INTENSIVE – Professional dancer Adam McKinney formerly with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and choreographer Sarah Ashkin lead a rehearsal of an upcoming Summer Dance Intensive production Thursday in Allen Hall. Students will dance a 25-minute program Saturday 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. A five dollar donation is suggested at the door. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

March 14, 2014 Community Happenings

    “I wanted to join SYLC because I thought it was a good way to be involved in the community,” explained Jeffrey Moore, junior at Mt. Edgecumbe High School. “I was a new person to Sitka and it’s a great way to connect to teenagers and make a difference.”
    Sitka Youth Leadership Committee is a group focused mainly on reducing social barriers between the schools in Sitka by creating opportunities for youth to connect across differences. SYLC is a student-run group led by advisor Julia Smith, the prevention director at Sitkans Against Family Violence. The goal of the group is to promote respect and build bridges amongst youth in Sitka and across Alaska.
    “I was introduced to SYLC after the REBOUND trip and I was interested in leadership and thought ‘this could come handy in life so why not’,” said Mikaela Hunter, media intern of SYLC and junior at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.
    The group has successfully held a number of activities including the REBOUND kayak trip, teen talks and workshops such as Interrupting Oppression, Nonviolent Communication, Tri-School Diversity and If You Really Knew Me. Many of the workshops held by SYLC have been facilitated by Lakota Harden, a motivational speaker from Oakland, Calif.
    “My favorite part about SYLC so far has been the Lakota Workshop… really inspiring. I noticed how big of an impact it has like usually workshops don’t really have an impact… she really gets to you,” Moore said.
    A new internship program was introduced to SYLC in the fall semester of the 2013 - 2014 school year. The interns are Mikaela Hunter and Tilani Meyers, a senior from MEHS. Tilani will be coordinating future events such as a lock-in and being a liaison between SYLC and schools. Mikaela is currently working on collecting video clips and piecing together a documentary with Hannah Guggenheim, local filmmaker, about SYLC’s story.
    Sitka Youth Leadership Committee is open to students in grades 8-12. Those interested in joining may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
    Written by SYLC’s Administrative Intern Tilani Meyers. SYLC is sponsored by Sitkans Against Family Violence.

    Teen Advisory
    Board to Meet
    Kettleson Memorial Library’s Teen Advisory Board will meet 7 p.m. March 21. TAB members are getting ready for its garage sale on March 22.
    Teens 13 and older are invited to join the board. Registration is preferred. Snacks and pizza included.
    For more information, call the Library at 747-8708.

    Donations Sought
    For Garage Sale
    The Kettleson Library’s Teen Advisory Board is seeking items for a garage sale at Kettleson Memorial Library on 10:30 a.m. March 22.
    Books, toys, posters and other items will be part of the sale. Donations will help with the future teen area in the new library expansion. For more information about how to get involved call the library at 747 8708.

    Herring Festival
    Potluck on Tap
    A community potluck for the Sitka Herring Festival will be held 6-9 p.m.  April 4 at Centennial Hall.
    Entertainment will be by Tom Begich and Sarah Sledge. A talk on ‘‘Archaeology of Herring in Alaska’’ by Madonna Moss and an auction for donated artwork will also take place. Questions can be directed to 747-7168.

    Drums Alive
    Fitness on Tap
    Drums Alive, a fitness class that incorporates rhythm as the source of inspiration, will run 5:15-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Hames Center.
    Instructor Coral Pendell uses exercise balls and drumsticks in this cardio-filled class. For more information go to or call 747-5080.

    Tribal Council Meets
    The Sitka Tribe of Alaska Tribal Council will meet 6:30 p.m. March 19 in the Sheet’ka Kwáan Naa Kahídi Community House.
    For information, contact Kathy Hope Erickson, 747-7352.

