EMERGENCY RESPONSE – Members of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood this week organized a city-wide food drive for residents of Angoon and other villages affected by the lack of Alaska Marine Highway System ferry service. Hundreds of pounds of food were collected at Sitka High School and other drop off sites. Thursday night about three dozen people attended a meeting at ANB Founders Hall to discuss the ferry situation and prepare food for shipping. Laurie Serka, outstation manager for Alaska Seaplanes, said Alaska Seaplanes, Sitka Custom Marine and Dr. Sul Ross Thorward donated shipping costs for the perishable food donated by AC Lakeside. Tom Gamble is planning to take a load of food to Angoon aboard his boat. Donations for shipping food to Kake are currently being sought. Contact for the donations is Nancy Furlow, ANS Camp 4 president, 907 227-9102. PHOTOS: clockwise from top left, Laurie Serka, Steve Schmidt and Marjo Vidad of Alaska Seaplanes load food bound for Angoon this morning. Tom Gamble and Chad Titell  deliver boxes of food from Sitka High School to ANB Founders Hall Thursday night. Paulette Moreno, ANS Grand Camp president, addresses volunteers Thursday night. Sitkans gather in a circle at ANB Founders Hall Thursday to brainstorm responses to the lack of state ferry service. (Sentinel Photos by James Poulson)

October 16, 2015 Community Happenings

Karyne Ware

Dies in Seattle

Karyne (nee Strom) Ware “entered into the next realm of her existence” on Oct. 3, 2015. She was 78.

A longtime resident of Roslyn, Wash., she was in the hospital in Seattle at the time of her death.

Born in Everett, Wash., on Aug. 26, 1937, she claimed a varied and interesting time on this earth. She often stated, “I’ve done everything in this life I’ve ever wanted to do, and more than a few things that I probably shouldn’t have done, and I embrace the next phase of my existence.

She is survived by sons Kameron  Ware of Savannah, Ga., Patrick Scarboro of Arlington, Wash., and Mitchell Ware of Albany, N.Y.; stepson Wesley Ware of N. Lakewood, Wash.; and stepdaughter LuCinda Williams of Sitka.

She also is survived by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, as well as brother Andy Strom of Yakima, Wash., half-sister Paula Arnold of Everett, Wash., and Jon Strom of Granite Falls, Wash.

At her request no services will be held. However, in keeping with the wonderful words of a friend who recently passed, she wished only that her friends “do a kindness for someone else as well as for the animal critters who look to us humans for care.”


Sitka Health Summit chooses three 2015-16 community wellness projects

At the ninth annual Sitka Health Summit planning day Oct. 9, Sitkans decided to find ways to honor and support elders; build an accessible community playground near Crescent Harbor; and build a community greenhouse on the roof of the city cold storage building – or a similar-flat-roofed structure

The three community wellness projects to pursue in 2015-16 (one broad topic, and two specific topic projects that tied as top vote-getters) were awarded $2,000 each in Tier 1 seed money to help them get started.

They were picked after 57 Sitka residents brainstormed and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of a wide variety of community wellness projects.

In addition to the Tier 1 awards, the group also made applications available for Tier 2 grants of $10,000 for projects dealing with nutrition – applications are due Oct. 23, contact Lauren Hughey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to http://www.sitkahealthsummit.ak.org/ for more information.

The Sitka Health Summit also honored Lynne Brandon with a lifetime achievement award for her work promoting healthy lifestyles during her 13 years as Sitka’s director of parks and recreation and now in her new position as executive director of Sitka Trail Works Inc.

Each of the three Tier 1 projects will host a kick-off event in the near future, and these events are open to the public and anybody who wants to help with the project. The projects, their kick-off meetings, and contact people are:

 –Design and build an ADA-accessible Sitka Community Playground, 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 26, Sitka Community Hospital classroom, contact Kealoha Harmon, 747-3500.

The project is to create an accessible, attractive, low maintenance and safe community playground that will meet the needs of both children and their families. Currently, Sitka doesn’t have playgrounds that are compliant with the Americans with Disability Act.

‘‘Building the community playground was selected as a Sitka Health Summit goal in 2011, and a lot of important work has been done,’’ the group said. ‘‘Now it’s time to move this community-supported project forward.’’

