News briefs: SOFA silent auction and SHI language summit are upcoming, potato harvest was rescheduled and Color Wheel Arts closes

Moe, is a dog currently available for adoption from Southeast Alaska Organization for Animals. SOFA will hold its fifth annual silent auction Saturday, Nov. 3. (Courtesy Photo | SOFA)

Moe, is a dog currently available for adoption from Southeast Alaska Organization for Animals. SOFA will hold its fifth annual silent auction Saturday, Nov. 3. (Courtesy Photo | SOFA)

SOFA to hold silent auction

Southeast Alaska Organization for Animals will hold its fifth annual Silent Auction 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School, 1600 Renninger St.

This year’s theme is Welcome to Outer Space and tickets cost $15 ahead of time online or $20 at the door. They can be purchased at

SOFA President Briana Brint said auction items include gift certificates from Icy Straight Point, Perseverance Theatre tickets, a gift basket from Harbor Tea & Spice, a basket from Dandy Dog Daycare, art and other handmade items.

Proceeds will go toward future medical costs of rescues and SOFA’s spay assist program.

The Dawg House will donate food for the event, and there will be live music during the evening.

Sitka potato harvest rescheduled

SITKA — Due to harsh weather conditions, the harvesting of the Tlingit community potato garden by the Forest Service and Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and presentation scientific and cultural information about the unique crop, was rescheduled for Oct. 24.

Participants from the community received information on how to grow Tlingit potatoes; as well as their biology, history, and cultural aspects. The potato garden was started in 2017, partially, to support food security in Sitka.

“We’re excited about this year’s harvest because of the size and vigor of the potato plants. The plants are more than three times the size of last year’s, so we are hopeful that we’ll have a good harvest,” said Sitka District Ranger Perry Edwards in a press release. “We also look forward to learning more about the genetic make-up of our harvest from the scientists who have studied them.”

The Sitka Ranger District provides the sunny plot of land for the shared potato garden and tends the garden over the summer. Volunteers from the Sitka Tribe’s Traditional Foods Program, the gardening class from Pacific High School, and others from the community plant the potatoes in April.

SHI readies for Voices of Our Ancestors Summit

Sealaska Heritage Institute will hold a regional Alaska Native language summit for the remaining speakers of ingít (Tlingit), Xaad Kíl (Haida) and Sm’algyax (Tsimshian) living in Southeast Alaska and among the Interior Tlingit who share clan membership with the coastal Tlingit. The three-day summit, Voices of Our Ancestors, is scheduled Nov. 13-15 in Juneau.

SHI mailed applications and travel forms to fluent speakers who may wish to participate in the summit. SHI will cover the cost of travel and lodging. The completed forms are due Oct. 25. Fluent speakers who have not received an application and tavel form can contact Ralphenia Dybdahl at or (907)586-9224.

Color Wheel closes

Color Wheel Arts is closed for good.

Sherri McDonald officially announced the Douglas business’ closure in an email.

In the email, McDonald stated the decision was made in June, but an official email announcing the closing was postponed until recently.

“Last May 2018, I realized that I had been working 6 and 7 days a week since August 2017, with only a short break for a trip to Minnesota,” McDonald sated. “I had a full-time job at REACH and was operating CWA on the weekends and evenings. At first that seemed OK, it was tons of fun. But then, I was beginning to feel isolated and disconnected from my friends and family. In June, I took a break from CWA and was revived. It was then I decided to close. I had many successes and learning experiences through Color Wheel Arts and will apply them to whatever it next. I like to tell people, ‘It was not my last hurrah, only my first.’”

McDonald is currently the interim director at Canvas Community Art Studio and hopes to offer similar arts opportunities through Canvas.

“We, The Canvas team, are currently putting together the winter class schedule and hope to offer similarly dynamic classes as the Color Wheel offered but more; like Ceramics, Mosaics, Oil Painting, Life Drawing and kids’ classes,” McDonald stated.

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