TRANSFER STATION at 205 Jarvis St. will be open during Spring Cleanup: Sat. 7/18 through Sun. 7/26 – Every day from 8am to 4pm. Residential property owners are ...
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City of Sitka posts chart with current job openings & application deadlines. Go HERE (that is, http://www.cityofsitka.com/government/departments/hr/Jobs....
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Sitka School District’s REACH Homeschool/Correspondence program is accepting enrollment for Fall 2020-2021. For more information, or to enroll, go HERE REACH...
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SE Sustainable Partnership published a June 15th story by Lione Clare, about Sitka's very own CSF - Alaskans Own: This week, the Alaskans Own Community Support...
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1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, through August 19, from 7 - 8 p.m. on Zoom. This is a series hosted by UAF Cooperative Extension Service staff Jasmine S...
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Thursday, June 30th at 6pm in Assembly Chambers, there will be a Special Assembly Meeting, with New Business to include: A 20-135 Appoint an Assembly Member to...
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Applications for the CARES Act-funded Utility & Moorage Relief programs are now available. You can find them online at www.cityofsitka.org. In order to m...
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The Sitka School District will be holding Listening Sessions for Staff & for the Public at the Centennial Building on Wed. July 1 & Thurs. July 2. ...
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The Sitka Sound Science Center has several Guided Tidepool Walks happening in July. Join us for a morning of fun tide pool exploration. We will meet in front...
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Sitka Jazz Workshop Online - July 12-17, 2020 - 9:30am-4:30pm AKST $400.00 July 12 – 17, 2020 9:30am-4:30pm AKST Ages 15 and up Daily Schedule available o...
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Thank you to everybody who helped us test our new procedures for the Sitka Farmers Market on Saturday, June 20. There is no market this weekend (June 27), but w...
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Beak Restaurant is open for take-out meals Thursday through Saturday, from 5-8pm, and Sundays for Donuts & Brunch from 10am-2pm. To order, call 966-2326, or...
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For Sitka Conservation Society takes on Community Resiliency, Covid-19 Mutual Aid, the Roadless Rule, Salmon Forest & other topics, including a personal sha...
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Virtual Open Mic is still operating on Facebook and You Tube. Ted Howard initiated this idea and it has definitely grown. There are approximately 150 videos on ...
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4th of July Schedule from Chamber of Commerce - find it HERE Wed. 7/1 at 11am - Filipino food vendors in back lot of Sizzling Chow Cuisine. Open until 8pm. C...
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The Soupster channels – well, not Independence Day, but maybe Bastille Day?
Originally published June 26, 2003
Before the strolling Soupster even reached the bend in the road, he heard three things: the treble- triples and quads of bald eagles, the more purposeful caws of ravens and the baritone of his neighbor, Jean-Pierre, spouting loud, angry French.
After retiring from a bicycle manufacturer in Paris, Jean-Pierre had built a sailboat and headed out to sea. Six years later, with a wife he’d met in Phnom Penh and a son born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Jean-Pierre came ashore in Our Town and declared it “Ze Heaven On Zis Earth!” The son was married himself now and living Outside. The wife had moved back to Cambodia to be with her family. But to Jean-Pierre, Our Town was still “Heaven on Zis Earth.”
Well, maybe not today.
Today, Jean-Pierre was in a furious competition with some ravens to return the contents of his trash can to their rightful place before the birds could pull the items out again.
In the hemlocks surrounding Jean-Pierre’s trash-strewn driveway, bald eagles watched the action from a dignified distance. Not so the ravens, one of which swooped low enough to knock Jean-Pierre’s cap off. Then the bird glided smoothly to the rim of the can, cackled happily and grabbed a piece of melon peel.
“Yo, Jean-Pierre,” the Soupster called. “You can’t win a battle against those odds. Let me help you.”
The Soupster tipped the scales some in Jean-Pierre’s favor. The ravens may have given the Soupster slack because he truly loved ravens. Or because he was not French. Whatever, they flew back up into the hemlocks and started harassing the eagles.
“What got this stuff all over, Jean-Pierre?” the Soupster asked.
“I zink it was ze bear, mon Zoupster,” said Jean-Pierre. “It may have been ze land otter, but I don’t zink zo. I zink it was ze bear.”
“Did you keep your trash in your garage until pickup day?” asked the Soupster.
