February 10, 2016 Community Happenings

‘Wreck of Neva’

Topic of Program

The Sitka History Museum, Sitka Sound Science Center and the University of Alaska Southeast will host the Natural History seminar ‘‘Investigating the 1813 Wreck of the Neva through Oral History, Archival Research, and Archaeology” 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 in room 229 at UAS-Sitka Campus.

Dave McMahan and Bob Sam will present the program.

Staff from the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology, U.S. Forest Service and Sitka Historical Society conducted background research and a shoreline survey to look for evidence of the 1813 wreck of the Russian-American Company ship.

Staff identified an upland area believed to be the camp where survivors awaited rescue for almost a month in frigid temperatures.  With funding from the National Science Foundation, an international team conducted archaeological work at the site in July 2015.  Their findings, along with information gathered from the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and through archival research, are providing details of the NEVA’s history and the struggle to survive following the wreck.

Funding for the seminar series is provided by a grant to the Sitka Sound Science Center by the Sitka Alaska Permanent Charitable Trust in partnership with UAS. Contact Kitty LaBounty at 747-9432 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.


School Board

Discusses Budget

The Sitka School Board will hold a budget hearing for the district staff 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 15 in the Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School multipurpose room.


Tinfoil Embossing

Workshop to Run

Artwork using the technique of embossing designs into tinfoil will be created and instructed by Sitka artist Laura Kaltenstein 10 a.m.-noon April 2 in the Yaw Art Center, Room 101, on the SJ Campus.

The class, presented by the Greater Sitka Arts Council, requires preregistration by calling Sarah at 747-2787. The cost is $25. All materials are included.







Vintage Cake

Decorating Set

A vintage cake decorating workshop is being taught 12:30-5 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at the Sitka Kitch, at the First Presbyterian Church.

Allison Bayne of Allison’s Wonderland will instruct. The class is presented by the Greater Sitka Arts Council.

Students must pre-register by calling Sarah at 747-2787. Materials are provided, and the cost is $85.

Participants will be working on a cake dummy, or if they wish, they can take their own 8-inch round by 4-inch high baked cake to decorate.



Library Closure

Sitka Public Library will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15, in observance of Presidents Day. 

It will reopen 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16. For further information, call 747-8708 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Pastor Nwokoye

To Speak in Sitka

Pastor Joe Nwokoye from Scotland will speak 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at the Eagle Quest Church on Japonski Island.

His message will be ‘‘Don’t Give Up, It’s Not Over Yet.’’



Family Fiesta

Benefit Feb. 21

Sitkans Against Family Violence will hold its annual Family Fiesta fundraiser 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, at the ANB Founders Hall.

The taco feed will include vegetarian and gluten-free options, live music with Ted and Julie, and a dessert auction. Tickets are available at the door, $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

Dessert donations are being sought and can be dropped off at the hall between 4 and 5 p.m. on the day of the dinner. To arrange a pick-up, call 747-3370.  


Tlingit Writer to Bring

‘Alaska Reads’ to Sitka

Even though Alaska is a huge place, it’s possible for Alaskans to form a rich web of connections. One way to pull us together is through a shared reading experience. To that end, Alaska Reads – a biannual event initiated by current Alaska Writer Laureate Frank Soos – will feature a work centered on some aspect of Alaskan life and culture written by a living Alaskan writer. Readers statewide are being encouraged to read the book, and the book’s author will travel to a broad range of communities to meet and talk with readers.

Alaska Reads 2016 was launched in early February with its first selection, ‘‘Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir’’ by Tlingit writer Ernestine Hayes of Juneau. The book won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN Nonfiction Award and the Kiriyama Prize. University of Arizona Press, the book’s publisher, has this description:

“This enchanting memoir traces the author’s life from her difficult childhood growing up in the Tlingit community, through her adulthood, during which she lived for some time in Seattle and San Francisco, and eventually to her return home. Neither fully Native American nor Euro-American, Hayes encounters a unique sense of alienation from both her Native community and the dominant culture. We witness her struggles alongside other Tlingit men and women – many of whom … wrestle with their own challenges, including unemployment, prejudice, alcoholism, and poverty. Drawing on the special relationship that the Native people of southeastern Alaska have always had with nature, Blonde Indian is a story about returning.

