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SHI Announces Celebration 2022

Sealaska Heritage will hold an in-person Celebration in Juneau from June 8-11 in 2022. The trustees chose the theme Celebration 2022: Celebrating 10,000 Year...

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SHI Thru the Cultural Lens Spring image


Thru the Cultural Lens Seminars

Thru the Cultural Lens Seminar Series - Ketchikan, Hydaburg, Wrangell, Petersburg, Metlakatla. A Cultural Connectedness Project for Educators and Support Staff ...

2 total views, 2 today

Library Blind Date with a Book


Blind Date with a Book: All of February

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by going on a Blind Date with a Book! Gift-wrapped books for all ages will be on display at Sitka Public Library throughout the mon...

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Library Read w Ranger Feb image


Read with a Ranger Feb. 19th

Saturday, February 19th at 10:30am online - Read with a Ranger at the Library Winter Book Club Sitka National Historical Park and Sitka Public Library invi...

5 total views, 5 today

Monthly Grind Jan 2022 released image


January Monthly Grind released

The January “Happy New Year” Sitka Monthly Grind has been released and is now available to watch on the Sitka Monthly Grind YouTube channel here:  https://www.y...

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Quilt green purple orange 03 21SQUARE


Quilters Meet Feb. 1st

Tuesday, February 1, Ocean Wave Quilters meets at 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church (303 Kimsham St.) and via Zoom. Monthly meetings, September through J...

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AMSEA Class ImageSQUARE_Tiny


Feb. 5 Boating Safety Class in Sitka

AMSEA will offer an "Alaska Water Wise Boating Safety Class" in Sitka on Saturday, Feb. 5th from 8am to 5pm at NSRAA, 1308 Sawmill Creek Road. The cost for the ...

11 total views, 2 today

Sitka Kitch Fancy Taters image


“Fancy Taters” Class Feb. 6

Calling all potato lovers: Are you looking for inspiration and a new way to eat your favorite food? Join the Sitka Kitch as Kayla Caprice teaches you how to mak...

11 total views, 2 today

City Seal 2020BETTER


Assembly Meeting Tuesday 1/ 25/22

Tuesday, January 25th at 6pm @ Assembly Chambers, there will be a Regular Assembly Meeting. For the Complete Agenda with details, go here: https://sitka.legista...

11 total views, 2 today

Cruise Boom bear & people SQUARE Tiny


Cruise Boom (??)

Artchange is exploring what it means to prepare for the upcoming cruise ship season in 2022. Almost half a million passengers could visit Sitka. Can Sitka main...

12 total views, 3 today

Writers Retreat 01 22 22


Women Writers Retreat

Saturday, January 22 from 10:00 am- 1:00 pm. Embrace the new year with a women's generative writing salon, cold plunge and sauna sit- the perfect winter retr...

9 total views, 2 today

SJ Museum Annual Meeting image


Annual Meeting: Friends of SJ Museum

Saturday, Feb. 19 at 2pm at Harrigan Centennial Hall and via Zoom:  you are invited to the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum Annual Meeting! Featuring Guest Spe...

11 total views, 2 today

SJ Earring Making Class 01 22


Earring Making Class Jan. 22nd

Are you ready for Jessica Towns’ (Alutiiq/Sugpiaq) Earring Making Class happening Saturday, 1/22/22 at 2pm? Zoom info and materials list below! Students will...

9 total views, 1 today



Jumping Ship: Stories of Changing Course

Tuesday, February 15th from 7-8pm - a new event from Sitka Tells Tales (The local live Storytelling Series) -   "Jumping Ship:  Stories of Change of Co...

15 total views, 0 today

Island Artists Tongass Bear image


Change in Tongass & Watercolor techniques w/ Brown Bears

Friday, January 21 at  5:30pm - Join us online for a brief talk about NASA's images of change, and the role of the Tongass as a carbon forest sink, followed by ...

83 total views, 8 today

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Posts / Recent blog posts
Comments Off on Crossword – December 16, 2021

Crossword – December 16, 2021

| Crossword | December 16, 2021

Download Crossword  Crossword Solution: Download

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Comments Off on Did You Know – December 16, 2021

Did You Know – December 16, 2021

| Did You Know | December 16, 2021

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Comments Off on Whole Soup – December 16, 2021

Whole Soup – December 16, 2021

| Whole Soup | December 16, 2021

Download PDF Cover: LFS Marine Supplies

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Comments Off on Our Town – December 16, 2021

Our Town – December 16, 2021

| Books, Foreign Countries, Friends, Middle East, Our Town, Relationships | December 16, 2021

The Soupster makes (or invents?) a friend.

