UAF Cooperative Extension Service offices in Sitka, Anchorage to remain open

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The announcement that the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will keep its Sitka and Anchorage offices open, means Jasmine Shaw, right, will continue to staff the Sitka office instead of the office being closed.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will keep its offices in Sitka and Anchorage open instead of closing them under a new plan developed by Extension leaders this summer.

The plan means the Anchorage office will move to a new location and become an outreach center rather than a district office. Outreach centers have no Extension agents, but offer Extension publications and face-to-face and distance-delivered programs led by agents from other district offices. Classes also will be taught by program staff and by community experts. Services at the Sitka office will be relatively unchanged, but operations will be mostly grant funded.

In May, the university announced a plan to close both the Anchorage and Sitka offices by the end of October due to budget shortfalls. This summer, office and classroom space with another university program became available and Extension received some additional grant funding. Those changes allowed the university to re-examine the decision to close the offices.

“We knew that the closure of these two offices would be a loss to the Sitka and Anchorage communities,” said Extension director Fred Schlutt. “We are pleased that these new developments will allow us to have a physical presence in these communities.”

The Anchorage office will move to the Chugachmiut Tribal Consortium Building at 1840 Bragaw St. It will share space with the Mining and Petroleum Training Service, a former UA statewide program that was transferred to Extension in July. The new office will have classroom space and use of the university’s videoconference network. It will house grant-funded faculty and staff with a specific focus, including, an invasive plants instructor, integrated pest management technician and a nutrition educator. Extension is planning to seek additional funding for a program assistant to coordinate Extension offerings in the area.

As was previously planned, the three Anchorage Extension agents have been transferred to vacant positions at the Fairbanks and Soldotna offices. The Extension economist will also move to a new office at the Matanuska Experiment Farm.

The Sitka office, which has not had an agent for two years, will continue to have a program assistant (currently Jasmine Shaw), who will coordinate Extension activities in the community and offer programming. The Sitka office helps coordinate statewide videoconference training in Sitka, assists the Sitka Conservation Society in coordinating the Sitka Spruce Tips-Alaska Way of Life 4-H Club, helps with education programming at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, and provides other services, such as pressure canner gauge testing.

Schlutt told the Alaska Dispatch News that between grants and having the University of Alaska Southeast providing office space, costs for the Sitka office are less than $5,000 a year in state general funds. “If we can keep a rural office open for under $5,000, we’ll do it every time,” he said.

Other Extension reductions have included layoffs, the elimination of four open agents’ positions and a 15 percent reduction to its operating budget.

• UAF Cooperative Extension Service FAQ’s about keeping Anchorage, Sitka offices open

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Second Annual Food Security Awareness Week includes free showing of ‘Just Eat It’ movie

Food Security Week Flyer(FINAL)

11x17-Just-EatIt-posterThe Second Annual Food Security Awareness Week is March 21-25, and Sitka is joining other Alaska communities to provide a free showing of the movie, “Just Eat It,” that week to discuss the need to reduce food waste in Alaska.

The movie will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine Street, parking off Spruce Street). The Sitka Local Foods Network is coordinating the showing of the movie in Sitka. The movie also is being shown in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau during the week.

In Alaska, roughly one in seven people (105,000 people) live in food insecure households. About one in six people in Sitka (1,500 of 9,000) are on food assistance programs, such as SNAP (food stamps) or WIC. The Food Bank of Alaska is able to recover and distribute about 5 million pounds of food that might otherwise be wasted each year, but the need is growing and that isn’t enough food to take care of Alaska’s hungry. Even food that’s gone bad can be recycled into compost for school gardens.

Statewide, the Second Annual Food Security Awareness Week is sponsored by Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) and Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) in support of HCR 18, sponsored by Rep. Tarr, which will encourages schools and businesses to reduce, recover and recycle food waste in Alaska. In addition, Rep. Tarr, Rep. Kawasaki, and Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) co-sponsored HB 92, requiring labeling of genetically modified food (including salmon).

A trailer for the movie is posted below.

