June 10, 2015 Community Happenings

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Created on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:20
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Sitka Summer Music Festival musings


By Susan Wingrove-Reed

The 2015 SSMF is off to a rip-roaring start and this week’s offerings promise to provide some truly unusual listening experiences! It is hard to say goodbye to the gifted Parnas sisters, Navah, Martin and Thom – but wow are there some great artists lined up to continue what is definitely musical heaven. Sitkans are about to experience a blend of classical masterworks with jazz elements. If you miss a single concert, you are definitely going to regret it. The buzz is already building. 

Wednesday’s free 6:30 p.m. café concert at the Bayview Pub features the phenomenal Matt Herskowitz, who will blow you away with his fusion of classical and jazz stylings. He has tremendous chops at the keyboard and a gift for composition and improvisation. “YouTube” him and you will see what I mean. And you can see him LIVE! PLUS – Thursday’s free Bach’s Lunch concert at 12:30 in the Odess Theater will feature Matt with Mat Fieldes on bass and drummer Matt Zebroski. The fabulous program includes Bach transcriptions plus some of Herskowitz’s own works and creative settings of Gershwin and Brubeck. 

Thursday, SSMF movie night presents “August Rush” at 7:30 p.m. in UAS Room 229. This is a charming and uplifting film about a musically talented orphan and his search for his birth parents. The great cast includes the late Robin Williams. 

Friday night join Zuill Bailey and some of the guest artists for the 6:45 p.m. pre-concert chat and hear all about the exciting programming and the musicians. Zuill and Matt will perform Robert Schumann’s little-known arrangement of Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite #3 that adds the piano! They will also play German Romantic composer Max Bruch’s poignant Kol Nidrei. Pianists love Chopin (as do audiences!); performer Elizavieta Cheriemietieff beautifully reflected, “He has discovered how to give the piano a soul.” Matt will present an extraordinary exploration of four of Chopin’s beloved Etudes – joined by bass and drums; several of these wonderful miniatures will include elements of boogie-woogie and Cuban dance. Friday’s program will conclude with the return of spectacular pianist Natasha Paremski as she performs Mussorgsky’s stunning Pictures At An Exhibition, a suite of 10 musical paintings that honor the passing of his artist friend Victor Hartmann. My favorites include “The Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks” (Hartmann designed the costumes) and “The Hut of the Baba Yaga,” an ugly witch from Russian folklore who lives in a cottage that stands on four chicken legs. 

Saturday night, after the 6:45 p.m. artist chat, Zuill and Natasha will open the program with Rachmaninoff’s passionate and melody-rich cello sonata. The intimate Andante movement will transport you. Next, Natasha will play Russian composer Balakirev’s Islamey – a virtuosic fantasy based on two folk tunes. After the intermission, the SSMF proudly presents Claude Bolling’s joyful Suite for Cello and Jazz Trio. Bolling is a French pianist and composer/arranger famous for his collaborations with classical artists. ‘‘The Suite,’’ a fusion of classical/jazz musings, was originally composed for Yo-Yo Ma. Matt will end the concert with the opening movement of Chopin’s profound masterpiece, ‘‘Piano Sonata No. 2.’’

On Sunday, join us for the annual all-you-can-eat Crab Feed from 3-5 p.m. at Crescent Harbor shelter, sponsored by Silver Bay Seafoods. This is a justifiably popular event where you feast on crab, salads and dessert – and at the same time support and mingle with the artists of the SSMF! And don’t forget that on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Stevenson Hall I will continue the weekly preview, playing musical examples and sharing stories about upcoming concerts. DO NOT MISS a single memorable event this week!


Susan Wingrove-Reed is a music educator from Anchorage. She writes program notes for the Sitka Summer Music Festival, and gives pre-concert lectures. 



Salmon Derby

Awards Given

On Thursday

Sitka Salmon Derby contestants will gather with families and friends at Centennial Hall 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, to congratulate successful anglers, pick up a vast array of valuable prizes, and share thanks, surprises and fishing stories.

Sitka Sportsman’s Association will hand out 50 hidden weight prizes of $50 each in addition to prizes for five places in total weight.

Winners will be announced for the Mick McClain memorial award of $100 by the Association, as well as five hidden weight incentive prizes of $500 each funded by Samson Tug an Barge Co.

Door prizes require anglers to be present to claim $1,500 in awards drawn from Derby tickets, fish weigh-in receipts, and cold fish tickets.

Heading the long list of donations from businesses, organizations, and individuals are major prizes of a boat haulout from Halibut Point Marine ($1,000), a Honda portable generator from SeaPower Marine ($1,100), $1,500 cash from AC Lakeside, a 6’7’’ Mercury inflatable plus 2.5 hp Mercury outboard motor valued at $2,000 from Gary’s Outboard, and two Alaska Airlines system-wide first class tickets (value $2,900) plus $7,500 cash from Sitka Sportsman’s Association. Trophies for the top three places are displayed at Sea Mart.

