March 12, 2014 Community Happenings

March Artifacts of the Month:
Snuff Boxes Collected by Sheldon Jackson

    The Sheldon Jackson Museum Artifacts of the Month for March are four snuff boxes collected by the Rev. Dr. Sheldon Jackson.
    The four boxes (titled II.Y.27, II.P.86a,b, II.P.88, and II.N.33) were collected in the far north and used to carry tobacco. Two are listed in records as being from the Arctic Ocean region; the third is from the Holy Cross Bay, Siberia; and the fourth is from Kotzebue Sound.
    Explorers’ accounts of contact with Alaska Natives possessing tobacco in the far western and southeastern areas of the territory date back to the early 18th century.
    According to Edward William Nelson’s classic, seminal work, ‘‘The Eskimo About Bering Strait,’’ men and women of northern Alaska historically used tobacco in different forms. Women usually chewed tobacco or took it as snuff, rarely smoking it, the preferred method for men. To prepare for chewing, tobacco was cut into shreds on small boards and once sufficiently fine, mixed with ashes from birch tree fungus obtained through trade with Athabscan Natives of the interior, and rolled into rounded pellets or quids.
    Snuff and tobacco boxes varied greatly in shape and design and often featured engravings of animals and human figures, bone, copper, iron or ivory inlays, and beads. The snuff boxes, a large variety of tobacco pipes, and mortars and pestles may be viewed at the museum until March 31.
    Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Discounted winter admission is $3. Visitors ages 18 and younger, Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum and those with passes are admitted free of charge.

    Coast Guard
    Offers Free F/V
    Safety Exams
    The Coast Guard is encouraging mariners to get a free commercial fishing vessel safety exams.
    Mariners, especially those in the halibut and sablefish fisheries that recently opened, can improve their preparedness by getting the free exam.
    “Having an exam completed prior to the beginning of the fishery ensures that vessels are meeting the minimum required standards of safety, and that the appropriate lifesaving, firefighting, navigation and signaling gear is aboard prior to operation of the vessel,” said Lt. Erin Cridland, the Coast Guard 17th District inspection and investigation officer. “Having this equipment greatly reduces the chance of vessel loss and increases the odds of survival should the crew need to abandon ship.”
    A successful exam will earn the vessel a Coast Guard commercial fishing vessel safety decal good for one year. Commercial fishing vessels operating beyond the three nautical mile territorial sea baseline are not required to have decals until the year 2015, but they are strongly encouraged to obtain them, the CG said.
    Some vessels, including those used to pursue halibut individual fishing quotas, are required by the National Marine Fisheries Service to have a valid decal prior to carrying their mandatory NMFS observer aboard.
    “Having a decal will reduce the scope of future boardings by Coast Guard law enforcement personnel,” Cridland said. “Coast Guard policy states that vessels with a decal can receive a spot check of certain items. Boarding teams will want to focus on vessels that have not already been visited by the Coast Guard if numerous vessels are fishing in an area.”
    Fishermen also can visit and click the link to the checklist generator. This application takes input on the fishing vessel, such as length, persons aboard, where it operates, etc., and generates a list of requirements that apply to that specific fishing vessel. This allows owners to know exactly what Coast Guard dockside examiners will look at before their official examination.
    For more specific information on the Coast Guard and Marine Transportation Act of 2012 visit: To reach the Sitka examiner contact Steven Ramp, 966-5620.

    Sign-Ups Listed
    Baranof Elementary will begin registering children for kindergarten 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. April 8, 9 and 10. Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten kits will be given to each child who registers.
    Kits contain: a pair of child’s scissors; box of crayons; pencil; paper for cutting, coloring and drawing; a “Help Me Hold a Crayon” and “Help Me Hold Scissors” card; ‘‘42 Fine Motor Activities That You Can Do at Home’’ sheet; and ‘‘I Am Ready!’’ pamphlet  by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.
    The kits are being distributed to encourage families to provide opportunities for children to build their fine motor skills in preparation for kindergarten.
    Baranof Elementary’s vision for this kit is to give children the opportunity to cut, color and learn how to hold writing utensils before entering kindergarten, the school said. The school hopes that the use of these materials will increase incoming kindergartener’s ability to be successful at school.