Sitka Big Sister Kelly Ferguson Named Alaska Big Sister of the Year
    Inspired by the teachings of Nelson Mandela in her native South Africa, Kelly Ferguson decided that becoming a Big Sister was a great way to make the world a better place and make a difference in a child’s life. So 10 years ago she volunteered with the Sitka Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Community Director Barb Morse matched Ferguson with Little Sister Darian, then just 6 years old, and a great friendship was born.
    During the past 10 years, this great friendship has gotten even stronger – Ferguson has taken Darian fishing, volunteering at the local animal farm and sanctuary, beachcombing, picnicking, and sending donations to needy children around the world.
    Ferguson has opened up new worlds for Darian, and they are planning a trip together when Darian graduates from high school.
    Darian’s grandmother said that “Kelly has truly been a gift in all our lives,” and Darian describes Ferguson as “the best friend and big sister ever.”
    Barb Morse, in her nomination of Ferguson, said “Kelly is a wonderful listener and communicator and is truly one of the most important consistent adults in her Little’s life.” She has opened new horizons for her Little, and their activities are not only fun but also focus on volunteering and giving back to the community and the world. In 2007, Ferguson and Darian were featured in a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska video.
    As the Alaska Big Sister of the Year 2014, Ferguson is among 30 exceptional Big Sisters from across the country who will be considered for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s National Big Sister of the Year, to be announced in late May.
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska has been providing mentors for children and youths in Alaska for more than 40 years.
    Named the number-one non-profit serving at-risk youths by Guidestar’s Philanthropedia, Big Brothers Big Sisters is nationally recognized for its positive, measurable outcomes backed by national research. For information on how to volunteer or support the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska, go to In Sitka, contact Barb Morse at 747-3500 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Unitarians Meet
    Robin McNeilly will lead a celebration of the equinox and the coming of spring at the Unitarian Fellowship meeting Sunday, March 16. Fellowship begins at 10:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 10:45.
    A children’s program is provided. Soup and bread follows the program at noon. The Fellowship Hall is located at 408 Marine Street, with parking behind off Spruce Street.

    Kayaani Panel
    Seeking Members
    Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s Kayaani Commission is accepting letters of interest to fill two open commissioner seats: three-year term tribal citizen seat, and one-year term general membership seat.
    The deadline is March 28. Mail or hand-deliver letters of interest to the STA’s Resource Protection Department, 456 Katlian Street, Sitka, AK 99835, attention Heather Riggs, or email letters to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
    For more information, contact Heather at 747-7167.

    Writers Read
    Event March 25
    Local literary artists will read their art for Writers Read 7:30 p.m. March 25 at the Yaw Chapel. It will feature Bill Giant, Ron Rau, Allison Sayer, Melissa Marconi-Wentzel and Peter Williams and include the writing of Blatchley Middle School student, Karina Belcher, being read by fellow Blatchley student Ella Lubin.
    The event is open to the public, and homemade treats and tea are provided. Donations are accepted. Contact Brooke with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    ANS Schedule
    Spring Bazaar
    The annual Alaska Native Sisterhood spring bazaar will be 9 a.m.-noon  Saturday, March 22, at the ANB Founders Hall. The public is welcome.
    Many local artists, crafters and beaders will have Native artwork, jams, jellies and handmade items.
    Those wanting to reserve a table may call Helen at 747-3410 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .. Tables are limited and the cost is $20. ANS memberships may be renewed. New members are invited to sign up.

