May 31, 2019, Community Happenings

Climate Connection:

The Choice 

By Barbara Bingham

The doctor has diagnosed our condition, and delivered the prognosis. We have stage 4 global warming. There’s still a chance for recovery and fulfilling life, but we must make immediate drastic changes to our daily habits, food consumption, lifestyle choices, to the most basic concepts of convenience and comfort we take for granted. We work through our grief, and emerge, dry-eyed, to face reality:

Alaska is looking at costs of $340 to $700 million a year over the next 30-50 years to deal with the damaging effects we’re already experiencing. (“Economic Effects of Climate Change in Alaska”, by Matthew Berman and Jennifer Schmidt, ISER). Estimates apply mostly to maintaining coastal communities and infrastructure damaged by thawing permafrost and eroding coastlines. It’s noteworthy that up to a $100 million savings in heating expenses will likely be realized by 2050, due to warming winters, but that other estimates, such as cost to fisheries, small businesses and individuals haven’t been included because we don’t have enough information, as yet, to determine the impacts. Fisheries, Alaska’s largest sustainable industry, particularly, is threatened by warming temperatures and ocean acidification, and will no doubt, be significantly impacted, along with subsistence harvest cycles that many of us rely on.

Although other positive effects from climate change will likely result, such as longer growing seasons providing more fresh produce, negative impacts on respiratory health, water and sanitation systems, and increased infectious diseases from microorganisms are expected. (Assessment of the Potential Health Impacts of Climate Change in Alaska, Sarah Yoder, MS, Alaska Section of Epidemiology)

If we don’t make the healthy changes prescribed to us by our team of specialists, our condition will metastasize, the cost of treatment will soar entirely beyond our means, our life seriously threatened. Doing nothing is not an option.

We choose the recommendations for recovery… and begin to improve our health and well-being with sustainable energy sources and technologies, food practices, reduced consumption and more. Check this column every Friday for further information and resources that will help in the healing.


Barbara Bingham is a member of Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Sitka Chapter.


Universal Peace

Dances June 9

The Dances of Universal Peace will be held 7 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the Sitka Pioneers Home Chapel.

Dances are free, and open to all. Drawing on sacred phrases of many spiritual traditions, the dances blend live music, movement and song into a living experience of unity and joy, organizers said.

Visiting musician and dance leader Vakil Forest Shomer of Port Townsend, Washington, will guide the group. For information call Auriella at 738-7333.


Bishop’s Tea House

At Episcopal Church

Bishop’s Tea House will be held  11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursday June 5-Aug. 29 at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 611 Lincoln Street.

An invitation to attend is extended to visitors and residents. Complimentary tea or coffee is served in the historic See House, located behind the church. Scones, muffins and cookies also will be available.



Maintenance on

Harbor Mtn. Road

Motorists on Harbor Mountain Road may experience delays of up to 25 minutes because of maintenance from Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 9.

Heavy equipment will be operating on the road, Sitka Ranger District said today. Call 747-6671 for information.


Sitkan Named

To State Board

Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy Thursday  announced appointments and reappointments to State of Alaska boards and commissions.

William Craig of Sitka has been named to the Human Rights Commission. His term is through March 1, 2023.


Artist-in-Residence June Pardue (Alutiiq/Sugpiaq) Artist Residency Recap Talk

Sheldon Jackson Museum artist-in-residence June Pardue will give a residency recap talk 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at the museum.

She will tell about what she has been creating and give biographical information about herself and her art.

As part of the presentation, Pardue’s students from her class at the museum will share their imitation gut-skin sewing projects.

Pardue, an Alutiiq/Sugpiaq gut skin sewer and beader, began her residency May 15 and will be at the museum through the end of the day on June 5. She will be working on gut skin sewing most days Tuesday through Saturday in the museum gallery.

The museum invites the public to visit the Sheldon Jackson Museum to meet Pardue, learn about her art form and culture, and visit the museum to learn about all Alaska Native cultures. 

Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  daily during the summer. General admission is $7, $6 for seniors, and free for children 18 and under and for members of the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum and Alaska State Museum.

The Alaska Native Artist Residency Program is sponsored by the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum and made possible with the support of the National Geographic Lex-NG Fund, which funded the program in 2018 and 2019, the National Endowment for the Arts, Alaska Airlines, Alaska Arts Southeast Inc., other local arts organizations, volunteers, and the general public. Those wanting to support theprogram may call  747-6233 or visit


Week in Review

For Music Festival

Sitka Summer Music Festival will host the Week in Preview with music educator Susan Reed 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Stevenson Hall, 104 Jeff Davis Street, on the SJ Campus.

Reed will tell stories and give context about the music on this week’s programs, and may include an interview with one of the guest artists.