• HCR 18 regarding the reduction of food waste in Alaska

• HB 92 regarding labeling of genetically modified food (including salmon) in Alaska

• Alaskans Own community-supported fisheries program announces 2016 season subscription prices

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Sitka-based Alaskans Own seafood recently announced its subscription prices for its 2016 community-supported fisheries (CSF) program in Sitka, Juneau, and Anchorage.

Alaskans Own was the first CSF program in the state, modeling its program after the successful community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs that let customers deal directly with harvesters so they can buy subscription shares to the year’s crop/catch. In addition to the CSF program, Alaskans Own usually has a table at the Sitka Farmers Markets during the summer (and plans to have a larger presence at the market this summer).

AO flier no tagsThis is the seventh year of the Alaskans Own CSF program, and there are four-month and six-month subscriptions available starting in May. The six-month subscriptions allow people to keep receiving freshly caught seafood through October instead of August, when the traditional four-month subscriptions end. Half-subscriptions also are available. Subscriptions include a mix of locally troll-caught black cod (sablefish), halibut, king salmon, coho salmon, lingcod and miscellaneous rockfish, depending on the commercial fishing season and prices.

AO logo-01 (2)“We’re so excited to be going into another year of connecting more Alaskans with the best fish out there,” said Anya Grenier, Alaskans Own seafood coordinator. “So little of the incredible bounty of our waters stays in state, or even in the U.S. We want to change that dynamic, and we think the place to start is investing in our fishermen and our community.”

This year’s price for a six-month full subscription (about 60 pounds, or 10 pounds a month) in Sitka is $825 (does not include sales tax) and $435 for a half subscription (about 30 pounds). The price for a four-month full subscription (about 40 pounds) is $565 and $300 for a half subscription (about 20 pounds). Sitka residents are required to pay 5 percent city sales tax if purchased before March 31, and 6 percent sales tax after that. Wholesale orders are available, and the deadline for subscription orders is May 1.

Prices and sales tax charges may vary for the other communities participating in the program. People can use the Alaskans Own online store site to purchase their CSF shares. You also can send a check to Alaskans Own, P.O. Box 1229, Sitka, Alaska, 99835. Delivery times and dates in Sitka will be announced later and usually take place at the old mill building next to the Sitka Sound Science Center (834 Lincoln Street).

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Photo by Joshua Roper / Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI)

The Alaskans Own seafood program is managed by the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association. It also partners with the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, the Fishery Conservation Network and Local Fish Fund, which have missions to strengthen Alaskan fishing communities and marine resources through scientific research, education, and economic opportunity.

For more information about the Alaskans Own seafood program, contact Anya Grenier at alaskansownfish@gmail.com or 738-2275.

• Alaskans Own community-supported fisheries program announces 2015 season subscription prices

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Sitka-based Alaskans Own seafood recently announced its subscription prices for its 2015 community-supported fisheries (CSF) program in Sitka, Juneau, Anchorage, and, new this year, Seattle.

Alaskans Own was the first CSF program in the state, modeling its program after the successful community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs that let customers deal directly with harvesters so they can buy subscription shares to the year’s crop/catch. In addition to the CSF program, Alaskans Own usually has a table at the Sitka Farmers Markets during the summer.

AO flier no tagsThis is the sixth year of the Alaskans Own CSF program, and there are four-month and six-month subscriptions available starting in May. The six-month subscriptions allow people to keep receiving freshly caught seafood through October instead of August, when the traditional four-month subscriptions end. Half-subscriptions also are available. Subscriptions include a mix of locally caught black cod (sablefish), halibut, king salmon, coho salmon, lingcod and miscellaneous rockfish, depending on the commercial fishing season and prices.

According to newly hired director Caroline Lester, this year’s price for a six-month full subscription (about 60 pounds, or 10 pounds a month) in Sitka is $886.16 (includes sales tax) and $446.40 for a half subscription (about 30 pounds). The price for a four-month full subscription (about 40 pounds) is $606.32 and $326.46 for a half subscription (about 20 pounds). Prices are slightly higher for the other communities participating in the program. People can use the Alaskans Own online store site to purchase their CSF shares. Deliveries in Sitka will be either the last or second-to-last Thursday of the month at the old mill building next to the Sitka Sound Science Center.

