FLYING JELLYFISH – Nova Galanin plays the role of an aerial jellyfish in the original Sitka Cirque production of "Tides" Sunday at the Performing Arts Center. The show was supported in part by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and produced by Friends of Sitka Circus Arts. The next production will be August 17, a show titled "Summer Student Showcase Mythology." (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

March 27, 2104 Community Happenings

Harp Sing Set
    The fifth Sunday Sitka sacred harp sing is set 3:30-5 p.m. March 30 at the Pioneers Home Chapel.
    Focus will be on the Cooper Book. Beginners are welcome. Call 738-2089 for more information.

    Open Mic Set
    Open Mic Night at the Larkspur Cafe is set 7 p.m. Sunday.
    All are invited to share a song, poem or play an instrument.
    ‘‘If you have been wanting to share your love for music, this is a safe venue to take the leap,’’ organizers said.
    It’s a benefit for Sitka Folk and the suggested donation is $5. Call 738-7746 for more information

    Emblem Club to
    Postpone Meeting
    Sitka Emblem Club 142 has postponed its March 27 meeting until April 10.
    Supreme President Jackie Fanzo will be visiting during that time.

SEARHC offers free WELL-Balanced class in Sitka
    To help elders dance at Celebration, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Health Promotion department is hosting a WELL-Balanced class, which helps elders enhance their quality of life and remain independent by helping them become stronger and improve their balance.
    Wise Elders Living Longer balanced classes will be offered 2-3:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Community Health Services first floor conference room, 1212 Seward Ave., starting April 7.
    The class is for elders who want to reduce their risk of falling and find ways to remain independent.
    Kanaaldutaas (Moriah Mathson) will lead the 16 sessions over eight weeks.
    ‘‘Participants will have some fun, increase their level of exercise, improve their physical strength, and gain confidence about managing the risk of falling,’’ SEARHC said.
    Tools to help manage diabetes, arthritis and hypertension also are included.
    ‘‘Falling is the most common and serious risk facing Native elders,’’ class organizers said. ‘‘The fear of falling can cause elders to limit their activity, which can lead to a decline in health and the loss of independence.’’
    WELL-Balanced is specifically designed to help elders reduce their risk of falling. Participants will receive a free biometric screening (blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol), fall risk screening and learn ways to reduce their chance of falling.
    WELL-Balanced was created by the National Resource Center on Native American Aging at the University of North Dakota. More than 300 Native tribes worked with the center to complete community assessments of health status, chronic disease, functional limitation, access to health care, risk factors, home/community based services, housing and social interaction. WELL-Balanced was created to address problems identified in these community assessments.
    To sign up for WELL-Balanced, or to get more information, contact Renae Mathson at 966-8797 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Two Families Invited to Get
    Free Help Growing Garden

    The Sitka Local Foods Network education committee wants to help families in Sitka learn how to grow some of their own food.
    Two families of novice gardeners who want to learn about and try vegetable gardening in their own backyard through the new Family Garden Mentor project are being sought.
    Through a series of six or seven workshops that will be held at the families’ homes, Sitka Local Foods Network volunteers will help choose a location for a vegetable bed (learning about sun, drainage, etc.); build a raised bed, and acquire soil and soil amendments; learn about soil and prepare the soil for planting; plant 2-4 easy-to-grow plants – specifically potatoes, lettuce, kale and maybe a perennial edible like rhubarb or fruit bushes; learn to take care of their plants over the summer — teaching how to care for and pick the vegetables (without killing the plant); harvest potatoes; and cook a meal using the vegetables they have grown.
    The Sitka Local Foods Network will provide all materials – soil, lumber, seeds, etc. – free to the participating families. Families will be expected to provide the labor and enthusiasm for gardening.
    Interested families must meet four requirements: they must be first-time vegetable gardeners (this project is meant to help people who are just starting to garden); they must want to try vegetable gardening and be committed to participating throughout the summer; they must own their own property; and  they must agree to let others come and attend classes at their property.
    Other criteria will also be used to help select the final two families. Families that are not selected will be placed on a waiting list in the hope of future continuation and expansion of the project.
    Workshops will start in April with selecting the site and run through September’s late harvest. Classes will focus on some of the easiest-to-grow vegetables (and fruit) in Sitka – potatoes, lettuce, kale and rhubarb.
    Families who are interested in participating should contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708 and provide a name, address, and contact phone number.

