April 18, 2014 Community Happenings

Category: News
Created on Friday, 18 April 2014 11:08
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Report on Sitka Food Facts
    Ready for Public Viewing
    The Sitka Community Food Assessment Indicators Report was released on Monday, and the findings will help guide future food system planning in Sitka.
    A 2012 Sitka Health Summit project, the assessment has examined where Sitka residents get their food, what types they eat, what they grow, what they hunt and fish for, where they shop, what type of access people have to healthy food, and other questions about Sitka’s food supply.
    After Sitka residents chose the assessment as a project at the summit, the work group received a grant to hire a coordinator and contract with a data person. A revised version of a questionnaire from a similar project on the Kenai Peninsula was posted online, available at the library, and discussed in focus groups, with more than 400 residents answering the 36 questions.
    In November 2013, some of the initial data was presented at the Sitka Food Summit, where about 60 residents discussed the results and noted any further research that needed to be done. Since then, the work group, in partnership with The Island Institute and others, fine-tuned the data before writing and editing the indicators report.
    “We hope the Sitka Community Food Assessment Indicators Report can guide future food system planning and plant seeds for innovative responses that will strengthen Sitka’s food landscape,” project coordinator Lisa Sadleir-Hart wrote in the 26-page document’s introduction. “The Sitka Community Food Assessment Indicators Report uncovers many weaknesses in our food system as well as some incredible assets that define Sitka’s food culture — a rich ecosystem filled with nutritious gems from the land and sea plus a generous spirit of sharing with our neighbors. Now that we’ve defined the current foodscape in Sitka, let’s work together to build a more resilient food system that can deeply nourish the entire community for generations to come.”
    The report opens with Sitka’s demographics and several food facts. It then features data about how many people in Sitka hunt, fish, gather and/or grow their own food, as well as some barriers. Next is information about where people in Sitka shop for their food, followed by how many are on some form of food assistance. The report also includes information about food in the schools, and local food manufacturing.
    The findings will be presented to the community during an upcoming meeting of the Assembly, and the report will be posted on the Sitka Local Foods Network website (http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/) and on The Island Institute’s website (http://islandinstitutealaska.org/).

    Story Time Set
    Kettleson Memorial Library will celebrate Earth Day during its 10:30 a.m. April 24 preschool story time.
    “The Earth Book,” by Todd Parr, will be one of the readings. Everybody is welcome. For more information call the library at 747-8708.

    Babies and Books
    Party at Library
    Sitka Babies and Books will celebrate its annual event with a ‘‘trickle, drip, drizzle, splat’’ party 10:30 a.m. April 26 at Kettleson Memorial Library.
    The party will include readings, games, activities and snacks. Every child registered will get a free book written by local author Jami Guinn Osborne. The event is free but registration is required to get the book. For more information, call the library at 747-8708.

    Diversity in Action
    At Public Library
    The Kettleson Memorial Library will join libraries across the country in celebration of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) 2:30 p.m. April 30.
    As the nation’s population continues to become more diverse, the library said it will showcase a multicultural program for children and family.
    The program, for children kindergarten and older, includes a piñata and ¨cascarones,¨ readings, songs and craft projects. Registration is preferred.
    El día de los niños/El día de los libros, known as Día, is a celebration   of children, families and reading that culminates every year on April 30.
    The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
    For more information call the library at 747-8708.

    Scientist Featured
    At UAS Seminar
    Dr. Alex Werth, scientist in residency fellow at Sitka Sound Science Center, will be the featured speaker at the next natural history seminar 7:30 p.m. April 24 at UAS-Sitka Campus, Room 229.
    The seminar, titled “Becoming Jonah: How to Study Filtration in the Whale Mouth,” will take a closer look at how baleen whales eat.
    A basic understanding of how whales feed on plankton or fish is known, but scientists don’t really know the details of just how the whale’s baleen filter actually works, a press release from UAS said.
    Using several forms of investigation, including anatomy, flow tank experiments, and even 3D printed models, Werth will get to the heart of the mystery, explaining why whale baleen in many whales doesn’t really act like a sieve and why it never gets clogged.
    The Sitka Sound Science Center, through funding from the National Science Foundation, has established a scientist in residency fellowship. For the past three years fellowships have been awarded to preeminent marine scientists from across the country.
    The SIRF program brings scientists to Sitka for one month sabbaticals to allow them time to work undisturbed by their usual daily routine. The program will also provide community engagement opportunities for scientists to share their research and to help improve ocean literacy in our community.
    For more information about the seminar, contact Kitty LaBounty at 747-9432

