October 1, 2013 Community Happenings

    Conferences Set
    Sitka High School will have fall parent-teacher conferences Oct. 15-16.
    Conferences will be available from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the SHS Commons. Teachers will be in their rooms for conferences 4-7 p.m. Wednesday.
    Families are invited to meet the teachers, check on grades, set up longer appointments, and check on their student’s progress for the semester.
    On Nov. 7, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., parents may make a longer appointment to speak with any teacher.
    SEARHC will offer a new Best Practice addictions treatment service within the Division of Behavioral Health in Sitka beginning Tuesday. It will serve both Natives and non-Natives in Southeast.
    SEARHC will kick off the program with an open house for the public to meet staff, view schedules and peruse the treatment topics 5:30-7 p.m. on Oct. 1 at the first floor conference room of the Community Health Services Building adjacent to the SEARHC totem pole on Seward Avenue. Snacks and beverages will be served.
    The treatment program will be offered at the Intensive Outpatient Treatment level of care, SEARHC said.
    ‘‘By doing so, SEARHC will have the capacity to dramatically increase the number of individuals who need addictions services but cannot afford the cost or time away from that residential service’s requirement,’’ SEARHC said in a press release.
    The term “Best Practice” refers to treatment interventions that are internationally recognized as effective and transformational. The new outpatient program is being built upon the Matrix model of care; an internationally renowned treatment approach.
    The IOT program is licensed and recognized by the state to provide a full array of chemical dependency services for both self-referred applicants as well as those mandated by state and local entities.
    IOT services represent the highest level of care available without being residential, SEARHC said. This equates to a minimum of nine hours per week of treatment participation.
    Treatment groups will be commencing immediately and applications are now being accepted. Call 966-8611 to arrange for an initial consult.

    Purvis Appointed
    To State Board
    Gov. Sean Parnell has announced the appointed of Bob Purvis of Sitka to the state Vocational Rehabilitation Committee. The committee promotes statewide interest in the rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities.
    Purvis is the owner of Low Vision Tech Support, providing technology and computer access training for low-vision individuals. He is a retired UAS professor and a former substitute teacher for the Sitka School District. Purvis is a member and chairman of Southeast Alaska Independent Living.
    He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Western Washington University, a master’s degree in counseling from Seattle University, and a doctorate from the University of Texas, Austin. Purvis was appointed to the committee as a community rehabilitation program provider.

    Work Party Set
    At Boathouse
    Sitka Maritime Heritage Society will host its final work party for the season 9 a.m. Oct. 5.
    Volunteers will clean, organize and scrub down the boathouse interior.
    Japonski Island Marine Ways is located at 1490 Seward Street. Those with questions may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Ashia at 738-0662.

    GriefShare Support
    Group to Meet
    The GriefShare group will meet 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays, Oct. 28-Dec. 2 at Sitka Assembly of God Church youth/children room, 214 Kimsham Street.
    GriefShare is a special help seminar and a support group for people experiencing grief and loss. All people are invited to attend. No childcare is available. Participants are invited to take a bag lunch to eat.
    GriefShare features nationally recognized experts on grief recovery on videos. Some topics are: ‘‘Living with Grief,’’ ‘‘Effects of Grief’’ and ‘‘Why?’’
    The registration fee is $15 for workbook. Scholarships are available. Organizers ask that participants contact them so workbooks can be ordered. For more information contact the church at 747-5848 or Mae Dunsing, program leader, at 752-8716.

    Focus Group to
    Discuss Drugs
    A new group focused on addressing meth and heroin use in Sitka will hold a meeting 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Fire Hall. Food will be served.
    “Together for a Meth-Free Sitka” is an initiative of the 2013 Sitka Health Summit. For information, call Phil Burdick, 738-3945