Early on Thursday’s program, additional special prizes will be claimed by youth for their entered king salmon. 

To be revealed is whether this year’s insured prize of $10,000 will be a match for the first king entered weighing 21 pounds.

Contact Derby Chairman John McCrehin 738-8636 for more information.


Make Your Own

Comic Class Set

Children in second to fourth grades are invited to register for the Make Your Own Comic workshop running 4 p.m. on two Sundays – June 14 and 21.

The program, facilitated by Bill The Giant, is free and materials will be provided to all the participants. Registration to participate in the two days workshop is required.




The June Artifact of the Month at the Sheldon Jackson Museum is a dance bib made by contemporary Tlingit artist Chloe French.

The dance bib titled ‘‘Visiting Our Past’’ was purchased in 2014 with support of the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum. The collar is made of black melton cloth and embellished with fine beadwork and sequins. The whimsical designs were inspired by pictographs in Southeast Alaska. 

“We can only guess at their (the pictographs) meaning,’’ the artist said about the piece. ‘‘They represent people and birds and perhaps the sun and stars. Some are geometric and simply beautiful. Is the person with the antlers calling to the deer? The person with the helmet dancing? Do the birds represent something specific or is it our insatiable need to decorate and make our mark.

‘‘It is the immediacy of pictographs that always draws me closer. I want to show these magnificent pictographs in a new setting using the bib form of regalia,’’ she said. ‘‘We see both the distant past in the pictographs, the recent past in the bib form and the present in the materials and choice of subject matter.”

A well-known spinner, weaver, and beader whose button robes and beaded necklaces are highly sought after, French’s work has been shown and sold by the Stonington Gallery and by the Sealaska Heritage Institute at fundraisers. Originally from Kake, and a former school teacher, French now resides in Washington state and teaches beginning Chilkat weavers and button robe makers, taking “great delight in watching them discover their own artistic voice.“

Dance bibs or dance collars and other regalia were traditionally worn by Tlingit men and women during important ceremonials events, such as potlatches, and other special occasions involving dancing. The collars frequently feature crests – designs that communicate important information about the wearer’s identity and heritage.

Some scholars, such as Megan Smetzer, point out that dance collars are similar to an early type of bib-shaped armor collected by Russian explorer Lisianski. The armor was made with walrus hide suspended from a wooden collar and protected the neck and chest. Contemporarily, many dancers in Tlingit dance groups wear dance collars when performing for special ceremonies or publicly. 

The museum is home to six Tlingit dance collars, and a variety of other pieces of 19th century Tlingit regalia including elaborate button blankets, Chilkat robes, and headdresses. The piece is the first piece of dancing regalia made by a contemporary artist to be acquired by the museum since it expanded its scope of collections to include contemporary art in 2013.

The Artifact of the Month will be on exhibit until June 30. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The museum is closed holidays year-round. In the winter, general admission is $3 and free for those 18 and under or members of either the Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum or Friends of the Alaska State Museum. Summer general admission is $5; $4 for seniors; and free for those 18 and under or members of Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum or Alaska State Museum. 


Public Safety Academy

Graduates 38 Officers

 Thirty-eight law enforcement officers from different state and municipal agencies including 11 state and wildlife troopers and seven Village Public Safety Officers graduated from the Public Safety Training Academy June 5.

The ceremony at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi concluded Alaska Law Enforcement Training Session No. 15-01. To get to this point, the 38 new officers and troopers went through 900 hours of training in the 15-week basic ALET. The training incorporates intensive instruction in law enforcement-related topics, physical fitness and many scenario-based exercises – all designed to prepare entry level police officers, Village Public Safety Officers ,and troopers for a successful career in Alaska law enforcement. 

The graduates are:

Alisha Beach, Alaska Wildlife Troopers; David Bozeman, Alaska Wildlife Troopers; Daniel Brozek, Soldotna Police Department;  David Burtch, Wasilla Police Department; Isaiah Clark, Sitka Police Department; William Corwin, Alaska State Parks; Michael Cryderman, Juneau Police Department; Joshua Hall, Seward Police Department; Adam Hawkins, Alaska State Troopers; Silas Hessler, Alaska State Troopers; Trevor Howard, Alaska State Troopers; Daniel Joekay, Associate of Village Council Presidents (VPSO);  Casey Johnson, Nome Police Department;  Don Jones, Alaska Council of Village Presidents (VPSO); Christine Joslin, Alaska State Troopers; Tyler Langford, Alaska State Troopers; Monty Lenard, Copper River Native Association; Wesley Louis, Copper River Native Association (VPSO); Christopher Love, Alaska State Parks; Hannah Malone, Juneau Police Department; Jeffrey McAfee, Alaska State Troopers; Mitchell Meens, Sitka Police Department; Dean Michael, Associate of Village Council Presidents (VPSO); Nicholas Murphy, Alaska State Troopers; Gary Olsen-Saville, Fairbanks Airport Police; Eric Pavil, Bethel Police Department; Paul Racine, Sitka Police Department; Samantha Sawyer, Alaska Wildlife Troopers; Jeffrey Sheveland, Wasilla Police Department; Rick Slater, Juneau Police Department; Alexander Smith, Juneau Police Department; Kenneth Smith, Juneau Police Department; Tyler Southworth, Kodiak Police Department; Kirt Stage-Harvey, Juneau Police Department; Justin Ulak, Bethel Police Department; Jeffrey Viernes, Alaska State Troopers; Thomas White, Tanana Chiefs Conference (VPSO); William Yates, Bristol Bay Native Association (VPSO).

After graduation, the Alaska State Trooper and Alaska Wildlife Trooper recruits continue their training at the academy for an additional three weeks. This training session is often referred to as Trooper Basic. The trooper recruits receive more tailored and advanced training during this session in fish and wildlife investigations, boating safety, survival, commercial fisheries enforcement, media relations, critical stress management, patrol rifle training and search and rescue. They are also exposed to additional scenario-based training events.

After Trooper Basic, recruits will move to their first duty assignment in either Fairbanks, Soldotna or the Mat-Su Valley and begin a 12-week Field Training and Evaluation Program. All trooper recruits are expected to develop to the point of being able to perform all law enforcement functions independently, and will be promoted to trooper upon the successful completion of their probationary period, generally 12 months from the start of the academy. At that point, wildlife troopers will move to the Division of Alaska Wildlife Troopers.


Summer Camps

Offered to Kids

Community Schools is offering summer camps, including Firefighter Boot Camp, Jump Rope, String Art and Floor Hockey. Many more are available.

Camps are 9:30 a.m.-noon Monday through Thursday. Cost of most camps is $65 per child. Scholarships are available to those who qualify.

Registration is open at the Sitka Community Schools office or call 747-8670 with questions.


Tammee Jean Hansen

Life to be Celebrated

A celebration of life for Tammee Jean Hansen will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at the north shelter of Halibut Point Recreation Area.

The gathering will be a potluck, and those attending are welcome to take a dish to share.

Tammee, a longtime Sitka resident, died Nov. 20 at Gustavus, where she had lived a few months. She was 54.


SAIL Kayaking

Trip Set July 22

SAIL invites Sitkans with disabilities and seniors age 60 and older to a fully-supported, fully-accessible trip to Sam Sing Cabin July 22-24.

The trip will be a balance of exercise and leisure, with two half-days of paddling to and from the cabin and a full day at the cabin site.

Those wanting to explore the waters around Baranof Island in a safe, fun environment are welcome to sign up. The cost of the trip is $450, with a $225 deposit due on June 30. Contact Bridget at 747-6859 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions. 


Final Tot Gym

Of Season Set

The last tot gym for the summer is set 8:30-10 a.m. Friday, June 12, at the Hames Center.

The cost is $5 for an entire family. Toys are available and set up. For more information call 747-5080 or go to www.hamescenter.org.


Sitka Spectrum

To Meet Sunday

Sitka Spectrum  (LGBTQIA and Friends) meets on the second and fourth Sundays, from  2 to 3:30 p.m.

All ages are welcome to the Pioneers Home Manager’s House. Queries may be sent to 510-610-0075, Jeannie.


Seafood Festival

Scholarship On

The deadline to apply for the Sitka Seafood Festival culinary scholarship is June 22.

The scholarship is for those who are interested in the culinary field. The SSF awards a $500 scholarship to be used towards a culinary career, as well as the opportunity to work alongside chefs from around the globe.

For more information, or an application, go to www.sitkaseafoodfestival.org.


Adult Summer

Reading Listed

The Adult Summer Reading Program has begun at Kettleson Memorial Library, and runs through Aug. 8.

Adults can register to read books or listen to audio books and enter weekly drawings for prizes. The adult who reads or listens to the most books at the end of the program wins the grand prize. Those who wish to take part should sign up at the library.  


Kids to Join In On


Heroes Program

Children in second to fourth grade are invited to participate in an Environmental Heroes Program at Kettleson Memorial Library 1 p.m. June 24.

Participants will meet at the library to enjoy a reading about an environmental hero and after that they will explore Totem Park with a naturalist. Light snacks and journals to draw and write will be provided for children to work on during the nature walk.

This is a free program in partnership with Sitka Conservation Society. Registrations are required, and space is limited. Children of all abilities are welcome.