    Auditions Open
    For Melodrama
    The Greater Sitka Arts Council will hold auditions 7-9 p.m. April 28 and 29 at the Pioneers Home Chapel.
    The play, ‘‘The Paris of Alaska,’’ will have a two-week run with evening shows on June 16, 19, 23, and 26. There are parts for women and men, young and old. Backstage help is needed.
    The play will be a full production.
    Call Jeff at 747-4821 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.

    Service Tonight
    At Calvary Chapel
    Calvary Chapel Sitka invites the public to “The Four Gardens,” a Good Friday service, 7-8:30 p.m. tonight at 1547 Sawmill Creek Road, Terry’s Learning Center.
    Contact Pastor Dug with questions at 747-5454. No child care is available for this service.

    Easter Service for
    Calvary Chapel
    Calvary Chapel Sitka’s resurrection Sunday service will be 3 p.m. at the Methodist Church.
    Christ’s resurrection will be celebrated and studied, and Psalm 118 – Jesus’ Last Supper hymn – will be taught.
    “Answers to Skeptics’ Questions: Evidence for the Resurrection” pamphlets will be given. Contact Pastor Dug with questions at 747-5454.

    Host Family
    Sought by AFS
    AFS Sitka is seeking a host family for the next school year.
    This year three Sitka families are hosting high school students from Indonesia, Ghana and Russia. Next year two families will host students from Bangladesh and Moldova. One more is needed for a high school exchange student possibly from Yemen, Morocco, Albania or Kenya.
    Hosting families can be traditional or non-traditional families, with or without children. AFS in Sitka has a long history, and provides advice and support to hosting families.
    Call Connie Kreiss at 747-5387 or Julia Smith at 747-6333 for more information.

    Garden Classes
    Set for Mondays
    All are invited to join Bob Gorman for a two-part informative class targeting the gardening challenges in Southeast Alaska.
    Classes are to be held 7-8:30 p.m. April 21 and 28 at the UAS-Sitka Campus.
    ‘‘Extending the Growing Season’’ will be the April 21 topic, in Room 229. On April 28, the topic will be ‘‘Garden Soiles,’’ in Room 106.
    Both are free and open to all. Call 747-9440 with questions.

    Wood Heat
    Class on Tap
    Bob Gorman of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service will offer a free workshop on sustainable wood heat 7-8:390 p.m. April 22 at the University of Alaska Southeast, Room 106.
    Contact the Sitka District office at 747-9440 with questions.

    Seaweed Collection
    Permits Provided
    Because of a major increase in collection of the seaweed from Halibut Point Recreation Area for gardens and compost, Alaska State Parks is limiting the amount residents can remove to continue to provide reasonable qualities for all users.
    Alaska State Parks has permitted collection of seaweed washed ashore at Halibut Point Recreation Area for many years.
    Effective immediately, a special use permit is required to collect seaweed at Halibut Point Recreation Area. Commercial use will not be permitted.
    The Sitka Park office, which is located at the recreation area, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, but staff is often away from the office. Residents should make an appointment to obtain a seaweed special use permit in advance of using it, at least a day prior to collecting, by calling state parks at 747-6249. There is no charge for the permit. The access gate will be locked starting April 12.
    Gatherers are asked to limit the amount of seaweed they take.
    State Parks said that it appreciates the public’s cooperation in the implementation of the seaweed collection special use permit.
    Access to Halibut Point Recreation Area for the disabled to get to the picnic and day use area will continue to be accommodated as quickly as possible, the park said. Contact park staff for more information.