“Oui! Yes!” said Jean-Pierre. “Always!”
“Did you put any fish or meat in the can that might have smelled strong and attracted the bear?”
“Sacre bleu!” Jean-Pierre said. “My freezer needed repair. I thought for just a little while it would be all right. You are right, Zoupster. It was ze fish!”
“Not such a ‘heaven on earth’ if you have to watch your garbage so closely, eh, Jean-Pierre?” the Soupster teased.
“Au contraire, Zoupster!” Jean-Pierre said. “Zis is nature. In nature, zere is always zometing to leverage ze mistake of any creature. Nature, she is very efficient, no?”
“Yes,” the Soupster said.
“And Zoupster,” Jean-Pierre concluded, as the two men hoisted upright the now-filled can. “We are zo lucky to live right with nature. With nature right on our doorstep. In our driveway. C’est magnifique, no?”
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The Soupster gets to hear a nine-year-old’s point of view.
The Soupster was talking on the phone with an old acquaintance of his, who had worked at the City Offices for many years. It was the weekend, and they were chatting just before their respective supper deliveries arrived. His friend Sharon & her granddaughter, who lived with her, were getting pizza, and the Soupster was getting sushi.
Suddenly, Sharon said, “Oh, oh, there’s the doorbell – I have to answer it. Zeylinn, please come and talk to the Soupster while I go answer the door. That’s a big help!”
Soupster: Hi, Zeylinn! Thanks for talking to me. I have known your grandma for many years. She was just telling me about how you have been attending school remotely.
Zeylinn: Yeah, I just finished last week. Whew, it was hard sometimes.
Soupster: So, you are nine, and you just finished – what – third grade? Who was your teacher?
Zeylinn: His name is Mr. Burrows and he’s really nice. It’s not his fault – the remote school is just difficult. Sometimes it is hard to get online for the morning meeting. And hard to stay online.
Soupster: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Zeylinn: I usually like school and really like reading, but the online reading we had to do was hard, because a lot of the time the questions didn’t make sense. They didn’t match up to what we were reading about, and the answers weren’t in the reading.
Soupster: I get that – when I was in Middle School, we had some assigned reading which was kind of boring and the questions didn’t make much sense, either. Normally, what’s your favorite part of school?
Zeylinn: Music and Library. I like all kinds of music and I play guitar and keyboard.
Soupster: Oh, that’s cool. I’ll bet you miss Library, but you still get to pick out books and read, though?
Zeylinn: Oh, yeah, we just had a Book Fair on the last day before Spring Break, and I got three books – well, comics, actually – I am really getting into comics. Two of them are Babysitter’s Club and the other one is called “Guts.” But they’re all by the same person – here, I’ll read you her name, “R – a – I – n – a. T- e – l – g – e – e – m – e – I – e – r. Raina Telgemeier.”
Soupster: Oh, it’s funny – I have heard about her. She tells stories and draws pictures from her own life. She lives in San Francisco. I guess they have to stay home there as much, or even more, than we do in Our Town. Yup, it’s been hard, sometimes. What are you planning for this summer?
Zeylinn: Well, sleeping in for one thing. And then, we’re probably going to get a pool and go to the beach. Oh, and I really LOVE art – I do lots of pictures with watercolors and pastels. Well, there’s my grandma, I better go help her with the pizza – nice talking to you, Soupster!
Soupster: You, too, Zeylinn. My sushi just got here. Say bye to your grandma for me?!
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The Soupster remembers when he could sit down over coffee with a friend and discuss the wisdom of dogs.
Originally published June 19, 2008, Submitted by Kathy Ingallinera
I turned the corner and reined in my dog, Solly, on her 16-foot retractable leash. Up ahead I could see a woman walking with her dog and I didn’t want Solly too far away and out of control. “Oh, it’s Cody. You know Cody,” I said to my four-legged companion as she pulled on the leash and strained to get closer to the other dog.
“Hi, how are you?” I said in passing to the woman.
I heard her speaking to her dog as I walked by. “That’s Solly. You’ve met Solly before.” She guided the older collie, as she waved at me and shouted, “Have a good day.”
“You too. Come on, Solly, I have to get to work.” We headed back towards home.
“Here comes Bach!” I looked at Solly but it was obvious that she had seen Bach before I did. Her eyes brightened and she yanked at the leash, looking back at me to tell me to hurry up.
