SUN AND SNOW – Snow evaporates off the roof of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Thursday. More late season snow mixed with rain  is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Sunny weather is in the forecast for the first part of next week. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

September 15, 2023, Community Happenings

Climate Connection: Sustainable Existence

As our world economy continues to grow and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we face a reality that we cannot keep using fossil fuels on a finite earth without ruinous results. These results have begun already with climate disasters worldwide, extinction of species, plastic pollution of our rising oceans, and forced migration from uninhabitable areas. Technology cannot save us, although it certainly has a role. A sustainable future requires changing the world’s economy to keep within earth’s limits. For 50 years, there has been a literature reminding us that thermodynamic limits apply to us, that degrowth is necessary. That proposition has triggered great debate and resistance.

The degrowth movement is considered by some to be anti-capitalist because our current economic system is built on a commitment to profit, rather than to human needs. In the most powerful countries, many have benefited from the unrestrained growth of the last century. However, trickle-down of great wealth has not worked to ensure that there are no homeless, no hungry, no persons without health care, even in the most economically powerful countries, let alone in the rest of countries that supply our raw materials and cheap labor underlying our wealth. Degrowth would increase human misery in the United States and the rest of the world if it were not paired with redistribution of wealth to meet essential human needs everywhere. 

How do we solve the apparent contradiction between economic growth and ecological destruction? Despite majorities across the world alarmed or concerned about climate change, even our democracies are not reflecting the majorities’ will for urgent and effective action to decrease the emissions that cause global warming. 

Rather, climate activism is being criminalized in some jurisdictions. Our environmental catastrophes will get worse with each tenth of degree increase in global temperature.  Scientists have painted a dire picture of what increasing global temperature will mean, including the end of civilization. Even scientists have not accurately predicted how fast earth systems are changing and what events are possible, such as the Mendenhall River flooding from a glacial dam burst. If it were possible for emissions to zero out now, we would remain with the breakdown of the normality we grew up with that we are experiencing right now. 

How do we prioritize providing for human needs for nutritious foods, shelter, medical care, education, and meaningful work for everyone? Planning for human well-being at the expense of destructive and unnecessary production would seem rational. This can only come from the grassroots since it likely threatens those who benefit from uncontrolled economic growth who seem to have an outsized influence on governments. While we work at adaptation to climate change and local resilience, we must imagine the world we must create to be sustainable. 

–– Kay Kreiss, Transition Sitka


Aak’w Rock Music

Festival in Juneau

The second biennial Aak’w Rock Festival, a celebration of Indigenous music and culture, will be held Sept. 21-23 in Juneau.

Presented by the Tlingit & Haida Tribes and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, the three-day musical experience features 25 musical acts representing 35 Indigenous cultures from across the globe, honoring music and traditions from around the world.

Áakʼw Rock will feature performances from Indigenous headliners such as Snotty Nose Rez Kids, The Hallucination, Ya Tseen, Khu. eex, Pamyua, as well as singer-songwriters, hip-hop artists, jazz, funk, country and soul, EDM, among many others from limitless genres.

For tickets, full lineup and more information, visit The Festival honors cultural existence while rocking the stage, organizers said.


SJ High School,

College Topics

Of Tours, Talks

The public is invited to a reception, tour and a presentation about Sheldon Jackson High School on Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Odess Theater in Allen Memorial Hall on the SJ Campus.

A reception, with photos and other materials on view, will open at 1 p.m., with  a 45-minute walking tour of the campus starting at 2 p.m. from in front of Allen Hall. At 3 p.m., former Sheldon Jackson High School students and other historians and researchers will share stories and history of Sheldon Jackson High School (1917 to 1967). 

Events are free and open to the public. Historical photos, yearbooks and other materials will be on view, from both the high school and the college. Participants are being encouraged to share photo identification and other stories.

The events are part of a Historic Preservation Fund grant, administered by the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology, for restoration of the entry way of Whitmore Hall. For more information, call 907 738-7448 or email


Athabascan Artist Alexander

At Sheldon Jackson Museum

The Sheldon Jackson Museum is hosting Selena Alexander (Koyukon Athabascan) as its new artist-in-residence.

Through the Alaska Native Artist Residency Program, Alexander will  create her beaded, tufted, and sewn art at the gallery most days through Oct. 5. She also will have an artist talk and teach a two-part beaded earring making class.

In her talk, “Learning Art Forms,” 2 p.m. Sept. 28, Alexander will tell how she came to be a beader, porcupine quill worker, caribou tufter, and skin and fur sewer. A recording of the talk will be uploaded at a later date to the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum YouTube Channel.

The talk will be in person at the museum with an option to attend via Zoom. Those wanting to reserve a seat in advance should call the museum at (907) 747-8981.

Zoom information: Visit and input Meeting ID 895 9860 0094 and Passcode SELINA; or visit

Alexander’s earring-making class will take place in-person only at the museum 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 4 and 5. The class is free of charge but does require a $25 materials fee at the time of signup. Students should plan to attend both classes both days. Space is limited.