‘‘… Blonde Indian [is] much more than the story of one woman’s life. Filled with anecdotes, descriptions, and histories that are unique to the Tlingit community, this book is a document of cultural heritage, a tribute to the Alaskan landscape, and a moving testament to how going back – in nature and in life – allows movement forward.”

Hayes grew up in Juneau during territorial days, raised by her mother and her grandmother. She left the state with her mother when she was 15 and didn’t return to Juneau until she was 40. After returning she enrolled at University of Alaska and, over time, earned an master of fine arts degree in creative writing. She now teaches in the English department at the UAS Juneau Campus. She belongs to the Kaagwaantaan Clan and has four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The Alaska Reads project has Hayes touring the state this month, thanks to the Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska Humanities Forum, Alaska State Library, and Rasmuson Foundation. She’ll visit 16 communities from Ketchikan to Barrow, meeting with readers in informal settings, taking questions, and entering into conversations about Blonde Indian.

Sitka will be the last stop on Hayes’ tour – she will be here Feb. 28-29. Several local activities are planned; all are free and open to the public. They include:

–Writers workshop, 1-3 p.m. Feb. 28, Sitka Public Library. Adult and high school writers welcome.

–Reading by Hayes from ‘‘Blonde Indian’’ followed by discussion, 5-6 p.m. Feb. 28, Sitka Public Library.

–Community potluck dinner, 7 p.m. Feb. 28, ANB Founders Hall. Traditional and local foods especially welcome. Sponsored by Sitka ANB Camp 1 and ANS Camp 4.

–Morning interview, 8:19 a.m. Feb. 29, KCAW-FM, Raven Radio.

–Brown bag lunch and discussion, “How Blonde Indian Speaks to Alaska Communities: Stories from the Road,” noon-1 p.m. Feb. 29, location to be announced.

Copies of ‘‘Blonde Indian’’ are available at Sitka Public Library and Old Harbor Books. It is also available as an E-book. For anyone interested in learning more about Hayes, a lecture she gave at UAS Juneau Campus entitled “What Shall We Do With Our Histories” is available on YouTube.

For more information about her visit, call 747-7671.


Chronic Pain

Support Offered

The monthly Chronic Pain and Illness Support Group will meet every second Saturday of the month at 2 p.m. in the downstairs classroom at Sitka Community Hospital.

Participants talk about how chronic pain and illness impacts lives and how  to cope. This month the group will talk  about new medical breakthroughs including information on legal hemp oil – it’s good and not-so-good properties.

Those who suffer from fibromyalgia, MS, RA, arthritis, migraines, and other illnesses are invited. Family and friends may also attend.

Treats will be served. For more information, call 480-518-4186.



Emblem Club Meets

Sitka Emblem Club will hold a business meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Sitka Elks Lodge. Nominations will be open for recording secretary.



Wilderness First

Aid Class on Tap

Sitka Mountain Rescue will sponsor a wilderness first aid class 8 a.m.-6 p.m.  March 5-6. The cost is a $160 donation to Sitka Fire Department. Contact Mike Motti at 747-6064 for more information. 




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At a Glance

(updated 1-12-22)

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 am Wednesday.

New cases as of Friday: 2,512

Total statewide – 172,329

Total (cumulative) deaths – 955

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,337

Current Hospitalizations – 103

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 153 new COVID cases in the past 7 days. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 34

Cases in last 7 days – 153

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,531

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.





January 2002

Classified ads, Rentals: 3-bdrm. house on the beach. $900; 3-bdrm duplex, washer/dryer $945; Great downtown house, 2 bdrms., 2 baths, furnished,
W/D, hardwood floors $850; 2-bdrm. roomy apartment $945..


January 1972

The City and Borough Assembly Tuesday approved an ordinance establishing a transportation committee to advise the assembly and promote transportation services for the municipality. Members are Cecil McClain, Ray Mabey, Clarence Kramer,
Dick Cushing and Burt Hansen.