TREE LIGHTING – Sitkans gather next to a decorated spruce tree across from City Hall Saturday. Scores turned out for the Chamber of Commerce’s holiday celebration that included caroling, a tree lighting hosted by Mrs. Santa Claus, and remarks by Chamber of Commerce member Loren Olsen and City Administrator John Leach encouraging people to shop in town during the holiday season. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Sitka Family to Run with Message Across U.S.

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    A Sitka family is hoping that a long run – and a new, self-published book – will make at least a small difference in the health of Americans.
    David Wilcox, a 15-year-old Southeast champion runner, and his father, Brett, plan to leave in January for a run across the country from California to New Jersey.
    Mom Kris and David’s sister Olivia are providing support for the 3,000-mile journey as the family carries a warning message about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the corporate giant Monsanto.
    The trip was borne out of David’s stated desire to run across the country, becoming one of the youngest people ever to accomplish that feat.
    His parents said the family was supportive of his dream.
    “If one of us is doing it, we’re all doing it,” Kris said, but noted, “Olivia and I have no desire to run the whole thing.”
    The Wilcoxes plan to stop along the way to meet with people, give public talks and give media interviews to spread their message and sell Brett’s book.
    “While we’re on the road, we’re going to visit farms and farmers and document their stories,” Brett writes on his Indiegogo fundraising site, which launched today. “What do they think of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), patented seeds, Roundup and other poisons? We’re going to hold meetings, give presentations, and talk to the media.”
    He adds: “We’re not going to tell people that they have a right to know what’s in their food. We’re going to show them why they need to know what’s in their food. We’re going to expose the fraudulent stories pumped out by the corrupt chemical giants.”
    Running sends an additional message of the importance of exercise in a healthy lifestyle. “For us, it’s all one and the same,” Brett said.
    If David successfully completes the trip, he will be the second youngest person to run the entire way across the United States on foot. (The Wilcoxes learned recently that a young man accomplished the feat in 1928.)
    But before the family departs Sitka in January, there is still a lot of work to do, Brett said. That includes fundraising to cover the costs of their trip, and publicizing Brett’s new book, “We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie after Lie.”
    The family kicks off its efforts today with an online crowd-source fundraiser through Indiegogo.com. Under the name “Running for a GMO Free USA,” the Wilcoxes hope to raise at least part of the estimated $50,000 they will need for the seven-month journey. Brett said at press time today that he was pleased with the strong start to the campaign.
    The second event is a book signing 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at Old Harbor Books.
     “We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie after Lie,” is about the contradictions Brett has found between what the corporate giant claims and what he has found to be the truth. He plans to follow up with a second book.
    A “Fund Run” is planned for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 14 at Moller Field, where David will run a “marathon” (100 laps) around the Moller track. Sponsors are invited to sponsor David with donations per lap or with lump sum contributions.
    “Or you can stop by and run,” Brett said. He added that there will be an information booth there as well.
    Kris said the family sees the cross-country run – and effort to share information about GMOs – as both an individual and collective endeavor.
    “People are supporting an individual, but hopefully supporting something that will affect everyone in a positive way,” she said.
    “We feel it’s a critical mission,” Brett said. “It’s the future of agriculture in America and the world.”
    The Wilcoxes will host an information booth at the Dec. 14 Monthly Grind, and Brett will give a reading from his new book 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at Kettleson Memorial Library.
    The Wilcox run across the country will start in Huntington Beach, Calif., and proceed along Route 66 then along the American Discovery Trail. There will be stops in St. Louis, Mo., the home of Monsanto, and Washington, D.C., before ending at Cape May, N.J.
    The website for the run itself is www.runningthecountry.com

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 12-3-21)

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 10:21 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 312

Total statewide – 146,558

Total (cumulative) deaths – 853

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,117

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 13 new resident COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 152.52 per 100,000 population. Case statistics are as of Thursday.

New cases in Sitka – 2

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,142

Cumulative non-resident cases – 102

Unique positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 11/26/21 – 1,266

Deceased (cumulative) – 5

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

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20 YEARS AGO
December 2001

Photo caption: Cathy Hanson shovels snow off the sidewalk in front of Russell’s today. What started as a few flakes Monday evening had mounted to an estimated half-foot by noon today. More was forecast but rain is possible Wednesday.

50 YEARS AGO
December 1971 

Several fish fatalities resulted Monday night when a car apparently went out of control, ran off Halibut Point Road and slammed into the rear of Sitka Petland Store. Vibrations shattered fish tanks, and several hundred dollars worth of tropical fish were casualties.

 

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