SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 10

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The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 (note time change from usual schedule). Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead of the Cross Trail.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Steve Hutchinson at 747-6859 or email her at shutchinson@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• SAIL events calendar for November 2016

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Sitka Community Hospital launches ‘Be Bright At Night 2.0’ walking and biking visibility campaign

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Sharon Bergman of the Rotary Club of Sitka presents a check to Sitka Community Hospital CEO Rob Allen to purchase high-visibility reflective jackets that will be raffled off at various locations around Sitka.

Be Bright Poster 2016 [logo at bottom lowres]Getting around Sitka on foot or on bike is good for your health, and it’s good for the environment too. However it’s important that these activities be done safely.

Pedestrians — including people who travel by foot, wheelchair, stroller, or similar means — and cyclists are among the most vulnerable users of the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the next 24 hours, on average, 445 people in the U.S. will be treated in an emergency department for traffic-related pedestrian injuries. In 2012 alone 76,000 people were injured.

That’s why the Sitka Community Hospital, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Sitka, is launching the “Be Bright At Night 2.0” walking and biking visibility campaign.

Sitka can be dark especially in winter, and many of the bicycle and pedestrian fatalities happen in low visibility. Drivers can only stop or swerve for the people they see so having lights, reflectors and high visibility coats provides a great  protective factor.

Thanks to funds from the Rotary Club of Sitka, the Sitka Community Hospital will be raffling off high visibility coats at various locations throughout Sitka:

  • The Sitka Public Health Center at 210 Moller Drive,
  • Tongass Threads,
  • The White Elephant thrift shop (White E),
  • The Sitka Public Library,
  • The Hames Athletic and Wellness Center,
  • Swan Lake Senior Center,
  • The Salvation Army Little Store,
  • Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School,
  • KIFW-AM radio,
  • Blatchley Middle School,
  • Sitka Community Hospital, and
  • On the Sitka Chatters group on Facebook.

Having a coat that covers your whole upper body and can be seen from all sides is one way to be visible and stay seen as you walk the family dog, bike home from work or go for a stroll anywhere near cars. The upgraded Gage high-visibility rain coats, which were purchased at a discounted price from Murray Pacific, have reflective strips built into the jackets.

For more information on the “Be Bright at Night” campaign, contact Sitka Community Hospital Director of Health Promotion Doug Osborne at 747-0373.

Sitka Trail Works to host annual meeting and potluck dinner on Monday, Oct. 24

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Sitka Trail Works will hold its annual meeting and potluck dinner from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, at the Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Members and trail enthusiasts are invited to the meeting and asked to bring a main dish, side dish, or dessert to share. Sitka Trail Works will supply beverages, paper plates, etc. Join us for an evening of fun and friendship.

Meeting highlights include a review of this year’s accomplishments, the election of one new board member, ceremonial matters, and a presentation by Matt Goff on the Natural History of Southeast Alaska.

For further information, please call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.

History walk on Oct. 15 honors 50th anniversary of National Historic Preservation Act

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poster-whitmore-open-houseHelp celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act by taking part in an informal self-guided history walk around Sitka on Saturday, Oct. 15. Participants will receive a special commemorative lapel pin honoring the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Meet from 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Whitmore Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus (it’s the newly renovated building to the right of Allen Hall as you look at the campus from Lincoln Street) to get a copy of a map showing all of the National Historic Landmarks in Sitka, along with several other historic properties. By the way, did you know Sitka has as many National Historic Landmarks in town as there are in the entire state of Nevada (eight of Alaska’s 49 National Historic Landmarks are in Sitka)?

There also will be an open house and reception from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 15 at Whitmore Hall with coffee and cookies, information about the preservation work, and historic photos, blueprints, and possibly artifacts.

poster-james-talkIn addition, from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Del Shirley Room (upstairs in Allen Hall), James Poulson will give a presentation on “World of Magic and Miracles – the Architecture of Ludlow and Peabody.” Ludlow and Peabody was the nationally prominent firm that designed the Sheldon Jackson School campus in 1911. Learn about these men and their circle, and how these unusual buildings were once on the cutting edge of American arts and culture.

For more information about these events, go to the Historic Preservation Sitka website at https://historicpreservationsitka.wordpress.com/.

SEARHC to host breast cancer awareness month fundraiser walk for Sitka Cancer Survivors Society

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The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) will host a breast cancer awareness month fundraiser walk this weekend for the Sitka Cancer Survivors Society.

Walkers should meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the O’Connell Bridge lightering dock, and the walk will start at 9:30 a.m. Walkers will follow Harbor Drive and the Sitka Sea Walk to the tennis courts and back to the lightering dock, a distance of about one mile.

The walk costs $10 per person, and t-shirts are available for the first 60 people to register. All proceeds benefit the Sitka Cancer Survivors Society, which will use funds to help local cancer survivors deal with expenses..

Tenth annual Sitka Health Summit to take place Friday, Oct. 21, at UAS Sitka Campus

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newsitkahealthsummitlogoDo you have any good community wellness ideas for Sitka? It’s time 10th annual Sitka Health Summit planning day, which takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, in Room 229 at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus.

The Sitka Health Summit got its start in 2007 when then-Sitka Community Hospital CEO Moe Chaudry and then-SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Vice President of Hospital Services Frank Sutton decided they needed to bridge the gaps between Sitka’s largest two health services. They launched the Sitka Health Summit, with the help of other supporters in Sitka, as a way to improve community wellness, honor local wellness champions, and more.

One of the highlights of the Sitka Health Summit has been the annual community wellness planning day. During planning day, Sitka residents get together to discuss the health needs of the community and create community wellness projects to address these needs.

Over the years there have been a variety of Sitka Health Summit projects — create a local market for local fish and produce, build a Sitka community greenhouse, become a Bicycle Friendly Community, become a Walk Friendly Community, encourage more kids and families to get outdoors for recreation, support a community health and wellness center (Hames), plant fruit trees around town, get more local fish into school lunches, build a Choose Respect mural, Revitalize Sitka, the Sick-a-Waste compost project, the Sitka Community Food AssessmentPark PrescriptionsTogether for a Meth-Free Sitka, the Sitka Kitch (a project to create a community rental kitchen and improve Sitka’s emergency food storage capacity), Celebrate Katlian Street: A Vibrant Community, and the Southeast Youth Resource Guide.

The 2015 Sitka Health Summit projects were to develop an American Disabilities Act-compliant Sitka Community Playground near Crescent Harbor, build a community garden plot behind the Island Institute (this started off as a project to build a community greenhouse on top of the Sitka cold storage plant, but it morphed into a different project), and to create a way to honor and support the well-being of elders in Sitka.

This year, Sitka residents are invited to submit community wellness project ideas before the Sitka Health Summit. They can do this by going to the Sitka Health Summit website, http://www.sitkahealthsummit.org/, and clicking on the Submit Ideas link at the top of the gateway page (link opens a short SurveyMonkey survey). You also can submit ideas to Doug Osborne at 747-0373 or dosborne@sitkahospital.org. The top two projects this year will receive $2,000 in seed money to get the projects started.

To register for the Sitka Heath Summit planning day, call Zachary Desmond at 747-4600 or email him at zachary@braveheartvolunteers.org. In your email, please include your name, email address, phone number, organization (you can list self if you’re not representing an organization), and any food restrictions. A free lunch with locally sourced seafood (in honor of the Fish To Schools project from 2010) will be provided.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 6

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The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 (note time change from usual schedule). Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead for the Beaver Lake Trail.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Steve Hutchinson at 747-6859 or email her at shutchinson@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• SAIL events calendar for October 2016