    Honoring Women
    Dinner on Tap
    The 17th Honoring Women dinner and silent auction is scheduled 6 p.m. April 5 at Centennial Hall.
    Honorees Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Marie Murray, Nancy Ricketts and Sherie Mayo will be recognized for their outstanding contributes to the community.
    The event offers a dinner catered by Ludvig’s, live music by Joe Montagna and Peter Apathy, dance performance by Sitka Studio of Dance, a slide show of the honorees, an award ceremony and a silent auction. Tickets are available at Old Harbor Books and at the SAFV office.
    Honoring Women is a fundraiser for Sitkans Against Family Violence. For more information, call 747-3370.

    Card of Thanks
    The family of Donald ‘‘Duck’’ Didrickson would like to say thank you to all the people who were at the memorial dinner and to all the people who brought food.
    A very special thank you goes out to Dr. Elliot Bruhl for taking care of Duck and for going above and beyond your normal and helping him go in peace and pain-free.
    A huge thank you to North Pacific Seafoods and SPC for donating the fish; it was amazing.
    Thank you to Prewitt’s Funeral Home for helping ease some pain and taking care of Duck. He looked amazing. We would also like to thank ANB/ANS and Tom Gamble for the use of the hall and helping set up.
    Thanks to nephew Chris, adopted son Zane, good friends Ralph and Dick for coming to see him at home.
    Big thanks to Melissa from Highliner for always watching out for and taking care of Duck.
    Special thanks to Crystal for being there every day, watching and taking care of your dad.
    Thanks, all of you, for the support.
The Didrickson family,
Crystal, Kiera and Corbin,
Kendall, Jennifer and Cordelia

    Dinner, Auction
    For Preschool
    Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool will host its first It’s a Cardboard World Event, including dinner and a dessert auction, 5-7 p.m. April 3 at Centennial Hall.
    Participants are invited to make and take a cardboard creation of any size to display at the dinner. Special rivets kits and idea packets are for sale through the preschool. Those who choose to display their cardboard creations are welcome to set up after 3 p.m. the day of the event.
    Spaghetti dinner is $15 for adults and $5 for children. A dessert auction will follow. Tickets may be purchased at the door.
    Call 966-2675 with questions. For ideas, visit or go to the Facebook page.
    Attendees will also have the chance to pre-order spring pansies arriving in May.

    Blatchley Pool
    Sees Changes
    Blatchley pool announces time changes and closures for March when school safety activities are planned.
    On March 20 and 21, the day swim is canceled.
    On March 25, 26, 27, April 1, 2 and 3, the day swim will be 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
    No parent-tot swim will be offered on March 28 and April 2.

    This Week in
    Girls on the Run
    Girls on the Run, an empowerment-based program for girls in third-fifth grade, is in its sixth season at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. GOTR is a program designed to bring girls together with strength and resilience and prepare them for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. 
    Recently in GOTR participants have been learning about emotional health.  Girls learn there are no “bad” emotions, just ones that make us comfortable or uncomfortable.  Teams practiced skills to identify their own emotions and express them in a constructive way. They also learned that “Gratitude is an Attitude!” Here’s what participants said about making the choice to seek gratitude in their lives:
    –“Gratitude is being grateful for someone or something.”
    –“If you are thinking ungrateful things, you may start to judge others and say bad things about others.”
    –“If you’re ungrateful for something sometimes you can get in a grumpy mood.” 
    –“I’m grateful for everyone in my family!”
    Throughout this season, GOTR will keep providing the community with updates from the program. It also hopes to give mentors and parents an opportunity to pass on skills from GOTR to the youths in their lives! Here are some conversation starters for talking with kids about emotional health and celebrating gratitude.
    –’’Have you ever had a feeling inside, but you didn’t know what emotion it was?’’
    –’’How can pausing and taking a deep breath help you figure out what you’re feeling?’’
    –’’Let’s share three things (or people) for which we are grateful, and three things about ourselves for which we are grateful.’’
    –’’How can choosing gratitude help you stay positive?’’
    The final GOTR community 5K Fun Run is May 11. Girls on the Run is promoted by Sitkans Against Family Violence.  Call 747-3370 for more information.