SEARHC Patients Have Access to Radiation Oncology Close to Home
    SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium announces that SEARHC patients who require radiation as part of their cancer treatment will be able to remain close to home.
    Through a partnership with Southeast Radiation Oncology Center in Juneau, patients will no longer need to travel as far as Anchorage or Seattle to receive radiation, making treatment more convenient, more comfortable and more cost effective.
    A diagnosis of cancer is fraught with unknowns, anxiety and fear, SEARHC said. Previously, a cancer diagnosis for a patient living in Southeast Alaska often included the added stress of having to travel a significant distance to receive radiation treatments which typically take place for consecutive days over the course of several weeks. That meant patients would spend substantial time far from home, and quite possibly alone as friends and family members find it difficult to leave their own responsibilities for extended periods of time.
    “Our goal is to provide advanced radiation treatment to area patients and to reduce the burden of travel for cancer patients and their families,” said Dr. Eugene Huang, medical director of Southeast Radiation Oncology Center in Juneau. “We are very pleased to work with SEARHC to help support the health needs of their patients in the Southeast Alaska region.”
    “We are very pleased to partner with the Southeast Radiation Oncology Center, so that our patients can receive this important medical care as ‘close to home’ as possible,” Medical Director of Primary Care at SEARHC Dr. Janice Sheufelt said.
    In a press release, SEARHC said it is grateful for the ability to offer patients such excellent care so close to home and looks forward to a long partnership with Southeast Radiation Oncology Center.

    Historical Society
    Sets Art Auction
    For those who appreciate fine art and a festive evening, the Sitka Historical Society will present a gala event 6 p.m. April 10 at Centennial Hall, celebrating the opening of its landmark art exhibit, ‘‘The Past Inspires The Present: A Glimpse of Sitka’s History Through Today’s Artists’ Eyes.’’
    ‘‘The evening will include an elegant dining experience, live classical string entertainment, and a spirited auction of the works of 22 renowned Sitka artists who have viewed the Museum’s artifacts, photos, and paintings to gain inspiration to create original pieces for this show,’’ organizers said.
    Attendees will be among the first to see a number of the historical society’s collection of paintings in the refurbished museum designed specifically for the exhibit.
    Tickets are $35 each and may be purchased at Brenner’s Fine Clothing and Gifts, Old Harbor Books and the Sitka Historical Society Museum. Seating is limited.

    Ukulele Lessons
    Taught on Sundays
    Free beginner ukulele lessons are set 4:30-5:30 p.m. Sundays at the Pioneers Home Chapel, followed by The Hundred Ukuleles practice 5:30-7 p.m.
    Participants will learn, and play and sing together, organizers said.
    “Like” the group on facebook to receive notifications. Text Jeannie, 510-610-0075, about free beginner lessons on Thursdays, 6-7:30 p.m.

    Board Cancels Meet
    The Sitka School Board has canceled tonight’s budget work session.
    Open House On
    Baranof Elementary School will  have a kindergarten open house 1:30-3 p.m. April 4 for preschools, daycare centers and incoming kindergarteners with their parents.
    Attendees can visit different classrooms, talk with teachers, do a scavenger hunt to get to know our school, and meet other school personnel.
    Parents who will have a kindergartner next year are being asked to visit during the open house. Registration packets and Baranof Parent Handbooks will be available.
    Registration will take place April 8-10.

    White E Sale Sat.
    The White Elephant Shop will have a half-price sale noon-3 p.m. March 29 in both the main and children’s stores.
    Exclusions are boutique items and bags of rags.
    Scholarship Topic
    Of Tonight’s Meet
    Those wanting to learn more about the Alaska Performance Scholarship and how students can earn money for college or vocational school in Alaska are invited 6 p.m. tonight at Sitka High School in Room 205.
    Shari Paul, APS coordinator, will tell how students, parents and educators can work together to achieve the merit-based scholarship.

    Tlingit & Haida
    Meeting Slated
    Sitka Tlingit and Haida Community Council will meet 1 p.m. March 29 at 414 Hollywood Way.
    Agenda items include: election of officers; paying election bills; receiving resolutions and taking action; and other items.
    For more information call Patricia Alexander, 752-0487.

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