The Alaskans Own program is associated with the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust. The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust’s mission is to strengthen Alaskan fishing communities and marine resources through scientific research, education, and economic opportunity.

For more information, contact Caroline Lester at info@alaskansown.com or 738-2275.

• Alaskans Own community-supported fisheries program announces 2014 season subscription prices

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Sitka-based Alaskans Own seafood recently announced its subscription prices for its 2014 community-supported fisheries (CSF) program in Sitka, Juneau, and Anchorage. The prices appear to have gone down a tiny bit since the 2013 season.

Alaskans Own was the first CSF program in the state, modeling its program after the successful community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs that let customers deal directly with harvesters so they can buy subscription shares to the year’s crop/catch. In addition to the CSF program, Alaskans Own usually has a table at the Sitka Farmers Markets during the summer.

ErinFultonAshiaLaneAlaskansOwnSeafoodThis is the fifth year of the Alaskans Own CSF program, and there are four-month and six-month subscriptions available. The six-month subscriptions  allow people to keep receiving freshly caught seafood through October instead of August, when the traditional four-month subscriptions end. Half-subscriptions also are available. Subscriptions include a mix of locally caught black cod (sablefish), halibut, king salmon, coho salmon, lingcod and miscellaneous rockfish, depending on the commercial fishing season and prices.

The Alaskans Own program is associated with the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust. The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust’s mission is to strengthen Alaskan fishing communities and marine resources through scientific research, education, and economic opportunity.

Here is Alaskans Own CSF program information for 2014 provided in a recent email sent to the program’s past subscribers and other interested folk:

Hello, Sitka!

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer, the herring are back, and Alaskans Own CSF is gearing up for our 2014 season.

This summer looks to be another season filled with even better quality seafood than before. We’d love to have you join us and get access to the great local seafood the Sitka has to offer.

It is difficult to tell, at this point, how prices will trend through the season. Please be assured that we will always bring you the very best value, highest quality seafood that we can, meeting or exceeding the total number of pounds for the plan that you choose. We will make adjustments in specific items to preserve this value. Our small staff gratefully receives assistance from a number of volunteers to help keep costs down. Any and all ‘profits’ go to support the scientific work of the Fishery Conservation Networks.

  • Six months, Full share: $760 (60 pounds, ~ 10 lb. /month)
  • Six months, Half share: $400 (30 pounds, ~ 5 lb./month)s
  • Four months, Full share: $520 (40 pounds, ~ 10 lb./month)
  • Four months, Half share: $280 (20 pounds, ~ 5 lb./month)

To renew your subscription with Alaskans Own, please send me an email, or give me a call on the Alaskans Own phone 907-738-2275(*). Subscriptions can be paid for using cash, check or credit card. You can learn more about what we offer and the work we do on our website: www.alaskansown.com.

Thank you for all your support. I hope you’ll join Alaskans Own again this season to enjoy the best seafood from the finest fishermen in Southeast Alaska.

Cheers,
Erin Fulton, Programs Coordinator, Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust

* With the Sitka Sound Science Center under construction, we won’t be in our normal office space — email and the new AO phone will be the best way to reach us, and to schedule an ‘in person’ meeting.

• Alaskans Own™ community supported fisheries program announces season subscription packages for Sitka, Juneau and Anchorage

AO_LogoSitka-based Alaskans Own seafood recently announced its subscription prices for its 2013 Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) program in Sitka and Juneau, and this year the program will start delivery to Anchorage.

Alaskans Own was the first CSF program in the state, modeling its program after the successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs that let customers deal directly with harvesters so they can buy subscription shares to the year’s crop/catch.

IMG_2716 (Custom)This is the fourth year of the Alaskans Own CSF program, and this year there are four-month and six-month subscriptions. The six-month subscriptions  allow people to keep receiving freshly caught seafood through October instead of August, when the traditional four-month subscriptions end. Half-subscriptions also are available. Subscriptions include a mix of locally caught black cod (sablefish), halibut, king salmon, coho salmon, lingcod and miscellaneous rockfish, depending on the commercial fishing season. This year there also will be a bonus box of tanner crab from the partner Alaska Marine Conservation Council program in Kodiak.

