Feature Articles

A closer look at Sitka businesses, artists, events, topics and more!

In the Spotlight: SAFV – An Epic Tale

Sitkans Against Family Violence started in 1976 as a Crisis Line for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, followed in 1982 by the opening of the first SAFV Shelter on Pioneer Home grounds. The former “nurses’ quarters” could shelter up to 15 women and children.

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In the Spotlight: Sitka WhaleFest

Dr. Lauren Wild was in middle school when she first came to WhaleFest. Like many Sitka kids, she’d spent her childhood exploring tidepools and playing in the stream by her house, yet she didn’t think of herself as a scientist.

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In the Spotlight: Indigenous People’s Day

What does Indigenous People’s Day mean to you? The answers are as varied – and sometimes as surprising – as the people who gave them.

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In the Spotlight: Tongass Federal Credit Union

Rooted in the Tongass National Forest, Tongass Federal Credit Union is celebrating 60 years Southeast Strong! This year, we grew even stronger when we joined together with ALPS Federal Credit Union.

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In the Spotlight: UAS and Dual Enrollment

As a high school student, I think that dual enrollment classes through UAS are a fantastic way to get a head start on college.

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In the Spotlight: Brave Heart Bowls

On June 22nd, I sat down with Michele Friedman to talk about the July 1st event Brave Heart Bowls.

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In The Spotlight: WhaleFest & SSSC

Sitka WhaleFest brings together science education and research for a weekend-long celebration of marine life.

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Artist Profile: Olivia the dog & Fate Accompli

It’s not a very well-kept secret, or perhaps not hush-hush at all, that Olivia is the sweetest and indeed the most kenspeckle girl on Lincoln Street.

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In The Spotlight: UAS and Indigenous People

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a special day because it celebrates the histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples across the United States.

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In The Spotlight: BIHA and SCLT

Affordable housing is in short supply across the U.S., and Sitka is no exception. Luckily, local organizations – including Baranof Island Housing Authority (BIHA) and Sitka Community Land Trust (SCLT) – are stepping up to tackle this issue.

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In The Spotlight: The Sitka Food Co-op

The Sitka Food Co-op currently provides food to over 250 households and businesses — a far cry from its small-scale beginnings. The co-op seed was planted in May 2010, when founder Ann Betty began ordering organic food in bulk from outside Sitka, averaging lower prices than were available at local groceries.

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In The Spotlight: Lucy Poulson & SFAC

Lucy Poulson has been close to Sitka Fine Arts Camp her whole life. A lifelong Sitkan, she attended the camp from kindergarten through 12th grade; now, as a senior at Harvard, she’s returning to SFAC for the summer as its Development Assistant.

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In The Spotlight: Dixon Elegant

When asked how she got her distinctive name, Sitka PorchFest organizer Dixon Elegant had the first of many interesting stories to tell.

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In The Spotlight: Teal West on Shopping Local

Teal West – perhaps one of Sitka’s foremost advocates of “Shopping Local” – is a Sitkan through-and-through, having been born here in 1985 and living here ever since.

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In the Spotlight: ALPS Past, Present, Future

Sitka’s own ALPS Federal Credit Union has been in business since 1960. As president and CEO Sandi Riggs explained, ALPS was originally connected with Sitka’s pulp mill – Alaska Lumber & Pulp (ALP) – hence the name.

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In The Spotlight: Erika Apathy & BECCC

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.

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In The Spotlight: Drama, Debate & Forensics

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.

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In The Spotlight: Hohner Instruments

Sitkans who wish to sample or hear about the dulcet tones of Hohner musical instruments don’t have to go very far. Long time Sitka residents Gary Gouker and Michael Litman are both Hohner enthusiasts.

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In The Spotlight: Little Shop of Horrors

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.

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Food For Thought: Carbon Fees

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.

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