Sitka Chamber of Commerce on October 6th presented a lunchtime program featuring a presentation by the Alaska Day Festival Committee, and the 10/4 Chamber newsl...
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A Daytime Cab Company. Call (907) 738-0619. Credit Cards accepted.
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October 13, 2021 –Unified Command discusses dashboard, vaccines and mitigations Incident Commander Craig Warren reported Unified Command would continue to me...
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Current job openings include: Office Manager Electric – deadline 10/26/2021 Lineman Apprenticeship – Deadline 11/16/2021 Human Resources Director – O...
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2021 Maritime Whalefest Monthly Grind - We are looking for a few more acts for the Nov 6th Whalefest Grind – with a maritime theme. This Grind will be virt...
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Sitka Fine Arts Camp's Young Performers Theater will present a stage adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel, "A Wrinkle in Time." Join Meg Murray as sh...
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In remembrance of Indigenous Peoples Day, Displays, events & groups continue through the week/month. Wed. Oct 13 from 7-8pm at Crescent Harbor Net Shed ...
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Tuesday, October 12th at 6pm at Assembly Chambers – there will be a Regular Assembly Meeting. Selected agenda items are listed below. The Complete Agenda &am...
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The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a Mariner's First Aid & CPR/AED class in Sitka, Alaska on October 23, 2021, 8:00 AM to 2:0...
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The Sitka School Board will hold a special meeting on Friday, October 15, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. in the District Office Board Room to swear in new board member, Tod...
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The Sitka Community Land Trust will hold its next regular meeting Monday, October 18th, 6:00-8:00pm, on Zoom. The public is encouraged to attend. The SCLT is a ...
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Saturday, October 16 at 10am - Zoom meeting for all who are those interested in Local Climate Action in Sitka. Sitka Citizens Climate Lobby is seeking to sta...
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Tuesday October 19 at 7pm - Hear the new episode of Sitka Tells Tales - the much-loved local storytelling series, airing/streaming live on KCAW Raven Radio 107....
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Veterans in Sitka are hiring personal care attendants for help with daily tasks through the VOICE program. VOICE is a Veterans Directed Home and Community Ba...
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Ed. Note: For those Soup readers who follow the Crossword Puzzle, the one published on Oct. 7th was inspired (in part) by the work of Sitka nature photographer ...
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An Op-Ed from Kay Kreiss, Sitka Citizens Climate Lobby
We are in dire straits from global warming – with fires in the Pacific Northwest; Hurricane Ida hitting the Louisiana coast and then killing people in New Jersey and New York; flooding in the South and Midwest; and drought in the Southwest. All these climate-exacerbated misfortunes are already here, and most of us know someone in the Lower 48 who is affected.
In Southeast Alaska, we are affected, as well, by smaller fish, shellfish poisons and drenching rains that have resulted in landslides. But there is something we can do!
This month we have an unprecedented opportunity to get the United States to lower greenhouse gas emissions which cause the earth to warm. We need immediately to decrease the use of coal, oil and gas – the major sources of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides that constitute greenhouse gases. How? The quickest way to decrease use of fossil fuels is to make them more expensive. We can do this by having the producers of fossil fuels pay fees that begin to account for the costs of climate change, air pollution that affects our health, and the tragedies we are now experiencing due to severe weather and forest fires. These fees must increase every year. The fees collected by the government can be returned to households to spend as they desire. We will need these climate dividends to pay the increased prices for gasoline for our cars, heating oil for our homes, cement for construction, and metals in our appliances – all of which use fossil fuels.
Biden got a bipartisan infrastructure bill in Congress that will help us get electric cars, but it is not enough to meet his goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. Democrats are working on another infrastructure bill of $3.5 trillion, but even that will not cut emissions in half. To be successful in stabilizing our earth’s climate, we need a price on carbon in fossil fuels. The Senate Finance Committee is drafting a budget Reconciliation bill for a massive infrastructure package (a bill that can pass with just Democratic votes). That Committee is now considering a carbon fee (not part of the original Democratic package for climate legislation). We need to make sure the Reconciliation bill includes the carbon price, with accompanying rebate to U.S. households.
