January 13, 2016 Community Happenings

Grief Support

Group to Meet

The NorthStar Grief Support Group will meet every other Monday beginning Feb. 8, from 7-8:30 p.m. for eight sessions. 

The group meets at the Brave Heart Volunteers Manager’s House on the Pioneers Home campus. 

The group offers a peer support experience that combines a variety of writing and art activities with facilitated discussions that reflect issues and concerns following the loss of a loved one. 

Participation is free and donations are encouraged. To sign up or for information call Erin Matthes, 747-4600, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Women’s Pistol League

Ends, Awards Given

The Sitka Sportsman’s Association recently concluded its first Women’s Pistol League with 14 women participating in the 12-week competition. 

Trophies were awarded based on the average of each shooter’s 10 best scores. Laura Ramp took first place with a series score of 260 (out of 300). Kim Nekeferof took second with a score of 247 and Barbara Beach was third with a score of 200. Honorable mention went to Kelly Goeden who was the top shooter using open sights with a score of 166.


‘Aggravated Organizms’ Exhibit,

Museum Friends Event Feb. 6

The opening reception for “Aggravated Organizms” for the general public will be 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Sheldon Jackson Museum during the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum annual meeting.

Inupiaq/Yupik artist Drew Michael will give a presentation and talk about his work and the exhibition of large 3-feet-by-5-feet masks. Light fare will be served and a silent auction to raise funds for the Friends will also take place. The auction is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Friends and raises money for the Native Artist Residency Program.

The event is free and open to all.

The exhibition and Drew Michael’s travel to Sitka are made possible by a Harper Arts Touring Fund Grant, a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation administered by the Alaska State Council on the Arts. The grant award, along with a gift from Mt. Edgecumbe High School and SEARHC, make it possible for the museum to travel and exhibit the collection of masks and bring artist Drew Michael to Sitka. 

“Aggravated Organizms” is a group of 10 masks carved by Drew Michael and painted by Elizabeth Ellis. Inspired by magnified cells, the masks represent the top 10 diseases affecting Alaska communities. While merging science and art they encourage thought and discourse about environmental influences, diet, cultural pressures, lifestyle choices, and many other factors that influence health and promote dialogue around creative effective ways to address health needs and challenges. 

While here, Michael will work with students from MEHS in the museum gallery and lead a public dialogue and discussion about health issues in Sitka 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, at the Kettleson Library. 

For more information about the annual meeting, silent auction of Native art and the opening reception for “Aggravated Organizms” call 747-8981.


Free Legal Help

Offered Jan. 18

Free legal help is available 3-7 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18, through the Phone Bank.

Call 800-478-5256 for free advice on Medicare/Medicaid, eviction, child custody and support, consumer, divorce, rental properties, Social Security and foreclosure.

For more information go to www.alaskabar.org/mlk.


 ‘War Room’ to Show

‘‘War Room Prayer is a Powerful Weapon’’ will show on the big screen at First Baptist Church 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16. The public is invited.

The film is from the creators of ‘‘Fireproof’’ and ‘‘Courageous.’’



Roundup Set

Parents of incoming kindergartners who do not attend a preschool, or attend a private preschool, are being asked to call Baranof Elementary School at 747-5825 and give the child’s name and date of birth.

The budgeting process has begun and the school wants to know how many classrooms to plan for next year. 

Kindergarten registration will be held at Baranof Elementary School March 29, 30 and 31.

Children who will be 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2016, will be eligible to enroll for the 2016-2017 school year.

Parents are reminded to contact their child’s caregiver to have a current immunization records. Birth certificate or passport are also needed and can be applied for online. The school reminds parents that this might take six weeks to receive. Children should be registered even though they might not yet have the required documentation.

For more information, call Baranof Elementary at 747 5825.



Choir to Perform

The fourth-grade choir concert will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School multipurpose room.

The group of young musicians has been working together since September during their lunch recesses to learn the music they will perform.

 Admission is free and open to the public. 


Summer Ferry

Schedule Given

The Alaska Marine Highway System released its summer 2016 schedule which covers May through September. The release coincides with the implementation of the new reservations and manifest system.

Reservations for the summer schedule are currently being accepted through the Juneau Reservations Call Center at 800-642-0066. Online reservations for the summer schedule will be available in the coming weeks.

Sailing schedules can be reviewed online at FerryAlaska.com prior to contacting the call center. Reservations through the end of April are still available online.

AMHS has planned a phased implementation of the new reservations system starting with the reservations call center, then followed by online reservations for summer travel. Implementation will continue with new hardware installations in terminals and aboard vessels through the spring. The system will be fully implemented by May 2016, and the current OARS reservation system will be retired at the conclusion of the winter 2015/16 schedule.

Making advance reservations is the best way to guarantee space for passengers and vehicles, and it allows the system to operate more efficiently, AMHS said. Fare information is available online or from reservations agents.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 249 airports, 11 ferries serving 35 communities, 5,619 miles of highway and 720 public facilities throughout the state. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”



Two Local Food Projects In

Sitka Receive Rural Grants

Northwest Farm Credit Services recently awarded two rural community grants to help fund a pair of local foods projects in Sitka.

The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association received $4,500 for its Alaskans Own Seafood community supported fisheries program, and the Sitka Local Foods Network received $1,975 for a series of basic culinary skills classes to take place in March at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, which is coordinated by the Sitka Conservation Society with assistance from the Sitka Local Foods Network.

“The support of Northwest Farm Credit Services will allow ALFA to improve and expand Alaskans Own so we can provide premium seafood to more rural residents,” said Linda Behnken, ALFA’s executive director. “We believe healthy fisheries and healthy fishing communities go together, and with this grant support we will reinvest in both.”