    Sitka Food Hub
    Meeting on Tap
    When the Sitka Health Summit met on Friday at Sweetland Hall to choose its new community wellness projects for the next year, Sitka residents chose creating a Sitka Food Hub as one of the priority projects.
    The first meeting of the Sitka Food Hub group will be 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 3 at  Centennial Hall.
    The Sitka Food Hub has multiple purposes. It will serve as a local community food bank, and provide emergency food storage for Sitka. In addition, it will be a program that can help teach food storage and canning skills so residents can fill their own pantries.
    Some of the reasons members gave for creating a Sitka Food Hub included eliminating hunger in Sitka, providing canning and food education, providing a community food storage on high ground, helping Sitka prepare for emergencies and have community resiliency, and increasing Sitka’s food security.
    The goal is to work together as a community to make sure Sitkans have access to healthy food daily and for any emergencies. The project will receive $1,500 as seed money and facilitation help from the Sitka Health Summit.
    The Sitka Health Summit’s other community wellness project this year is to create a task force to prevent the use of meth in Sitka.
    All community members are invited to the meeting, especially if they are connected to local schools, emergency planning organizations, food organizations, clergy, government agencies, health programs, and others who deal in hunger and food security issues. Those unable to attend, but able to provide resources and partnership opportunities,  are asked to contact organizers.
    To learn more about the Sitka Food Hub and get on the group’s email list, contact Marjorie Hennessy at 747-7509 (days) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Seniors to Hike
    SAIL’s Senior Hiking Club will  meet 9:15 a.m. Oct. 16 at the Swan Lake Senior Center.
    Local guide Bob Purvis will lead a hike to Thimbleberry Lake. Transportation will be provided from the Senior Center to the trail head and back. All experience levels are welcome and all participants are encouraged to hike at their own pace.
    The activity cost is $5 and scholarships are available. Contact SAIL at 747-6859 with any questions.

    Disability Month
    Film to Show
    October is Disability and Employment Awareness Month and the Southeast Alaska Independent Living and the Sitka Film Society will host a screening of “Wretches and Jabberers” 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Larkspur Cafe.
    In this inspiring documentary, two men with autism, Tracy and Larry, embark on a global quest to change prevailing attitudes about disability and intelligence. After facing lives of isolation and discovering a new life-altering way of communicating, the pair’s message is that the same possibility exists for others like them.
    All are welcome to this free event, and donations are appreciated to help cover the cost of the screening. Light snacks will be provided.

    Sitka Trail Works
    Annual Meet Set
    Sitka Trail Works will hold its annual meeting 5-7 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Swan Lake Senior Center.
    ‘‘The annual meeting potluck dinner is where we meet new folks, seat the Sitka Trail Works board members and officers, and pat ourselves on the back for the year’s accomplishments,’’ STW said. ‘‘Please join us for good food and friendship.’’
    For more information call 747-7244, or visit http://www.sitkatrailworks.org.

    ‘Paris of Pacific’
    Play to be Staged
    The Greater Sitka Arts Council invites Sitkans to the unveiling of the newly completed Sitka melodrama, ‘‘The Paris of the Pacific,’’ written by local playwrights, 7 p.m. Oct. 19 as part of the Alaska Day Festival. It will  be performed in a reader’s theater format.
    Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for ages 12 and under and may be purchased at Old Harbor Books or the door. Doors open at 6:30 at the Centennial Hall.
    ‘‘Bring your best yeah! boo! and sighing voices with you,’’ organizers said.
    For more information call Jeff at 747-4821.

    Art Walk Slated
    Downtown Oct. 7
    The Greater Sitka Arts Council and the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau will host a  community art walk 5:30-9 p.m. Oct. 7 for Sitkans and  Alaska Travel Industry Association visitors.
    Downtown shops and galleries will be open. Participating shops include: Artists Cove Gallery, Old Harbor Books, Baranof Island Artists Gallery, Tommy Joseph Raindance Gallery, Winter Song, Seasons, Brenner’s Fine Clothing and Gifts, Fisherman’s Eye Gallery, Sitka Rose Gallery and the Homeport Eatery.

    SHS Students in SE
    Honor Band, Choir
    Twenty-eight Sitka High students were selected to perform in the upcoming Southeast Honor Festival Band and Choir.
    Band members include Chaya Pike, Angela Bagoyo, Alivia Richards, Owen Fulton, Danika Weaver, Colin Baciocco, Kristine Banh, Celia Lubin, Kaysia Whitmill, Mackenzie Whitson, Abigail Brady, J.D. Murphy, Lione Clare, Denley Arce and Dylan Reinhardt. Choir members include Cassie Gillespie, Rosie Palof, Joy Davis, Skylar Rayzer, Hallie Bernhoft, Destony Rosas, Naquoia Bautista, Robert Polasky, Mitchell Edwards, Jack Peterson and Chris Reaves.
    Students will join roughly 90 high school musicians from around Southeast to perform in a concert in Petersburg on Oct. 22.
    Guest conductors for the event will be Christopher Bianco of Western Washington University and Brian Winnie of Hopewell Valley, N.J.
    ‘‘Congratulations to all who auditioned,’’ said SHS music instructor John DePalatis.