You can help make this happen! Email President Biden to say that you want a price on carbon at cclusa.org/white-house. Tell your Alaskan senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, that you want a price on carbon at cclusa.org/senate. Tell your Alaskan representative, Don Young, that you want a price on carbon at cclusa.org/house. This is our best chance to get rapid action to lower fossil fuel emissions.
A price on carbon is not enough, but it is the best first step. Do it for yourself and for the youngest generation that has to live in this increasingly tragic world. Your personal choices to help the earth are not enough. We need our whole society to act now.
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September 23rd marks the beginning of the “breakneck speed” rehearsal period for “Little Shop of Horrors” – Sitka’s first full-scale musical theater production in nearly three years. The cast and crew is comprised of both Sitkans and musical theater professionals from the San Francisco Bay area.
Sitka Fine Arts Camp organizers are going to extraordinary lengths to bring this show to Sitka while “making sure that people attending the show, the cast and crew are all safe,” says SFAC Operations Director Rhiannon Guevin. Producing a show on this scale during a time-of-Covid “definitely adds layers of complication to the process.”
This particular show has an intriguing history and is considered fun and thought-provoking. The horror comedy rock musical was written by the team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (also known for Disney’s “Little Mermaid,” for example). Based on a 1960 low-budget black-and-white (non-musical) film by Roger Corman, the stage musical combines Mencken’s music – a la rock & roll, doo-wop, and early Motown – with Ashman’s lyrics and book. Ashman also directed the earliest NYC production off-Broadway in 1982; the musical ran for five years and was made into yet another movie in 1986.
“There is a lot that is dark about Little Shop,” says San Francisco cast member Katrina McGraw, “but this is not new for Menken and Ashman, nor even for Disney.” McGraw appears in the show as one of three “urchins” – sometimes referred to as “girl singers” – who act as a kind of Greek chorus, by entertainingly conveying the play’s themes. During our conversation, McGraw punctuates her comments with little riffs of music and lyrics from the play.
McGraw explains, “I actually watched (the Corman film) before my last appearance in the musical, in 2016 at the Victoria Theater in San Francisco. The two women who played ‘the urchins’ with me are the same ones who will be singing with me in Sitka, so that’s neat. Also, the woman who voiced the plant in SF will be voicing the plant again in Sitka. This is a modern change from the antiquated Broadway tradition of casting African American (males) as the villains – a refreshing twist which creates a different, very exciting relationship with Seymour and The Plant.”
McGraw plays Crystal, and her co-urchins – Chiffon and Ronette – provide even more homage to 1960s girl groups. “For the first time ever, the three of us were nominated as a group for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ by the Bay Theater Critics Circle – and we won!! I think ‘the urchins’ represent different things: narrators, storytellers. Also, historically, girl groups were a huge part of that era, so that was kind of a smart way to include women of color. Everyone dies at the end of the musical play. My take on the ending is that it has to do with greed and is kind of a warning (Adam and Eve come to mind).”
Guevin discussed the production. “This will be our third musical show we have done on this scale: “Last Five Years” and “Songs for a New World” and this is number three. This one has a pit orchestra and full costumes. We asked ourselves, ‘What is a show that would be do-able for us (at this time, under these conditions)’ – and this seemed like a good choice – pretty small cast, but still fun for Sitka.”
The lead character of Seymour (Rick Moranis in the 1986 movie) is played by San Francisco singer and actor Sam Faustine. Guevin has known Faustine since their college days at the University of Puget Sound. He later attended the SF Conservatory of Music and has played Seymour before. “Sam is the link to the other professionals and the musical side of things,” notes Guevin. “Sitkans may remember him as Freddie Mercury in our Queen Tribute a few years ago.”