    ‘Naked Fear’
    Reveals Talent
    Smith, Richard Newell, Naked Fear – A Sitka Anne Revenge Thriller. Self published. Soft bound. 254 pages.
    This is a perfect book to take on a plane. The author is a good writer. He gets you fascinated with Anne, the heroine, and her terrible ordeal, which takes place in the first chapter. Then she goes down to Dallas to seek revenge. In fact, she spends a great deal of time flying between Sitka and Dallas.
    However, though you are devouring the pages eagerly, there is a problem. She knows Sitka’s airport and part of the downtown. But she speaks of farmland just outside the town, when of course there is no such thing.
    The Sitka police are also completely involved. Sorry, in any very small town, news of the police siding with outside criminals might possibly take half-an-hour to be known everywhere; probably closer to fifteen minutes.
    That odd problem haunts the plot as well. You can’t stop reading, but doubts arise. Actually, your reviewer has decided, the author needs a plot mentor, or even a plot master, to coin a phrase.
Someone to point out the nonsense. Anne’s dedication to murdering the baddies makes her a bit of a psychopath, which is certainly not the intention of the author. She is 20 years old, very attractive and has just discovered she has a great deal of money. We like her, just not her killing ways.
    It gets worse as the book moves along. And yet, the writing is so good, (even making young Anne come alive, hard for a male writer to do), it’s impossible to put down. And Anne meets the wife and little daughter of one of the worst baddies and likes them both. So how can she possibly want to kill him? Even though we are diverted by the wonderful atmosphere of a conservative church and its minister, we question Anne’s decision. So, dear author, do get someone to keep the baddies not quite so awful and let us enjoy the heroine unreservedly. Remember to get a plot mentor. And do keep writing.
–D. L.

    Workshop Set
    Sitka Local Foods Network’s Michelle Putz will present a free, short, hands-on potato-planting workshop 9 a.m. April 19 at 131 Shelikof Way. Parking space is limited.
    Potatoes are some of the most productive and easy-to-grow vegetables in Sitka, Putz said. More information is available by calling Putz at 747-2708.
    The Sitka Local Foods Network is hosting a series of “It’s time to …” workshops this spring and summer designed to help residents learn about various aspects of vegetable gardening and fruit growing. Many of the classes will be informal get-togethers at various gardens around town.
    The website http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/ will have more information.
    The group’s education committee will meet 5:30-7 p.m. May 5 at Centennial Hall to discuss future workshops and classes for the rest of the spring and summer.
    Volunteers are needed to teach classes this year about growing food, and are being asked to attend the meeting. Those unable to attend can email Charles Bingham at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with information about topics, gardening experience, and contact information.

    Work Party on
    SJ Campus Set
    Saturday volunteer work parties continue on the SJ Campus each Saturday, focused on restoring and improving the quad buildings, getting the buildings ready for the summer Sitka Fine Arts Camp.
    Participants will meet at Whitmore Hall at 9 a.m. Saturday, break for a hot lunch at noon, and continue until 3 p.m.
    On April 19 the crew will pressure wash and scrape quad buildings, paint dorm rooms and sand. All are invited to join at any time. Call Sitka Fine Arts Camp office, 747-3085, with questions.
    Mystery Quilt Class
    Slated on April 26
    Ocean Wave Quilt Guild is offering a mystery quilt class, taught by Jan Lovett, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 26 at Church of Christ, 1113 Edgecumbe Drive.
    Cost of class is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Class description and supply list are available at Abby’s Reflection and Ben Franklin’s fabric department. Registration is at Abby’s Reflection.

    Lutherans Celebrate
    Easter Weekend
    Members and friends of Sitka Lutheran Church join the community in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ at Centennial Hall at 7 a.m. Sunday.
    At Sitka Lutheran Church, 224 Lincoln Street, breakfast prepared by men of the church will be served 9 to 10 a.m., with activities for youths and adults planned at 9:30. At 10:30 the joyful Easter Holy Communion Service blends word, music, sacrament and fellowship.
    For more details, contact the church office at 747-3338 or Pastor Sandra Rudd at 752-0123.