    MEHS Musicians
    Selected for Honor
    The Mt. Edgecumbe High School music program announces that juniors Jacob Mahoney, Eagle River, and Jeffrey Moore, Unalaska, have been selected to participate in the Region V Honor Ensembles.
    Mahoney was selected to sing ‘‘Bass II’’ in the honor choir and Moore was selected as a member of the french horn section of the honor band.
    Both ensembles will perform on Oct. 22, at the conclusion of the 2013 Region V Honor Festival in Petersburg.
    Reading with Seniors
    Luncheon Topic
    Bonnie Cottrell will demonstrate TimeSlips noon Oct. 16 at the Brave Heart Volunteers C:ARE luncheon in the Sitka Pioneers Home Manager’s House.
    ‘‘As you age, recalling memories can be difficult and lead to frustration,’’ Cottrell said. ‘‘Learn a storytelling method called TimeSlips that replaces the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.’’
    It was originally designed for people with cognitive disabilities like dementia. TimeSlips is a way to read, write and share stories with family and elderly friends.
    The luncheon is open to the public and lunch will be provided compliments of Larkspur Cafe. Call 747-4600 for details.

    Sitka Advances to Finalist
    In ‘Roadmaps to Health’         Sitka has been chosen as a finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s second annual RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize.
    As a finalist, Sitka is one step closer to the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize, which honors communities whose efforts illustrate an enduring commitment toward creating a culture of health for all residents. Sitka was selected along with 11 other communities from across the nation for their health improvement efforts and will now be considered for the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize, which will be announced June 2014.
    “We are pleased to have advanced as a RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize finalist community,” said Sitka Health Summit Steering Committee member Doug Osborne. “We wouldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for all the people in town that are working day in and day out to make the community healthy and vibrant. Gunalchéesh and thanks to everyone involved!”
     To earn prize finalist status, Sitka had to illustrate how its efforts to foster healthier outcomes for its citizens reflect the six RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize criteria:
    –Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
    –Implementing a strategic approach to improving health that focuses on the multiple factors that influence health.
    –Addressing problems that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
    –Developing sustainable, long-term solutions to shared community priorities.
    –Securing and making the most of available resources.
    –Measuring and sharing results.
    “Selected from more than 250 applicants, the 12 RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize finalist communities distinguished themselves with creative strategies to help people lead healthier lives,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “These communities are shining examples of a growing movement to create a culture of health across our nation.”
    The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize is an annual no-strings-attached $25,000 cash prize that will be awarded to up to six of the finalist communities in June 2014. Find out more at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
    Woman’s Club Meets
    Sitka Woman’s Club will meet 11 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Fly In Fish Inn. Members are welcome to take a friend.
    The club is dedicated to serving the community with a focus on women and children. All women are welcome. Call Mary Todd Andersen, 738-0969, with questions.

    Veterans Invited
    The American Legion State Services Office Jim Pisa will be available to provide free veterans assistance at the Sitka Job Center 1-3:30 p.m. Oct. 2 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 3. Call 747-6921 with questions.

    School Board Meets
    Sitka School Board will meet 6 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Sitka High library. The public is invited to attend.

Reuse Center Open
    Sitka Community Development Corporation announces Sitka Reuse Center is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.
    The volunteer operation sells donated building materials and is located at 4620 Halibut Point Road, across from the AML barge landing. Without a fence around many of the items, the center is operating on an honor system. All items are for sale.
    To offer to volunteer or donate materials, call Greg Reynolds at 738-5518.