Music Festival

Cafe Concert Set

Sitka Summer Music Festival will present a free café concert 6:30 p.m. June 5 at the Mean Queen downstairs. All festival details can be found at or 747-6774.


Bach’s Lunch

Ahead for SSMF

All are invited to take their lunch for a free all-ages concert presented by the Sitka Summer Music Festival 12:15 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at the Odess Theater on the SJ Campus.

The program features two of Beethoven’s String Trios. All festival details can be found at or 747-6774.


8-Ball Banquet

Set for June 4

The Greater Sitka Pool League will hold its 8-ball banquet 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at the Sitka Elks Lodge. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m.


June 7 Concert

Listed for SSMF

Grammy-nominated pianist Richard Dowling is being welcomed back for a special performance of “Great Scott! A Scott Joplin Celebration” at the Sitka Summer Music Festival season opener 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Centennial Hall.

A pre-concert conversation is at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are at Old Harbor Books,, or at the door. 


Music Festival

Concert June 8

Violinist Kurt Nikkanen, violist Scott Rawls and Festival Artistic Director and cellist Zuill Bailey will perform three of Beethoven’s String Trios at the Sitka Summer Music Festival’s first Saturday evening concert 7:30 p.m. June 8 at Centennial Hall.

Beethoven’s String Trios will be performed. 


A pre-concert conversation is at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are at Old Harbor Books,, or at the door. 



Drill Conductor

Training in Sitka

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association will offer a fishing vessel drill conductor class 8 a.m.-7 p.m. June 30 at NSRAA, 1308 Sawmill Creek Road.

The class is free to commercial fishermen, with support from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and AMSEA members. The cost is $185.50, including sales tax, for all others. Mariners may register online at or call 747-3287.


Instructor Jerry Dzugan will cover cold-water survival skills; EPIRBs, signal flares, and mayday calls; man-overboard recovery; firefighting; flooding and damage control; dewatering pumps, immersion suits and PFDs; helicopter rescue, life rafts, abandon ship procedures; and emergency drills. AMSEA’s Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor workshops meet the U.S. Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on commercial fishing vessels, 46 CFR 28.270 (c).



Earns Law Degree

Sitkan Kila Orion Hughes-Knowles received a juris doctorate degree on May 10 from the Washington and Lee School of Law in Lexington, Virginia.

Hughes-Knowles attended elementary school at Sunset Beach, Oahu, and relocated with his parents to Sitka during the fifth grade.  A member of Sitka High School honor band and the state champion baseball team, he graduated from SHS in 2006. He attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2010.

He is the son of Auriella Hughes and Fred Knowles, both of Sitka.

Hughes-Knowles will return to Alaska in September, where he has accepted a clerkship position with the Alaska Superior Court in Fairbanks.

Voted most “unforgettable” in his senior year at SHS, and remembered for his run for mayor in 2014, he looks forward to returning to Alaska as a public defender to provide legal aid and service to those needing representation.


Story Time Set

A preschool story time will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 6, at Sitka Public Library. ‘‘Roaring Rockets’’ will be the theme of the event that includes readings, rhymes, songs and a craft project. Everybody is welcome.

For more information call the library at 747-8708.

The program is part of ‘‘A Universe of Stories’’ summer library program. For information call 747-8708.


 Teens to Meet

For Summer TAB

Sitka Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board will meet 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 7.

Teens 13 and older are invited to join the board. Members will celebrate the beginning of the Teen Summer Library Program.

Free books, snacks and pizza are included. For information, call 747-8708.


Find the Alien

Program Launched

 Youths of all ages are being invited by Sitka Public Library to “Find the Alien” hiding somewhere downtown.

Participants can enter a free drawing weekly June 5-Aug. 10 with the answer for a chance to win an out-of-this-world prize. The Alien will be in a different location every week, the library said.


For more information call the library at 747-4022.


Bikes & Bites

Event June 6

‘‘Bikes & Bites: Community Transformation Through Mountain Biking,’’

a presentation and discussion, will be held 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at the new Mean Queen at Totem Square.

Lee Hart, founder of the outdoor recreation coalition Confluence, will tell stories of towns that have changed their fortunes through mountain bike development, then lead a discussion about possibilities for Sitka and Alaska.

The free event is open to the pubic and part of the Alaska Walk and Bike Conference that will be in Sitka June 4-8.  For more information go to


Sitka’s Walkability

To be Discussed

A free lunch-and-learn concerning improving walkability in Sitka will be held noon-1:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, at the Aspen Suites hotel conference room. 


Space Movie Series

To Launch June 8

Sitka Public Library will host the first film in its Summer Space Movie Series, the 2014 Marvel adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” 6:30 p.m. June 8.


