February 18, 2016 Community Happenings

Alaska Reads Author Plans

Public Reading, Discussion

Tlingit writer Ernestine Hayes will read from her book ‘‘Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir’’ 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Sitka Public Library.

Questions and discussion will follow. Hayes’ reading is free and all are invited, whether or not they have read the book.

‘‘Blonde Indian’’ is the book selection for Alaska Reads 2016, a project initiated by current Alaska Writer Laureate Frank Soos and sponsored by the Alaska Center for the Book. Hayes is visiting 16 communities in Alaska to meet with local people and talk about the themes and issues of her memoir. Sitka is the last stop on her tour.

Hayes grew up in Juneau during territorial days and left Alaska with her mother when she was 15. Twenty-five years later, she made her way back home and enrolled in the University of Alaska, eventually earning a master of fine arts in creative writing. She currently teaches writing classes at the University of Alaska Southeast.

‘‘Blonde Indian,’’ her first book, received the American Book Award and was nominated for the PEN Nonfiction Award and the Kiriyama Prize. Her second memoir, ‘‘The Tao of Raven,’’ is to be published in September 2016.

Copies of ‘‘Blonde Indian’’ are available at the library, Old Harbor Books, and as an Ebook. Sitkans who have copies are encouraged to share them with friends, organizers said. 

For more information, call 747-7671.


Quilt Auction

Set March 1

The Ocean Wave Quilt Guild will hold its 18th annual scholarship auction 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, at Grace Harbor Church. The public is invited to attend.

Featured will be small quilts, and sewing-related items both new and vintage. Some of the items can be seen in the window display at Abby’s Reflection.

All money raised goes to support scholarships for students attending Mt. Edgecumbe High, Pacific High, Sitka High and Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

Light refreshments will be served. 

For more information call Annette at 747-6739.


Potluck Dinner

For Writer Set

All are invited to welcome Tlingit author Ernestine Hayes to Sitka at a community potluck 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at the ANB Founders Hall. Local and traditional foods are particularly welcome.

Hayes is touring 16 Alaska communities to speak about her book ‘‘Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir.’’ It was chosen as the 2016 selection for Alaska Reads, a project initiated by current Alaska Writer Laureate Frank Soos of Fairbanks and sponsored by the Alaska Center for the Book. Sitka is the last stop of Hayes’ tour.

Hayes is a member of the Kaagwaantaan clan and was raised by her mother and grandmother in Juneau during territorial days. She left Alaska with her mother when she was 15. Her powerful memoir tells the story of her very difficult 25 years away and her return, at last, to her home and her culture. She currently lives in Juneau and teaches writing classes at the University of Alaska Southeast.

The community potluck honoring Hayes is sponsored by Sitka ANB Camp 1 and ANS Camp 4. Donations toward ongoing support of the ANB Founders Hall and kitchen are welcome. For more information call 747-7671.


Book Release

Slated Feb. 23

A book release celebration will be held for former Sitkan Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Old Harbor Books.

“The Smell of Other People’s Houses” is published by Penguin Random House, and is set in 1970’s Alaska.


Brown Bag Lunch

With Writer Feb. 29

The public is invited to a free brown bag lunch and discussion with Tlingit writer Ernestine Hayes noon-1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. 

Hayes’ book ‘‘Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir’’ is the Alaska Reads 2016 selection for this year. The project was launched in early February by the Alaska Center for the Book. Hayes has been on a 16-community tour of the state to talk with people about the book and Sitka is her final stop. 

The discussion will feature stories from her tour about the impacts of ‘‘Blonde Indian’’ in different Alaska communities and its particular relevance and importance to Sitka readers. The event is sponsored by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.

‘‘Blonde Indian,’’ winner of the American Book Award, tells the powerfully moving story of Hayes’ early years growing up in a segregated Juneau during territorial days, 25 difficult years away in the lower-48, and the determination that brought her back to her homeland. Copies of the book are available at the Sitka Public Library, Old Harbor Books, and online as an ebook. 

Hayes, who holds a master of fine arts in creative writing, currently teaches at the University of Alaska Southeast Juneau Campus.

For more information about Hayes’ Sitka visit, call 747-7671


Food Preserver

Training in Sitka

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will train community food preservers in Sitka this spring.

Participants must complete six online food preservation lessons on canning, dehydrating and freezing foods before attending a two-day workshop in Sitka May 14-15. The training will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and will be taught by Juneau agent Sarah Lewis and food preservation expert Roxie Dinstel.

Lewis developed the Safe Home Food Preservation Certification class to train food preservers, who can then extend that knowledge by offering classes in their own communities. Participants may also take the training for personal interest. Lewis said the training will teach individuals how to safely preserve Southeast Alaska’s local food resources.

The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is co-sponsoring the training, which costs $200. Registration and more details are available at http://bit.ly/ces-workshops. For more information about the training or about scholarships, contact Lewis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 907-523-3280, ext. 1.


Steampunk Event,

Dinner for SSMF

The Matt Herskowitz Trio returns to Sitka for a steampunk event 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28.