As Bach and his person got closer, Solly and I crossed the street so the dogs could interact. “Hi Bach, how are you?” I bent over and scratched the old black lab on his head and offered him a treat.
Bach’s owner bent over, patting his thigh, calling softly to my dog. “Come here, Solly.” When both dogs were done sniffing, we went our separate ways calling, “Have a good day,” to each other.
We ran into several other dogs and their humans on the walk. I called dogs by their names and exchanged pleasantries with their owners.
After work I stopped by a café strategically located behind a local bookstore. I pulled a chair up to a round table to engage the Soupster in some repartee.
“Good afternoon Soupster. I’m doing a survey. Do you have a dog?” He nodded yes.
“Do you walk your dog?” I asked.
“And do you run into others walking their dogs?” I continued.
“Yes, again. Am I going to win a prize?”
“No. Do you know the names of the dogs you run into?”
“Usually. What are you getting at?”
“One more query. Do you know the names of their owners?”
“No – not unless they’re neighbors…”
“Aha! I am NOT the only one. I realized today I know the names of the dogs in my wide neighborhood, but not the names of the owners. Why do you suppose that is?” I reached over and swiped the rest of his treat.
“I don’t know, but now I have to buy another raspberry bar,” he mumbled as he headed back to the counter.
I followed him. “I am going to introduce myself to my dog’s dog-friends’ people when I meet them from now on. Well, maybe on the second meeting. Don’t want to rush things. Hey, Soupster, thanks. This one’s on me,”
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The Soupster and his friend appreciate junk.
Submitted by Rachel Ramsey
As a rule, the Soupster didn’t make a point of answering the phone before 11am, unless he happened to be awake and feel so inclined. When his land line rang shortly after 9 he caught it on the third ring. His pal Brandy’s husky voice greeted him from the other end.
“Good morning – you’re up?” Brandy chuckled. Her voice resonated with jittery excitement. The Soupster tried to respond, only to be cut off.
“As one Our Towner who lives sans social media to another, I had let you know that piles of ‘FREE Take Me’ stuff are popping up all over town.”
The Soupster cleared his throat and replied, “Finally, we’ve returned to the tried and true, rudimentary small-town way of Help-Yourself-Odds-&-Ends piles. I’m in, Brandy, and ready in 20.”
Her van was a hybrid of sorts, though not an electric kind. It had, over the decades, been reconstructed and refurbished piece by piece from salvaged parts of other vehicles, from doors to bumpers and beyond. Brandy fiercely maintained it was an ever-changing functional work of art.
“Better hop in back,” Brandy piped out the window. “Gotta mind our distancing.”
Humming Johnny Cash’s One Piece At a Time, the Soupster hopped into the van, careful not to slam the door too hard. His homemade mask boasted a blue and yellow pattern of Snoopy’s Fonz-insipred alter ego.
“I knew you were good for it!” Brandy laughed through her violet mask. “And thanks for remembering the door. She’s fragile.”
“So what stuff have you seen?” the Soupster inquired, his curiosity bubbling.
“Ribbed PVC hose, an old wooden birdhouse, bedding,” she began. “Awkward, funky-looking metal cabinets. Oh, and sawdust! All sorts of stuff, though I haven’t even begun – I wanted to partner up first,” she explained.
The Soupster said, “Well, ‘one’s man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ and I’m sure folks think thrice about what they pitch in the garbage, and what they put out for the taking.”
“I’d expect so – sometimes the junk you find is just the junk you’re looking for,” Brandy agreed.
“Maybe some of this oddball junk could be used for a project. Kids could make art or science projects with only the materials found roadside,” the Soupster mused.
“Like the cooking shows where they work magic with only the ingredients provided – yes, that’s a fine idea, Soupster, but why only kids? Adults need creative projects too.”
They pulled over near a church, where a family’s mound of garage sale storage boxes had been neatly set up. The pile yielded a Snoopy snow globe for Brandy and a brown and green, seemingly hole-less tarp for the Soupster.
“It’s a good sign.” she giggled, shaking the globe and directing her eyes at the glitter-swirled Snoopy. “Now, how about that project idea?”
“I’m sold. Let’s snag that birdhouse you mentioned and add a disco waterslide!” the Soupster chuckled. “What better way to keep Our Town’s perfectly usable junk out of a landfill?”
“Now, that is creative thinking,” Brandy concurred.
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