Individuals wishing to attend the artist talk or class should call the museum at (907) 747-8981 to reserve a spot.

‘‘I am the oldest of 14 children, nine boys and five girls,’’ Alexander said. ‘‘I was born in Fairbanks to Lloyd and Amelia DeWilde. My mother is full Koyukon Athabascan from Huslia and my father is Welsh/Flemish from San Francisco.’’

Alexander was raised on the Yukon River between Ruby and Galena until age nine when the family moved to the North Fork of the Huslia River, about 45 air miles from Huslia. They lived a subsistence life of hunting, fishing, trapping and gardening.

She was 7 when her mother started her on sewing and knitting doll clothes and her father taught her to trap squirrels and weasels. At age 11, her father taught her how to run a dog team. By age 13 her mother instructed her how to make slippers and boots, more knitting and crocheting.’’

‘‘My father taught me how to shoot guns, trap for mink, fox, otter and snare beaver,’’ she said. ‘‘Mother taught me how to snare rabbits and ptarmigan, and how to fish with nets and poles. We also did a lot of drawing and crafts. Over the years I’ve learned more about beadwork from my grandmother, watching others, reading books, going to museums and workshops, and listening to my elders.’’

Her Indian grandmother and mother  excelled at beadworking and skinsewing. Her white grandfather was a well-known painter, artist and professor in San Francisco.’’

Alexender has seven children.

The Alaska Native Artist Residency Program is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum, Alaska Airlines, and private donors. To learn how to support the  program that brings culture bearers and artists like Alexander from all over the state to the museum, visit

Visitors can meet Alexander and see examples of her work most weekdays,  10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. She will be in residence until Oct. 5. For specific schedule details, visit, or the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum facebook and Instagram pages, or call the museum at (907) 747-8981.


Story Time Set

At Public Library

Sitka Public Library will host a story time event 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21. It is the final story time until November.

‘‘Leaves,’’ written by David Ezra Stein, will be one of the books featured. The program includes rhymes, songs, and a craft project celebrating the fall season. Everybody is welcome.

For information call 907-747-4020 or e-mail Maite at


8-Ball Captain

Meeting on Tap

Greater sitka Pool League will host an 8-ball captains and team representatives meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Sitka Moose Lodge.

Topics are the Neil Huff pool tournament Sept. 27-Oct. 1; preseason 8-ball tournament; and 8-ball pool league starting on Oct. 10.


Parade, Lunch

Sept. 29 Honors

‘Orange Shirt Day’

Sitka Tribe of Alaska invites the community to a parade and lunch Sept. 29 to recognize, respect and honor First Nation/Indigenous children and families affected by the residential school system.

STA and other partners are observing Every Child Matters locally. Parade lineup begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Crescent Harbor shelter. The parade will start at noon, following a route down Lincoln Street, ending at the Sheet’ká Ḵwáan Naa Kahídi, which is constructed on a site that once housed the Indian government school. It will include a short all-ages program and free lunch.

All are invited to participate; wearing an orange shirt is encouraged. For more information go to

First Nation people in Canada started Orange Shirt Day/Every Child Matters to call attention to the history of Native boarding schools. It is now recognized as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


Property Inspection

On SMC Updated

The City and Borough of Sitka assessing department is conducting inspections of real and personal property for taxation purposes for all properties and homes in the 1700 block of Sawmill Creek Road to the 1000 Block of Halibut Point Road between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Appraisers will be updating property records by taking pictures, measuring structures, and adjusting for any changes in the property, the city said in a press release.

Visit the Assessing Department page at for more information or contact 907-747-1822 or with questions.


Secondary Water

Plant Now Online

The City and Borough of Sitka’s secondary water treatment plant was brought online Wednesday.

Commissioning and programming will continue through November and during this timeframe, customers may notice pressure and flow fluctuations, and cloudy water.

Those who experience any of these conditions should run the cold water for a few minutes until it clears, the city said.

Call the Public Works Department with any questions at 907-747-1804.


Unitarians Meet

During Sunday’s meeting of the Sitka Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship  Rich McClear will lead a discussion concerning “Tourism in Sitka – what do Sitkans want?”

The group gathers at 10:30 a.m. for coffee, with the services beginning at 10:45. The Unitarian Fellowship Hall is located at 408 Marine Street, with parking off Spruce Street. It welcomes all genders, all faiths and any who can seek their own personal truth while respecting the faith of others who disagree, a press release from the group said.

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April 2004

Photo caption: Grace Larson holds one of the Easter breads she baked for sale at the annual Rainy Day Bazaar Saturday at Centennial Hall. Hundreds turned out for the event, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Spouses and Women’s Association.


April 1974

All youngsters from walking age on up to age 12 are invited to an Easter egg hunt Sunday. Ages 5 and under meet at the Centennial Building; ages 6-9 in front of the visitor center at Totem Park; and ages 10-12 at Totem Park. Some $150 in cash and merchandise prizes will be offered.


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