Sitkans in the production include Christian Litten as the dentist and Andrew Hames as Mushnick. Jack Peterson is building the plant “Audrey II” and doing the puppeteering. Jack’s mom Soutera is doing costumes and working backstage. And Guevin herself is playing Audrey. The “road pit orchestra” includes Sean Kana (SF Bay Area) on keyboard and music director, Alicia Jeffrey (SF Bay Area) on synth, Trevor Wiest (Minneapolis) on guitar, Drew Sherman (Sitka) on bass and Ed Littlefield (Sitka) on percussion.
“I think the main thing,” says Guevin, “is that this is going to be a fantastic show; the production quality is going to be on a par with any show you would see down south.”
Adds McGraw, “For a lot of us, it’s going to be our first time back on stage in a year and a half (or more). It is very exciting and might be emotional.”
“Little Shop of Horrors” will be presented at the Performing Arts Center at 7pm on Oct. 1 and 2, and 2pm on Oct. 3. Tickets may be purchased online at fineartscamp.org.
Says Guevin, “For anyone who is nervous about attending an in-person show, our mitigation steps include requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination at the door and universal masking at all times while in the PAC. The performers will be fully vaccinated and will have received a couple rounds of Covid testing. We are taking measures seriously to try and ensure everyone’s safety.”
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The Soupster learns of a bizarre theory.
Submitted by Lois Verbaan
“That you, Fran?” said the Soupster, squinting into the sun as a figure ran towards him.
“Yep, Soupster,” Fran replied. “Good to see you! Enjoying this amazing day?” she asked.
“Sure am!” the Soupster said, as he stood up slowly, hands on his lower back as if to pack the discs back in. “Making the most of the weather before it turns on us. Already the leaves are falling,” he lamented. “Wait, wait, though – there’s something different about you, Fran…can’t quite put my finger on it…”
“Oh, yeah” Fran said, nonchalant. “Probably the effects of my Reverse Training Program,” she declared.
“Let’s just say I’ve been extra goal-directed lately. Reverse training,” Fran said.
“So, what’s that about?” he asked.
“Well,” said Fran, “it all began a couple of weeks ago, on one of those rare blue days. So much blue that the only thing separating sea and sky was rocky islands and white surf. I was running in the 4K mountain race and didn’t even stop to admire the view. As my feet found their way up the trail, I was struck by how good I felt. And the whole race went like this. Until the end when I crossed the finish line and asked for my time.”
“And?” the Soupster prompted.
“Not good. I’d lost 15 minutes from last year,” she lamented, “which was 10 minutes slower than the one before that.”
“So that explains your false sense of awesomeness?” the Soupster chuckled.
“Eeeexactly,” Fran said. “You go slow enough, and anything can feel easy. That’s when I decided to take action and launch my Reverse Training Program. Basically, that means adjusting your training for an earlier time. Because you are training for an event that has already occurred, your expectations can be more modest,” she said, illogically.
“I see, I guess, ” the Soupster said. “Just because we can’t turn back time doesn’t mean we can’t cover our tracks — or at least tidy them up. I’ve had similar thoughts. The other day, I saw myself in the library window, looking like a tree leaning a bit too far with the wind. I went in, checked out a book on backs and decided I’ve been walking the wrong way! Who’d have thought there was so much to something we’ve been doing since age one?”
“Are you sure you haven’t just been ducking to keep the rain out of your face?”
“Maybe,” Soupster replied. “Anyway, I’m gliding now, picturing myself as a Tanzanian, maybe, carrying water on top of my head. Straight spine, shoulder blades back, chin tucked. It’s a lot to think about. I’m surprised I can get anything else done at the same time! But it helps with my vertigo, too.”
“Well, good luck with that,” said Fran.
“And, if I ever do carry a pail of water on my head, I won’t need to fill it at a well,” the Soupster said. “I’ll just walk around Our Town on a rainy day.”
“And I’ll be out there too, shaving minutes off my time in a race that I’ve already run!” Fran laughed.
“Happy reverse training!” the Soupster called out, as Fran turned and began jogging backwards down the path.
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