November 18, 2015 Community Happenings

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 18 November 2015 10:22
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African Writer Brings

Stories, Travels to Sitka


For Samuel Kolawole, these last three months spent in Iowa City have represented “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

From Abuja, Nigeria, Kolawole was selected as one of 34 writers from around the world to participate in this year’s International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. In the course of the program, he has had a chance to travel around the country – to New York, Washington, New Orleans, and points between – with his fellow writers, leading workshops, trading writing tips, giving readings, and producing new work.

Now, he’s on the final leg of his journey, spending November as the Writer In Residence at the Island Institute. On Saturday, he will give a talk about Africa and African literature from 7 to 8 p.m. at 304 Baranof St. 

This has been a productive time for Kolawole. After finishing the first draft of a collection of short stories here this week, Kolawole is moving on to writing two novels. The first is a migration story, which he describes it as being “about a character who travels from Nigeria via an illegal route. They cross five countries, then the Sahara, then the Mediterranean Sea, and lots of them die, lots of things happen on the way.” It is inspired in part by – and was researched in the course of – a road trip he took with a group of artists through five countries in Africa. The second novel is a fictionalized take on the life and exploits of notorious African bankrobber Lawrence Anini. 

In these last few months, Kolawole has learned that for many Americans Africa is mysterious and misunderstood. He hopes that his 7 p.m. talk on Saturday will help people better understand his home. 

“I’ve discovered how little the people around me now understand about what’s going on the outside, Kolawole said. ‘‘I have a personal library back at home – I have around 1,500 books, half of them written by Americans. I feel a need to understand American culture, but I go around and people don’t understand African culture.”

He will speak about Africa, the history of African literature, the history of Nigeria, and will explain some of “what is happening right now, the very wonderful things coming out of the continent now.” 

While in Sitka, he will also work with local youth through the Island Institute’s Sitka Story Lab program.

His time here is made possible through a partnership with the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa, and is funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute’s network of individual donors. For more information about Samuel Kolawole, the Sitka Story Lab, or the Island Institute’s residency program, call 747-3794 or visit


Free Family Fun

Day Set Dec. 6

A free Family Fun Day is set 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Hames Center.

It will include the climbing wall, bouncy castle, toys and activities.

All are welcome. Events are made possible by Sitka Health Summit and the Hames Wellness Fund. For more information check out


Legion Auxiliary

To Sell Pies, Rolls

The American Legion Auxiliary is holding its annual Thanksgiving pie and dinner roll sale 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, at Wells Fargo Bank lobby.

Call the Legion at 747-8629 with questions about the sale.


Elks Hoop Shoot

Set for Saturday

The annual Hoop Shoot will be hosted by Sitka Elks Lodge 1662 Saturdya, Nov. 21, at the Blatchley Middle School gym. Clean gym shoes are needed. The event is free.

Boys and girls, ages 8-13, are invited to participate. The contestant age group will be determined by age as of April 1, 2016.

Ages 8-9 will compete 3:30-4:15 p.m., followed by ages 10-11 at 4:15 p.m. and ages 12-13 at 5 p.m..


Winter Bait Test

Fishery on Tap;

Bids Solicited

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is soliciting bids to conduct a test fishery by harvesting winter food and bait herring with purse seine gear in Sitka Sound in January or February.

The test fishery, conducted annually since 1992, provides updated weight-at-age information used to forecast the biomass of herring returning to Sitka Sound the following spring.

The RFQ format for the 2016 test fishery will be done in tons of herring.

The department is seeking to generate $30,000 from the Sitka Sound herring winter bait test fishery.

The department said the quote must be based on tons of herring. The party who quotes the lowest amount of herring in tons will be awarded the contract. The highest quote the department will accept is 200 tons of herring.

Quotes will be accepted until noon Tuesday, Dec. 1. The harvest of bait herring under this contract will be conducted Jan. 15-Feb. 28. 

Quotations will be accepted only from a current CFEC permit holder for the Southeast Alaska herring sac-roe fishery, a current CFEC permit holder in the Southeast herring winter bait fishery, or from a company licensed to process herring in Southeast.

ADF&G Commercial Fisheries staff in Sitka will coordinate management and supervision of this program. Requests for quotation bid forms are available from the Sitka ADF&G office.


STA to Host 

Open House

Events in Nov.

Sitka Tribe of Alaska will host open house events at all STA office locations throughout November in observance of Alaska Native Heritage Month.

The first ones will be Tuesday, Nov. 24, at Social Services with an all-day event, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 110 American Street; and Economic Development at its two locations, Sheet’ka Kwáan Naa Kahídi and the Tannery, 4608 Halibut Point Road.

On Wednesday, Nov. 25, the Language and Education open house will be held at the Southeast Alaska Career Center, 205 Baranof Street.

The grand opening of the Resource Protection laboratory at 429 Katlian Street will be 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30.

STA Administration will hold an open house 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 30.

The public is invited, refreshments will be available. For information, contact Sitka Tribe of Alaska at 747-3207.