The Old Sitka Dock will be transformed into a Victorian industrial world for dinner, wine and music, plus an auction of items and experiences. Auction items include a gourmet dinner for four on Whale Island with a string quartet performance, a ski cabin in Girdwood, and a Sea Mart shopping spree, while cellist Zuill Bailey plays Flight of the Bumblebee.

Tickets are available at Old Harbor Books or online at sitkamusicfestival.org. All proceeds benefit the Sitka Summer Music Festival. 


Outfitter, Guide

Meeting on Tap

The Sitka Ranger District invites the public to participate in a meeting to discuss the Shoreline II Outfitter/Guide Draft Environmental Impact Statement 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, at the Sitka Ranger District Conference Room, 204 Siginaka Way. A short presentation will begin at 6 p.m. 

For more information, contact Jennifer MacDonald at 747-6671.


Budget ‘Idea Line’

Up and Running

Alaskans can now weigh in with ideas to help solve the state’s budget crunch on a toll-free ‘‘idea line’’ at 1-844-414-5949.

The goal of the idea line is to get the most comments and outreach now, while the House Finance Committee, and finance subcommittees do the bulk of their work.

The subcommittees are expected ot report their recommendations by the end of February, but the line will remain open year-round.

The ‘‘idea line’’ is a central, toll-free, voicemail services. Messages willb e transcribed and copies distributed ot legislators. Callers can be anonymous and are not required to provide a name, phone number or email.

Alaskans can also Tweet using the hashtag ‘‘#AllAboutTheBudget’’ and check out Facebook.


4-H, STA Plan

Seal Processing

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska language and education department and 4-H Alaska Way of Life will host a seal processing program on Feb. 24.

All 4-H members and STA language and education students are being encouraged to attend to learn about seal (Tlingit tsaa) harvesting and processing. And, organizers said, maybe even taste some seal oil.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details or more information.


Dog Obedience

Workshop Listed

The next beginning dog obedience workshop is scheduled for 6:307:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 24-March 30,  at UAS-Sitka Campus.

For young dogs, Susan Royce and Karen Royce will teach basic good manners and obedience commands plus a few games and tricks for alleviating boredom. The cost is $100. Call 747-7762 for more details or register online at https://aceweb.uas.alaska.edu 


Playground Meet,

Photo Opp on Tap

The Sitka Playground Committee’s monthly gathering on March 9 will start with a 5:30 p.m. photo opportunity at the Crescent Harbor playground, followed by a meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the library.

It will include an update on the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, selecting a design firm to start the design process and sending out requests for proposals. Check Facebook or call Dave at 747-6859 for more information.


Alaska Native Art

To Be Displayed

Sitka Fine Arts Camp invites the public to the opening of “Create, Memory,” an exhibit of Alaska Native Art featuring work by Mary Goddard, Jennifer Younger, Dave Galanin, and Robert Davis Hoffmann, 7-9 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Del Shirley Gallery at Odess Theater in Allen Hall. 

The exhibit connects the Alaska Native history of the Sheldon Jackson campus to its current use as an arts campus and community gathering space. The exhibit explores the past through stories, imagery, and place-specific knowledge, weaving together themes of fragmentation, preservation, healing, and transformation.

The reception will mark the opening of the permanent art installation.


Seafood Festival

Placed on Hold

The Sitka Seafood Festival has announced its plans to take a break from the annual festival this year.

‘‘With great regret, the Sitka Seafood Festival Board announces that we will be a taking a break from the annual festival in 2016,’’ a press release from the organization said. ‘‘We had an amazing festival with your support in 2015, but due to several issues, we feel taking a break and waiting for the opening of Centennial Hall would be most beneficial for the festival. We will be working hard planning the 2017 event, and are still looking for new board members and volunteers who have the time and energy to really help make the weekend-long festival a success.’’

Those wanting to become involved in the festival, or who have questions, can go to facebook, or email to Board President Sabrina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Cancer Group

Meets Feb. 21

The Sitka Cancer Group will meet 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, at the Pioneers Home Manager’s House.

The group is supported by Sitka Survivors Cancer Group and the space is donated by Brave Heart Volunteers.

It is open to those going through cancer, survivors and their families. The purpose is to have a venue to talk and find support from others with similar situations.


For more information, or a ride, call Mary Beth at 623-0842.

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At a Glance

(updated 5-18-22)

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 18.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,675

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 249,522

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,252

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,762

Current Hospitalizations – 44

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 – 54

Cumulative Sitka cases – 2,633

Hospitalizations (to date) – 32

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.





May 2002

Sitka’s state parks will remain open, thanks to an 11th-hour $80,000 appropriation approved by the state House Finance Committee, Rep. Peggy Wilson said. “It happened because everybody pulled together .... E-mails, letters, telephone calls came to Juneau from Sitka en masse,”she said. 

May 2002

 Laurence and Zelma Doig will leave the Sheldon Jackson campus this year after 30 years of service. Doig, in fact, has already been installed as skipper of the M/V Anna Jackman. Mrs. Doig, who has been librarian, will join her husband in Juneau at the end of May.