The Soupster thought he recognized the eyes of the mysterious woman he kept running into at different places, first at the secondhand store, then in various social/political Zoom groups.

It was at Our Town’s secondhand store where they first bonded, over a used large print copy of Elie Wiesel’s Holocaust book Night-Dawn-Day.

This time, he’d made up his mind to ask her name.

“Oh, you might not believe this,” she said, “but my name is Tirzah. I can spell if for you if you like. It’s from the Old Testament.”

“It does sound familiar,” admitted the Soupster.

“Tirzah was a town near Samaria,” said the tall woman, “you know, like in the story of The Good Samaritan? It goes back to the Bronze Age, was mentioned in the Book of Joshua, and, perhaps most famously, in The Song of Solomon.”

“That’s the – er, juicy one, right?” ventured the Soupster.

“Yes! The lover in the Song of Songs compares his beloved’s beauty to that of Tirzah. On second thought, maybe my folks were a little bit crazy to saddle me with that moniker.”

“You sure seem to know a lot about that part of the world,” said the Soupster.

“Oh, that you’ll maybe have to blame on my parents, too. Not sure if it was the load of the name or what, but 50 years into my life I decided to go to divinity school.”

“What a bizarre coincidence,” the Soupster marveled. “I just read an article about women who want to be priests and what moved them in that direction. Fascinating, really. They all had different reasons, no two were the same.”

“Well, you and I should sit down together someday – like over a cup of tea, in a safely distanced fashion,” said Tirzah. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we found we had a lot to talk about.”

“Yes!” said the Soupster. “I have been dying to talk to someone about this new book – Orwell’s Roses. Rebecca Solnit, who wrote it, was evidently trying to work out why such a serious dude seemed to get so much pleasure from planting roses. Orwell – serious – I mean, I still have nightmares about parts of 1984. He seemed to devote so much public energy to exposing social ills and political injustices. Kind of a dark guy. But then, there were the roses.”

Orwell’s Roses, hmmnnn? Not so surprising, Soupster. There’s these disparate parts to all of us,” she mused. “Not conflicting really, though they may appear so on the surface.” She paused for a moment. “Sometimes people criticize one another – foolishly, I think – for spending time and energy on things that just give us pleasure. You know, like Mary Magdalene spending the so-called ‘expensive oil’ on Jesus’ feet? Sometimes, I think, it may do us incalculable good to use the ‘expensive oil’ to get ourselves the roses we love as well as the bread we need.”

“Maybe you’re right,” said the Soupster. “In the end, don’t we all need both bread and roses!”

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Comments Off on In The Spotlight: Erika Apathy & BECCC

In The Spotlight: Erika Apathy & BECCC

| In The Spotlight | December 2, 2021

Erika Apathy

Erika Apathy has been Director of Betty Eliason Child Care Center since August of 2019. Some people might say, “What a time for her to pick!” The 28-year-old understands the challenges and rewards of providing high quality childcare. Part of the center’s success Apathy credits to Assistant Director Ellen Hughes and her decades of experience with young children.

“Right now, the biggest challenge is Covid. Currently, we are not allowing parents into the classrooms. In June of 2020, parents weren’t even allowed into the building.” Apathy tells how the Center closed completely on March 16, 2020. They then staged re-opening, one classroom at a time, beginning with the preschool room. “I met with every single parent before we re-opened and explained Covid policies. We follow the rule book as far as there is one, but we also have to do creative problem-solving. New policies all go to our Board for approval.”

The center currently has only fulltime employees. “Workers are often not interested in having that exposure for their families for just parttime work. The state requires continuing education but it’s more difficult to get those CEUs now that we can’t just go to a 2-day conference in Juneau. Although the quality of online learning can be high. I did almost my entire education online, including my Master’s in educational technology.”

Re-done infant play room

Wait lists are an old story in the world of childcare, and BECCC is no exception. “We always have a wait list, especially for infants and toddlers. Right now, we are the only facility that takes the youngest kids. Part of why we closed initially,” she explains, “was to scope out the distancing and mask requirements and how to juggle different age groups. We do not have the kids wear masks inside our buildings.”