    Museum to Hold
    Program On
    Native Tattoos
    The Sheldon Jackson Museum invites the public to attend a free family-friendly public program to learn about tattoos in Alaska Native culture 1 p.m. March 22.
    The activity is part of At Saxán (Love of All Things) Saturdays. Children will draw tattoo designs and take a temporary tattoo home with them.
    Every third Saturday of the month children and their families may learn more about Alaska Native culture and peoples and the museum’s ethnographic collection through hands-on arts and crafts activities, storytelling, games, and more.
    The majority of programs require pre-registration and last up to two hours. Most programs are free, but some will require a small fee to cover material costs. All programs will be at the Sheldon Jackson Museum at 104 College Drive.
    Support for programming comes from the Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum. To register or for more information, call 747-8904 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Local fish in school cafeterias to support statewide initiatives
     In an effort to support regional and statewide efforts to serve local foods in schools, the Sitka Conservation Society developed a “how-to” guide to serving fish in schools.
    Using Sitka as a case study, it outlines procurement and processing strategies, legalities, tips and recipes. Also included are case studies from around the state that offer tips and suggestions based on the success of their programs.
    Fish to Schools, a program that gets local seafood into schools, began as a grassroots community initiative in the fall of 2010. Sitka is one of the first districts in the state to serve local seafood through the National School Lunch Program and has become a leader in the State of Alaska in getting local foods into schools.
    In the last three years, the number of schools interested in serving local seafood has increased ten-fold. Haines, Dillingham, Kodiak, Galena and Juneau are a few of the districts that are now serving seafood in their meal programs.
    The Sitka Fish to Schools program has seen an increase in meal participation on fish lunch days, likely attributed to the participation of students who typically bring a sack lunch.
    Organizers said that one student who reported never liking fish started to eat it after a local chef came to her classroom. Others students circle fish lunch dates on their school lunch calendar, refusing home lunch that day.
    A middle school student said, “It’s healthy and good for you and you feel good after you eat it.” Other students  want to become a fisherman or cite the economic value to their community.
    In addition to the guide is the “Stream to Plate” curriculum, a unit of seven lessons that connect salmon to the classroom. The lessons address the ecological significance and human relationship to salmon. Lessons have been trialed and refined the last three years with third graders at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.
    “The Fish to Schools curriculum connects my classroom to the community,’’ said Chris Bryner, teacher and collaborator on the salmon unit. ‘‘Students not only learn about a resource relevant to their daily lives, but come away with an understanding that learning happens inside and outside of school.”
    As the ninth largest seafood port in the country, Sitka is paving the way for locally-sourced meals. Their efforts are part of a larger national movement, Farm to School, to get local foods in schools.
    “The beauty of Fish to Schools is that it provides a practical, local solution to a multitude of current global issues,” said Fish to Schools Co-Founder Lexi Fish. Sourcing local reduces the environmental impact of foods grown and raised thousands of miles away and ultimately supports a more resilient food system.
    Local fish in school lunches not only tastes “delicus,” as one third-grader said, but also addresses food justice, nutrition, community sustainability, and conservation.
    To get a free copy of the guide and curriculum visit or contact Tracy Gagnon, Community Sustainability Organizer for the Sitka Conservation Society at 747.7509 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Park to Host Reception for
    ‘Wilderness’ Art Speaker
    Sitka National Historical Park will host an opening reception for the Voices of the Wilderness traveling art exhibit 5 p.m. March 15.
    Guest speaker Doug Scott, former wilderness lobbyist for the Wilderness Society, Sierra Club and Pew Charitable Trust will discuss John Muir and the road to the Wilderness Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The free program will take place at the park visitor center.
    The Voices of the Wilderness traveling exhibit displays artwork inspired by 20 different wilderness areas, including pieces from the nearby West Chichagof-Yakobi, South Baranof and St.Lazaria Wilderness areas. The multimedia pieces that make up the exhibit celebrate the diversity of Alaskan wilderness and were created by artists from across the United States and the world, many of whom were artists-in-residence hosted by agencies that manage federally designated wilderness.
    The exhibit is sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The traveling show was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act.
    The exhibit will also be available for viewing 5-9 p.m. tonight as part of the Arti-Gras Arts and Music Festival Gallery Walk.
    The Voices of the Wilderness Traveling art exhibit is made possible with funding by Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund, and is administered, under contract, by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.  Additional support for this show is provided by Sitka Conservation Society and Alaska Geographic.

John Rennie. (Photo provided)

    UAS to Offer
    Golf Instruction
    Prize-winning golf instructor John Rennie will teach a golf instruction class 1-3 p.m. Sundays March 23-May 11 at Sea Mountain Golf Course.
    The University of Alaska Southeast will be offering the for-credit golf instruction class.
    It will start on the driving range, where Rennie will guide students of all skill levels with their swing, stance, and golf fundamentals. Classes will then play a round of golf together, with Rennie coaching students in all facets of the game.
    Golfers should be able to tune up their swings, improve their shot selection, and work on their putting, driving, chipping and other elements of their games.
    The class, titled PE 103, awards one academic credit and costs $179 for the eight weeks of instruction. There will also be a $20 fee for balls, payable to Sea Mountain course.
    For more information, contact Owen Kindig, information officer of UAS Sitka Campus.
    Regalia Taught
    A regalia workshop will be taught during spring break, 2-7 p.m. March 17-20 and 1-6 p.m. March 21 at the ANB Founders Hall.
    Participants will need to take their own sewing materials for the regalia project to be worked on. Carol Breece will be on hand to assist.
     14New Arrivals
Baby Girl Greene
    Eloise Annan Greene was born 3:54 a.m. Feb. 26 at SEARHC-Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.
    At birth, the infant weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 20-1/2 inches long.
    Parents are Simon and Mary Grace Green of Sitka. The father is a U.S. Coast Guard pilot and the mother is a stay-at-home mom.
    Eloise joins a sister Adelaide and a brother Fenno.

    Cancer Support
    Group to Meet
    Sitka Cancer Support Group will meet 1 p.m. March 16 at the Sitka Pioneers Home Manager’s House.
    Those in cancer treatment and cancer survivors are invited to spend time with others who understand what they are going through.
    The support group is sponsored by Sitka Cancer Survivors Society. Call or email Mary Beth with questions or transportation, at 623-0842, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    On Spring Break
    The Sitka School District announces no school will be held March 17-21 because of spring break.
    All school offices will be closed. Maintenance and Sitka Community School will be open during the break. the district office will be closed March 17-21.

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