and has been rehearsing since January to prepare for the performance. Donations will be accepted at the door for the hourlong, family friendly concert.
    For more information call 747-3653.

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