    Sitkans Against
    Meth to Meet
    Sitkans Together Against Meth Project will hold an informational meeting and update, with guest speaker Detective Ferguson from the Sitka Police Department, 5:30 p.m. March 17 in the Rousseau Room at Centennial Hall.
    All community members are invited to attend. Call 738-3945 with questions.

    No School
    The Sitka School District announces that there will be no school for all students March 17-21 for spring break.
    School offices will be closed. Maintenance and Community School offices will be open during the break. The district office will be closed March 17-21.

    Meeting Set
    The Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center committee of the Sitka Local Foods Network invites the public to attend a meeting 5:15 p.m. March 14. Judy Johnstone, proprietor of Sprucecot Gardens, will host the meeting at the Sprucecot Bed and Breakfast at Gardens, 308 Peterson Street.
    Reports will be heard from committee members on possible building sites including the Blatchley Middle School campus and the old float plane turnaround area. For information call 752-0654.

    Benefit Dinner Set
    For James Family
    A benefit dinner for the Ron James family will be held at the Sitka Moose Lodge 4-8 p.m. March 15.
    Dinner is sponsored by Sitka Moose Lodge 1350 and American Legion Post 1. The menu will include pork chop suey, Sesame chicken, steamed rice and crispy wontons.    
    Proceeds will be used to help the Ronald James family to help with funeral expenses for the loss of their beloved son and brother, Douglas James.
    For free delivery or for orders to go please call 747-4655. The cost is $15 per plate.

    T-Shirts Sought by
    Girl Scout Troop
    Girl Scout Troop 4140 is seeking donations of used T-shirts for an Earth Day sewing project.
    Scouts will be sewing reusable bags for the Sitka Global Warming Group’s reusable bag library.
    Clean T-shirts – stains are fine – in adult sizes are preferred but any size is appreciated. Donations can be dropped off at the Sitka Fire Department until April 4. Call or text 738-2073 with questions or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
    The troop’s goal of 255 bags is a reminder that an estimated 2,555,000 plastic bags are used at the grocery stores in Sitka each year, said RecycleSitka.

Women’s Golf
League to Meet
Sitka Women’s Golf League will hold an organizational meeting 2 p.m. March 15 at the Sea Mountain Golf Course restaurant.
Women interested in playing this season are being asked to attend to determine which day and time works for the majority of players.
Those with questions, or having input but unable to attend, may contact committee members Colleen Ingman, 738-1811, Colleen Dalquist, 738-0477, or Nikki Stromquist, 738-2057.

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At a Glance

(updated 6-29-22)

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 Wednesday, June 29.

New cases as of Wednesday: 2,123

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 261,987

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,252

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,772

Current Hospitalizations – 87

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

COVID in Sitka

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

Cases in last 7 days – 22

Cumulative Sitka cases – 2,763

Hospitalizations (to date) – 29

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






June 2002

Photo caption: The ANB team celebrates after winning the Sitka Major League tournament. From left are Billy Allery, Gordon Reeder, Chris Scott, Ross Venneberg, Cole Venneberg, Kale Vilandre, Cedar Mayo, Rhys Kimmel, Leslie Isaacs, Ian Blair, Kory Hansen and Kyle Foot.



June 1972

For the second year in a row, Don Barton Jr., a Washington state logger, has walked off with the All-Alaska Logging Championship all-around logger trophy. Two other former winners, Mike McGraw (1968) and Jack Adams (1970), again placed high.