The Alaskans Own expansion into Anchorage recently was featured on the Alaska Dispatch website. The Alaskans Own program is associated with the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust. The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust’s mission is to strengthen Alaskan fishing communities and marine resources through scientific research, education, and economic opportunity.

Here is Alaskans Own CSF program information provided in a recent e-mail sent to the program’s past subscribers and other interested folk:

Subscription shares are offered again as both a full or half share, 4 month or 6 month option. Subscriptions include a mix of black cod, halibut, king and coho salmon, lingcod and rockfish. Our approximately 1-lb. portions are flash-frozen and vacuum packed—enjoy now or keep frozen for your winter home pack. Pick-ups will take place once per month at the Mill Building/Sitka Sound Science Center in Sitka, at Reliable Transfer near the Nugget Mall in Juneau, and a location TBA in Anchorage.
  
Find all the details about our 4-month and 6-month subscriptions below.
2013 PRICES AND SPECIES MIX*
4-Month Summer Subscriptions (May, June, July, August)
 4-MONTH FULL SHARE: $535 total for 40 pounds of seafood:
Lingcod                  10 lbs.          (May)
Halibut                   4 lbs.          (May)
Black cod               2 lbs.           (June)
Misc. rockfish          8 lbs.          (June)
King salmon             6 lbs.          (July)
Coho salmon           10 lbs.         (August)
4-MONTH HALF SHARE: $290 for 20 pounds of seafood:
Lingcod                  5 lbs.          (May)
Halibut                   2 lbs.          (May)
Black cod               1 lbs.          (June)
Misc. rockfish          4 lbs.          (June)
King salmon             3 lbs.          (July)
Coho salmon            5 lbs.         (August)
 
6-Month Summer-Fall Subscriptions (May, June, July, August, September, October)
6-MONTH FULL SHARE: $795 for 60 pounds of seafood:
Lingcod                 15 lbs.          (8 lbs. May + 4 lbs. September)
Halibut                   6 lbs.          (4 lbs. May + 2 lbs. October)
Black cod               3 lbs.          (2 lbs. June + 1 lb. September)
Misc. rockfish         12 lbs.         (10 lbs. June + 5 lbs. September)
King salmon             9 lbs.          (6 lbs. July + 3 lbs. October)
Coho salmon          15 lbs.          (10 lbs. August + 5 lbs. October)
6-MONTH HALF SHARE: $415 for 30 pounds of seafood:
Lingcod                  8 lbs.          (4 lbs. May + 2 lbs. September)
Halibut                   3 lbs.          (2 lbs. May + 1 lbs. October)
Black cod                2 lbs.          (1 lb. June + 1 lb. September)
Misc. rockfish           6 lbs.         (5 lbs. June + 3 lbs. September)
King salmon             4 lbs.          (3 lbs. July + 1 lb. October)
Coho salmon            7 lbs.          (5 lbs. August + 2 lbs. October)
*The species mix outlined above is subject to change, as we are basing costs on estimated dock prices, which fluctuate throughout the season. For example, if in July king prices are higher than expected, we’ll provide a little less of that species and increase the pounds of coho you receive. Bottom line: we will ensure you get the best mix of seafood for the subscription price. Due to increased costs to shipping, labor, and other logistics, we have had to increase our subscriptions costs minimally this year.
How do you sign up for the 2013 season? Just reply to this email with your name, address, phone number and the subscription package you’d like. We’ll put you on the list and send a confirmation email along with instructions for payment. This year we will offer two different payment options: either send in a check to Alaskans Own or use PayPal on our new Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust website. Please do not pay for a share until you receive confirmation for your subscription.
Our first pick will be in late May, date to be announced. However, we expect our subscription slots to fill up soon–so, please don’t delay in getting your name on the list.
We appreciate your continued support of Alaskans Own.
For more information about subscribing, contact Alaskans Own at info@alaskansown.com. For information about the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, call 907-747-3477 or send e-mail to info@thealaskatrust.org.