Then, Apathy comes to her favorite topic – improvements.

“We opened our infant room in 2016-17. Then closed it for two years, with a bunch of construction and the intent to re-open it on March 16, 2020. Well, of course, that didn’t happen, not until August of 2020. I wrote several grants and there have been really cool changes. Such as new storage and running water where there was none. Ellen came up with a way of re-configuring the infant space to include a food prep area. This all makes it work better for the people we take care of.

Re-done food prep area

“Outdoors, we completely re-did our sprinkler system. We’re re-doing our playground, added concrete bike paths and plan to add a play structure. Kids love our new “mud pit.” We have spring riders like those at SJ, and we’re having a play boat built, called “Sheet’ka.” These things are meaningful to the kids. We’ve gotten new furniture with help from Sitka Tribe. We re-did our floors. Previously, we had tiles attached with asbestos glue (!!)

“Covid, though, complicates everything. I will have these great ideas, but wood is now more expensive. Expense and supply chain stuff impact projects I want to do.”

Another focus for Apathy has been BECCC’s website. “I pushed to have a good website. Having all the policies, rate sheets, etc. online was something I wanted. The woman who designed the website worked closely with me, like when we changed our hours.

“Oftentimes folks ask about making donations, wondering if they can give books. But now, what I am really looking for is volunteers to help build sheds for bikes and take old stuff to the dump. Help in the spring moving and assembling playground equipment. I am proud of all our projects, but especially of bringing them all together to raise the quality of care. To improve the building to make it look like someone cares. And to make it functional for now and on into the future.”

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Comments Off on Crossword – December 2, 2021

Crossword – December 2, 2021

| Crossword | December 2, 2021

Download Crossword  Crossword Solution: Download

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Comments Off on Did You Know – December 2, 2021

Did You Know – December 2, 2021

| Did You Know | December 2, 2021

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Comments Off on Whole Soup – December 2, 2021

Whole Soup – December 2, 2021

| Whole Soup | December 2, 2021

Download PDF Cover: Sitka True Value

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Comments Off on Our Town – November 18, 2021

Our Town – November 18, 2021

| Fishing, Nan Metashvili, Our Town | November 18, 2021

The Soupster looks through a spyglass.

Submitted by Nan Metashvili

Three old friends stood leaning against the Mariner’s Wall, looking over the harbour and all the tied-up vessels, companionably  shooting the breeze.  They were watching the clouds, the boats at their moorings, and chuckling at the antics of the seagulls. Just passing the time.

“Whoah! Look at that aim,” exclaimed Old Johnnie, as a gull deftly aimed his poop right down on the freshly swabbed deck of a tidy little sailboat.

“Harrarr! That one splatted on the entire deck!”

The Soupster, not exactly lurking, but also not taking part, wondered if they were always this childish.

Then their conversation veered into more sombre waters.

“I could do with a tequila, or a playa right now,” remarked Bozo Slim. He was apparently still caught up in the spell of Dia de Los Muertos, just celebrated a few weeks before. His lost wife was on his mind. So, these thoughts and hangin’ out by the Mariner’s Wall, readin’ the bricks – yeah, that sometimes got a fellow to remembering.

        For fishers who never came home.

Pickled Pete would have staunchly denied there was such a thing as a tear in his eye. He was just…remembering. Those who didn’t make it, and the time he almost didn’t.

        For Our Men Lost.

And spaghetti too? Chuckled ole Bozo, “Remember that time my boat went down, no warning at all?? I was just in the wheelhouse, cookin’ up some dinner and trying to rest from a hard day’s fishing – then we caught the big wave, the rogue wave, and that was it. I made it into my survival suit, hit the epirb button and leapt for the life raft. And as my old friend disappeared under the waves, I could just spy, as she went down, my pot of spaghetti simmering on the stove, no doubt still bubbling and smelling of oregano and garlic.

“Well, we’re still here” the men sighed, but they did feel a pang of loss for some good food gone down to a cold and dreadful fate.

        Safe Home. Raven Radio.

“Yup, we’re all here safe and thankful – ooh, look at that! Pretty close and danged disrespectful, that gull has no couth at all, I tell ya. He got his ole seagull poop right on Robert W.’s brick! Bob would not appreciate that, no-siree-Bob! Chuckles, all around.