–Build a Sitka Community Greenhouse on the roof of the city cold storage plant (or similar flat-roofed building), 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28, Sitka Pioneers Home Manager’s House (Brave Heart Volunteers building), contact Charles Bingham, 623-7660 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The project’s goal is to increase local food production and food security by using greenhouses, including ones situated on rooftops, a practice growing in popularity around the world. 

‘‘Everyone needs the nutritional boost that only vegetables provide and the more we grow locally the better,’’ the group said. ‘‘There are so many benefits to growing food here; freshness, nutritional value, sustainability and the economic benefits that come from keeping dollars in Sitka. Rooftop greenhouses also can capture waste heat and provide a flat, slug-free growing environment that will help us with food security. Rooftop greenhouses can be a point of interest for visitors, a point of learning for students, and a point of community pride for everyone who believes in innovation and using space wisely.’’ 

–Create a way to honor and support the well-being of elders in Sitka, 3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 6, Hames Center, contact Caitlin Blaisdell, 747-5080. One of the largest and fastest-growing populations in Sitka is its elders, organizers said. The Elder Connection action group is focused on organizing systems to support the health and well-being of seniors

‘‘We want everyone’s golden years to be just that, and we know that we can do more to support this critical group of wisdom keepers,’’ Blaisdell said.   

The Sitka Health Summit is coordinated by a coalition of local groups that includes SEARHC, Sitka Community Hospital, Brave Heart Volunteers, the UAS-Sitka Campus, and the State of Alaska Division of Public Health Nursing, with financial help from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco-Seattle Branch Community Development Division. 

For more information about the Sitka Health Summit and its current and past projects, go to http://www.sitkahealthsummitak.org/. 


New School Board

Members Sworn In 

The Sitka School Board will hold a special school board meeting 5:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in the district office board room.

New members will be sworn in and officers elected. After the board meeting the board will meet with the Assembly to discuss legislative priorities.

The public is encouraged to attend.


Playground Project

Meeting on Tap

A community playground was selected as one of three projects at this year’s annual Sitka Health Summit and a meeting will be held on the project 6 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Sitka Community Hospital classroom.

Sitkans interested in helping with the project are invited to attend the kick-off meeting.

The goal of the project is to create an accessible, attractive, low maintenance and safe community playground that will meet the needs of both children and their families, organizers said.

For more information contact Kealoha Harmon at 747-3500 or Kay Turner at 623-7878.


Photo Retakes

At KGH School

Retakes for student photos will be 8 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

Parents whose child missed photos, or need them retaken, should contact the child’s teacher as soon as possible.

Photos must be paid in advance. Those having retakes must take their full original photo packet to the photo session.



Photo Night Set

Community members wanting their photos taken through Campus Photography may attend community photo night 5-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.


Strong and Steady

Exercised Offered

The strong and steady exercise class at the Swan Lake Senior Center meets at 2 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday.

Sitkans ages 60 and older are invited to participate in the free activity designed to improve strength and balance. For more information call 747-3412.


Better Brains Series

Offered to Seniors

Sitka’s seniors are invited to attend Better Brains, a free series of sessions that will include puzzles and games designed to keep minds active.

The group meets 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting Oct. 20, at the Swan Lake Senior Center. Space is limited.

Call 747-3412 to sign up.


MEH Open, Clinic

Closed on Oct. 19

In commemoration of Alaska Day, Monday, Oct. 19, the SEARHC administrative offices and all outpatient medical clinics will be closed.

Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital will remain open for business and available for any necessary emergency care. The Mt. Edgecumbe High School Student Health Center on Seward Avenue will also remain open. All other SEARHC clinics in Sitka will be closed for the day.


Discovery Days

Event at SSSC

Sitka Sound Science Center will have a Discovery Days event 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 17, to learn and play.

This week’s theme is ‘‘Geology. Doesn’t That Rock?!’’


Sitka Trail Works

Sets Annual Meet

Sitka Trail Works will hold its annual meeting 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Swan Lake Senior Center.

Members and trail enthusiasts are invited to the meeting and asked to bring a dish to share. The completion of Phases 4 and 5 of the Cross Trail will be celebrated and updates on current and future projects will be given. For further information, call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.






Cancer Support

Meeting Canceled


The Cancer Support Group meeting has been canceled this month in observance of the Alaska Day holiday.

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