The event is free and open to the public. Snacks will be served. The film was a PG-13 rating. For information, call the library at 747-4025.


Ugly Side of

Plastic Shown

The public is invited to the fellowship hall downstairs at the Sitka Lutheran Church, 224 Lincoln Street, to view the art show “The Ugly Side of Plastic.”

Hours for viewing are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sundays, May 29-June 11. More than a dozen local artists, including Norm Campbell, Pat Kehoe, John Straley and Libby Stortz, have contributed thought-provoking pieces that examine how plastic is affecting people and the environment, organizers of the art show said.

Art also showcases ways people can avoid one-time-use plastic. 

The latest contribution, a watercolor piece by Mt. Edgecumbe student Gabriella Comolli, looks at how plastic is affecting fish and what can be done about plastic pollution.

Artists inspired by the show can  contribute to the expanding show. Contact Michelle at 747-2708 to participate. Anyone interested in displaying the traveling show may call her.

The show will be displayed throughout the year at various locations and events. It is supported by Bags for Change, a local volunteer group interested in reducing plastic pollution.


National Guard

Explorers Meet

The Alaska Army National Guard Explorers will meet 6-9 p.m. June 5 at the Sitka Armory, 1508 Sawmill Creek Road. 

High school students ages 14-20 interested in learning leadership and skills such as survival, combatives, land navigation, patrol techniques, camouflage self and equipment and medical, are invited.

 For information contact SFC Justin Mullenix at 907-290-4306.


Museum Exhibit

To Open June 1

The public is invited to the opening of the Sitka History Museum’s new temporary exhibit ‘‘Into the Deep:  The Underwater Heritage of Sitka and Southeast Alaska’’ featuring historic shipwrecks and diving.

A reception is slated 6-8 p.m., Saturday, June 1, at Centennial Hall, highlighted by guest speaker Jim Geraghty’s feature presentation ‘‘Shipwrecks of Southeast Alaska, 1867 to Present.’’ No admission will be charged. Light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be available. 

Climate Change

Action Call-In

Event on June 4

The Sitka chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby will host a Climate Action Congress Call-in event 4-6:30 p.m.  Tuesday, June 4, at the Gus Adams Room of the Sitka Public Library.

Sitkans and visitors are invited to take their cell phones, join friends, and try some homemade Kombucha for a climate action open house/call-in, organizers said.

Local CCL volunteers will help attendees call their congressional delegation and ask them to co-sponsor the Energy Innovation Act, H.R. 763, a carbon fee and dividend, considered to be important legislation as a first step in solving the problem of climate change.

Attendees can learn more about the Energy Innovation Act and CCL and support action on climate change.  For those who can’t attend, they can use to call in on their own. More information is available about CCL from Michelle at 747-2708.


Multiplex Trap

Shooters Invited

Sitka Sportsman’s Association has registered with Pacific International Trapshooting Association for individuals to shoot in the Winter Multiplex.

Sitka Sportsman’s Association will be open 6 p.m.-8 p.m. June 5 for Multiplex Trap shooting.

These are 12-gauge events consisting of 50 singles, 50 handicap and 25 pair of doubles. Scores are registered with PITA, of which shooters must be a member. Shooters can participate in one, two or all three events, and “Shoot for the Lewis.” Event cost and fees are: $21.50 per event, $8 daily fee, and the ammo.

To become a PITA member visit or sign up at the event.


For information contact Chris Rigel (575) 517-6441 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Sitka Sportsman’s Association is located at 5211 Halibut Point Road, just before the ferry terminal.



St. Peter’s Seeks

Pianist, Organist

St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church is seeking a pianist or organist for Sunday services in June and July.


A stipend is offered. Call 747-3977 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information.

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At a Glance

(updated 11-29-22)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 12:15 pm Tuesday, November 29.

New cases as of Tuesday: 414

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 286,561

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,399

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 4,195

Case Rate per 100,000 – 56.8

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 70.40

Cases in last 7 days – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,173

Hospitalizations (to date) – 31

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






December 2002

 Alaska Native Sisterhood will hold a Christmas bazaar Dec. 7 at the ANB Hall. Isabella’s famous clam chowder and fry bread also will be for sale.



December 1972

Photo caption: Presbyterian women of today wear costumes from 1877-1899 at Sunday’s service. From left are Alice Postell, Dorothy Streit, Gladys Whitmore, Carrie Maura, Harriet Hannigan, Eugenie Williams, Esther Littlefield, Isabel Miller, Marilyn Ryan, Esther Billman, Beverly Scholz, Gertie Zeiger, Marcia Strand and Betty Stratton. (Photo by Martin Strand)