Retired, no more fishing, no more seafood processing, gutting, catching, cleaning the gear, maintaining the boat. Just hang out and remember the good old days. Ah, remember her?

          Rocked the slime line.

Good one. Then they all fell silent. Hearts were heavy. Thanksgiving was coming, and whether or not you feasted, ate sparingly of a vegan feast at your daughter-in-law’s home, or sat alone, missing the ones you missed, they all knew they were pretty lucky.

          Celia S. Sailed the seas to freedom.

And as one, the three friends raised their imaginary glasses of margaritas to all the brave souls who venture across oceans seeking freedom.

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Comments Off on Whole Soup – November 18, 2021

Whole Soup – November 18, 2021

| Whole Soup | November 18, 2021

Download PDF Cover: LFS Marine

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Comments Off on Did You Know – November 18, 2021

Did You Know – November 18, 2021

| Did You Know | November 18, 2021

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Comments Off on Crossword – November 18, 2021

Crossword – November 18, 2021

| Crossword | November 18, 2021

Download Crossword  Crossword Solution: Download

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Comments Off on In The Spotlight: Drama, Debate & Forensics

In The Spotlight: Drama, Debate & Forensics

| In The Spotlight | November 4, 2021

2021-22 marks the sixth year Christian Litten has coached Drama, Debate and Forensics (DDF) at Sitka High. “It’s one of the most rewarding experiences I could ever imagine,” and not unlike coaching a sports team.

One of two coaches, Litten is in charge of the drama piece and overall logistics. The other coach is Amy Ainslie, who handles the forensics side of things.

Litten himself participated in DDF in 2000-03. “Back then, SHS had classes in drama and debate, which served as feeder sources for the competitive teams.” The classes ended when that teacher left. Ainslie, says Litten, is a skilled forensics coach, having trained at University of Alaska, Anchorage, a top U.S. debate school. Only in Alaska and one other state are drama and debate bundled into the same tournaments – this set-up works in a state with longer distances and a smaller pool of students.

Southeast DDF has 12 events. Under “Acting” are Solo and Duet Acting, Readers’ Theater and Pantomime. “Forensics” includes Humorous and Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interp (two people), Informative Speaking, Original Oratory (persuasive speaking), Extemporaneous Commentary and Extemporaneous Speaking. The two extemps have subtle differences. “Commentary” typically deals with shorter, lighter topics, while “Speaking” may address domestic or foreign issues, and students have just 20-30 minutes to prepare after drawing a topic.

“Public Forum Debate” is perhaps what we think of when we picture a high school debate. Two-person teams debate topics “that are accessible to the layman. These are meant to be done in front of the public, making it easier to find community judges.” PFD teams get new topics every month (unlike Policy Debate students who study one topic for the whole year). “You do not know which side you’re going to be on. Each tournament has six debates, and you have to prep for both pro and con positions, so you really have to know all sides of your topic.”

Last year, because of Covid the entire DDF program operated virtually. “Covid was very difficult. All of a sudden there’s no more ‘public speaking.’ A year of doing everything virtually. Different rules, such as ‘To make good eye contact, look directly into the camera.’ We were lucky, though. At least we got to have a season, even if bizarre one. This year we’re returning to live tournaments. Coming back has been a little struggle, but infinitely better.”

Upcoming tournaments include one in Juneau mid-November, one in Ketchikan mid-December, and a regional tournament hosted by SHS at the end of January. Finally, there’s the State Tournament in Anchorage the third week in February. The whole season has masking (except during actual debates), distancing and weekly testing. Coach Litten holds practices Tuesdays and Thursdays after school. Both he and Ainslie also put in a lot of personal time, finding and curating scripts.

“I never thought it would be something I’d even be allowed to do, but it’s a very fulfilling way of giving back to the community. I tell students, ‘You’re going to use these skills for the rest of your life.’ Every kid at the high school – there is something they can get out of DDF.”

“It was easily the most important activity I did as a student as far as shaping how I communicate, how I interact with people to this day.”

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Comments Off on Did You Know – November 4, 2021

Did You Know – November 4, 2021

| Did You Know | November 4, 2021

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Comments Off on Whole Soup – November 4, 2021

Whole Soup – November 4, 2021

| Whole Soup | November 4, 2021

Download PDF Cover: Sitka WhaleFest

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