Alaskans Own connects residents of rural communities with Alaskan seafood through monthly subscriptions. Sales support ALFA’s research and conservation work to promote sustainable fisheries and sustainable fishing communities.

“Sitka Kitch will use the resources to launch a basic culinary training series taught by Chef Kathy Jones (executive chef for Westmark Sitka),” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Sitka Kitch interim coordinator and former Sitka Local Foods Network board president. “Chef Kathy will model the four-session training on a curriculum from Indianapolis. She sees it as a way to get local Sitkans trained on entry-level culinary skills that could land them jobs in one of Sitka’s many restaurants or food-related businesses.”

The Sitka Kitch basic culinary skills training series is modeled after a similar program designed to help give people work skills for the restaurant/catering industry. It is offered by a hunger relief nonprofit called Second Helpings in Indianapolis. The classes also will be open to Sitka residents wanting to improve their home culinary skills.

Northwest FCS is committed to helping rural communities succeed. In 2015, it awarded 62 rural grants totaling more than $134,000. Since the program’s inception in 2007, the company has presented 464 rural grants totaling more than $948,000.

The next rural grant deadline is Feb. 1. To apply for a grant, visit northwestfcs.com/Stewardship/Rural-Communities for more information and an application.


Foods Network

Sets Annual Meet

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its annual meeting and potluck dinner 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, 408 Marine Street, with parking off of Spruce Street. The event has been rescheduled from its original time and date.

Participants are asked to take a dish featuring local foods to share, and take  their own utensils. It is a no-alcohol event. 

Those wanting to learn about the program are invited. A small fundraising auction for a variety of local-food-related items will be held.

Attendees will hear about project updates, plus the current board will vote on by-law changes. New board members will be introduced, and the election of officers confirmed.

To learn more about the Sitka Local Foods Network projects and volunteer opportunities, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Michelle Putz at 747-2708.


BIHA to Meet

Baranof Island Housing Authority board of commissioners will meet 5 p.m. Jan. 19 at 245 Katlian Street. The public is invited.


Valentine’s Day

Items at White E

The White Elephant Shop will have a variety of Valentine’s Day items available for purchase starting Thursday for the noon to 3 p.m. opening.


Cancer Support

Group to Meet

The Sitka Cancer Support Group will meet 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, at Brave Heart Volunteers in the Pioneers Home Manager’s House, behind the Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool on Seward Street.

Those in cancer treatment, cancer survivors, and those in their families are invited to attend and spend some time with others who understand what they are going through. This support group is sponsored by Sitka Cancer Survivors Society. Call or email Mary Beth with questions or if you need a ride to attend, at 623-0842, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Group Seeks Suggestions

For Green business Honor

The Sitka Global Warming Group is asking for the community’s ideas for this year’s Sitka Green Business Award Special Recognition awards.

Each year, Sitka Global Warming Group presents a “Sitka Green Business” Special Recognition award to a local business, agency, school, or not-for-profit in the “Ongoing Projects” and “New Projects” categories for something they did or continued to do in 2015 that is above and beyond the ordinary. 

Past award winners included Sitka’s fishermen for donating fresh, healthy, locally caught salmon to the Fish to Schools program run by Sitka Conservation Society, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association for its ongoing boat fuel efficiency project, Baranof Island Housing Authority for construction of a LEED-certified office, and Hames  Center for major energy remodel.

Whether a customer, employee, or business owner, individuals can suggest a business to recognize and thank. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with name, the name of the business, and the actions worth recognition. To learn more, look for the Green Business page at www.sitkaglobalwarming.org.

Nominations are due by Jan. 30. Those with questions may call Michelle Putz at 747-2708. The project is sponsored by the Sitka Global Warming Group.


Documentary of

Expedition Set

The Kon-Tiki2 expedition is currently racing two balsa rafts round-trip from South America to Easter Island. The first leg, from Peru, took 45 days. The second leg, back from Easter Island, began on Jan. 6.

Torgeir Higraff, an internationally renowned Norwegian adventurer, organized the Kon-Tiki2 trip. In 2006 he led the Tangaroa expedition which made the trip one-way from Peru to Tahiti. This voyage followed the trans-Pacific pathway pioneered by Thor Heyerdahl in 1947.

Higraff visited Sitka in 2008 when he participated in the Paths Across the Pacific VI conference. He spoke about early Pacific voyages as well as the Tangaroa adventure. 

A documentary film about the Tangaroa expedition will be shown at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, at the Coliseum Theater. The movie shows the success of a large balsa raft steering with “guara boards” and demonstrates the navigational skills needed for ocean crossings.

Admission is $5 in support of Paths Across the Pacific IX. Up-to-date information about the Kon-Tiki2 sailing can be found at www.kontiki2.com



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At a Glance

(updated 8-17-22)

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, August 17.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,444

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 277,007

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,296

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,843

Case Rate per 100,000 – 198.11

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.

Case Rate per 100,000 – 211.20

Cases in last 7 days – 18

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,022

Hospitalizations (to date) – 29

Deceased (cumulative) – 7

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






August 2002

 Electric department officials are asking Sitkans to conserve electricity over the next few days while the city recovers from a three-hour power outage caused by a mudslide knocking out a span of the main hydropower transmission line near Heart Lake.


August 1972

Legionnaires of the American Legion, Sitka Post No. 13, have been appointed to key committees in the state department. They are George H. Inman Jr., Carroll E. Kohler, Raymond C. Perkins and Edward J. Flynn.