    Karate Classes Set
    Karate classes are being offered Mondays and Wednesdays, Oct. 7-Nov. 25 in the Baranof gym. Beginners meet 5:45-6:30 p.m. and advanced, 6:45-7:45 p.m.
    The cost is $125 for beginners and $150 for advanced. There is a family discount of $20 for each additional student. Registration forms are at Sitka Community Schools at Blatchley Middle School.

    Big Blue Recalls
    Smoked Salmon
    Big Blue Fisheries has issued a recall for smoked salmon because the product may or may not have been properly cooked. The firm initiated the recall after discovering a lack of recordkeeping.
    Smoked salmon that was vacuumed packed from September 2011 to present is being recalled.
    The product was distributed to Sitka Sound Seafoods, Hook and Line and various other stores in Sitka. To date, there have been no reported illnesses or consumer complaints. DEC has tested the produced and all tests came out negative.
    Consumers who have purchased Big Blue Fisheries smoked salmon products should discard or return them to the place of purchase. Media and consumers with questions about the recall, including product returns, should contact Big Blue Fisheries at 966-9999 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Parnell to Speak
    At Chamber Meet
    Gov. Sean Parnell will speak at the Sitka Chamber of Commerce luncheon noon Oct. 2 at Westmark Sitka. Seating is limited. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.
    Chamber luncheons are open to the public. For more information, call the Sitka Chamber office at 747-8604 or visit the website at www.sitkachamber.com for the calendar of events and upcoming lunches.

    Swim Lessons Set
    Blatchley pool will offer swim lessons for preschool and young children who want to learn to swim.
    Lessons are 2-2:30 p.m. or 2:30-3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Classes run Oct. 2-28.
    The cost is $40 for the 12 half-lessons. The class is open to five children for each session. To sign up, contact Sitka Community School at Blatchley Middle School.

    Parent-Tot Swim
    At Blatchley Pool
    Blatchley pool announces the return of parent-tot swimming 10:30-11:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.
    The pool is warmer, Sitka Community School said. The cost is $4 for a parent and a child.

    Women’s Book
    Group to Meet
    The Women’s Book Group will read ‘‘Call the Midwife’’ by Jennifer Worth and meet at the Sitka Pioneers Home Chapel 7 p.m. Oct. 8.
    All interested women are being encouraged to participate. Call Dorothy at 747-3412 with questions.

    Yoga Offered
    A new-to-yoga class with Ann will be 6-7:15 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Oct. 2 at the Yoga Union in the Kellogg building on the SJ Campus.
    Sign up for the 10-week series by calling 738-0416.

    Where’s Wally?
  Lee Hicks of Huntsville, Ala., is trying to locate a man he served with in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam in 1968-69.
  “I just remember his first name, ‘Wally,’ and that he was from Sitka,” Hicks told the Sentinel. “I’d really like to talk to him again.”
  Hicks asked that the Sentinel pass on his phone number to Wally.

    Climate Change
    Webinar Listed
    The public is invited to a free webinar titled ‘‘Climate Change Research on the Copper River Delta: The Emerging Effect of Local Variation’’ 10-11 a.m. Oct. 8 in Room 202 of the University of Alaska.
    The webinar will emphasize the timing of emergence of aquatic invertebrates in ponds across the Delta and associated salmon populations.
    For more information contact the Cooperative Extension Service at 747-9440.

    Kaagwaantaan Meet
    Sitka Kaagwaantaan will meet 2 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Blatchley Middle School, room 114.
    New songs will be practiced for Celebration 2014 and fundraising plans will be made. For more information call Roby at 738-4004.

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At a Glance

(updated 5-25-22)

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 11:55 pm Wednesday, May 25.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,911

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 251,425

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,252

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,776

Current Hospitalizations – 46

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "medium.'' Case statistics are as of Wednesday.

Cases in last 7 days – 25

Cumulative Sitka cases – 2,658

Hospitalizations (to date) – 32

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.





May 2002


From Sitka’s Past by Robert DeArmond: May 14, 1878 – The steamer California brought a cannery crew to Sitka for one of the first two salmon canneries in Alaska. The cannery, located at Starrigavan, operated for only two seasons and was abandoned.

May 1972

 The work of four Sitka artists will be represented in the Ketchikan Arts and Crafts Guild Traveling Show. The artists are Alice Bergdoll, Linda Larsen, Marilyn Nevers and Clint Miller.