• Sitka Seafood Festival adds cruise to Medvejie Hatchery for a tour and salmon bake to its list of events

On Saturday, Aug. 7, the Sitka Conservation Society is offering a Tongass summer boat cruise as part of the Sitka Seafood Festival. This boat trip will be traveling to Medvejie Hatchery for a tour of the hatchery and a salmon bake provided by the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA). The trip will depart at 11 a.m. and return at 2 p.m. Boarding begins at 10:45 a.m. at Crescent Harbor.

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased with cash or check at Old Harbor Books or at the Crescent Harbor loading dock at the time of the cruise. It is suggested that tickets be purchased in advance to assure participation. Food is not provided on the short boat ride to the hatchery, but hot beverages are complimentary. Binoculars are available on board for all.

King salmon fillets and baked potatoes cook over an open fire at an open house and salmon bake hosted by Medvejie Hatchery on July 10, 2010.

King salmon fillets and baked potatoes cook over an open fire at an open house and salmon bake hosted by Medvejie Hatchery on July 10, 2010.

This boat cruise is part of the Sitka Seafood Festival, a celebration of seafood as a wild and sustainable resource. This trip will head to Silver Bay and the Medvejie Hatchery to learn more about the multitude of seafood available in Sitka and the role different species play in our local ecosystems. Steve Reifenstuhl, General Manager of NSRAA (the non-profit that runs the hatchery), will be on board as a guest speaker. He will speak about Alaska and Southeast fisheries and the role of aquaculture in these fisheries. For more information on the Sitka Seafood Festival visit: http://sitkaseafoodfestival.org/

Allen Marine offers these boat trips at a reduced rate for non-profits. Please call 747-7509 or e-mail natalie@sitkawild.org for more information on this boat trip or others offered by the Sitka Conservation Society.

The inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Aug. 6-7 at the Crescent Harbor shelter, Harrigan Centennial Hall and other parts of Sitka. A tentative schedule of events is posted below. Feel free to print it out and post it on local bulletin boards.

The Sitka Seafood Festival is Aug. 6-7, and the guest chef is Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage, who will prepare a gourmet seafood meal on Friday night with the assistance of several local chefs. Entertainment for the festival will be provided by the bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles (brought to Sitka with the help of Sitka Folk) and the four-man juggling, acrobatic, martial arts and comedy troupe “NANDA: Acrobaticalist Ninja Action Heroes.” The basic format of the event features a special dinner on Friday night with a variety of educational events, seafood booths and entertainment all day Saturday. Click on the poster link below for more details.

Also, don’t forget the beer tasting and smoked salmon contest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, July 30, at the Westmark Sitka. This fundraising event costs $30, and there will be live music, treats from Chef Jo, a variety of beers to sample from local distributors and a chance to win the prizes in the best smoked salmon contest. There is a $10 fee to enter the contest (which is deducted from your admission), and participants receive five pounds of salmon to smoke. For more details about the contest, go to the Sitka Seafood Festival site or contact Molly Andrews at (509) 953-9509 or molly@sitkawild.org.

And don’t forget the Sitka Seafood Festival art and logo contest, so put on your thinking cap and send your camera-ready art entries to 411 Hemlock St., Sitka, AK, 99835, by Aug. 1. There will be a prize for the winning logo. Also, bring your seafood-, ocean- or marine-themed art to the art show Aug. 7 at Harrigan Centennial Hall. For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821 or e-mail sitkaarts@yahoo.com.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Peavey at alaska_al33@hotmail.com or 1-928-607-4845. Volunteers still are needed, and some of the lists of duties are posted below with the current list of volunteers.

• Press release about Sitka Seafood Festival cruise to Medvejie Hatchery

• Sitka Seafood Festival schedule poster (opens as PDF document)

• Sitka Seafood Festival details (talking points)

• Sitka Seafood Festival final sponsors list

• Sitka Seafood Festival list of volunteers for Friday night’s banquet dinner

• Sitka Seafood Festival list of volunteers for Saturday’s events