Neighbors Digest

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2008

Glacier Visitor Center hosts Fireside lecture, Winter Safety Expo

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JUNEAU - Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center begins its 46th annual free Fireside lecture series at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Friday, with Skagway's Buckwheat Donahue reciting Jack London stories. Donahue, famous for his storytelling and his HeartBeat Trail 5,000 mile walk across North America from Miami, Florida to Skagway to raise funds for Skagway's medical clinic, recently released a five-CD collection of London's Gold Rush era stories.

Fireside lectures are at 6:30 and 8 p.m. every Friday through March. Topics include an 1880s steamship voyage, whales, volcanoes, avalanches, polar bears, undersea mapping, Greenland glaciers, swans, Juneau's islands and Mendenhall glacier's changes and its black bears.

On Saturday, the visitor center will host a Winter Safety Expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Several community organizations will share knowledge of outdoor safety methods at display tables inside the center's observatory. Groups participating are AvaDogs Alaska, Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center, Juneau Alpine Club, SEADogs, Nordic Ski Club, Gastineau Humane Society, the U.S. Forest Service and more.

As part of the expo, Capital City Fire and Rescue will conduct a live ice rescue demonstration at noon in a frozen pond by the visitorcenter entrance.

The goal of the expo is to present ways of enjoying winter outdoor recreation while avoiding the hazards. The Forest Service manages the glacier area and Mendenhall Lake. Although the lake freezes each winter, the ice is never safe. The glacier can calve at any time, shattering lake ice or breaking shore ice.

For more information, contact Laurie Craig or Elayne Boyce at 789-6640, or Karen Maher at 789-6267.

SEARHC offers Lifestyle Balance classes in Juneau and Sitka

JUNEAU and SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Lifestyle Balance Program will provide its fifth series of diabetes prevention classes starting Jan. 29 in Juneau and the week of Feb. 18 in Sitka.

The classes are open to adults of Alaska Native or American Indian heritage who have been diagnosed with prediabetes.

Since the 2006 start of the program, 78 Native students in Sitka and Juneau have learned how to make permanent lifestyle changes that will help them prevent or delay their progression to Type 2 diabetes.

The SEARHC Lifestyle Balance Program offers interactive weekly class sessions, where participants learn how to choose higher-fiber and lower-fat foods at the grocery store, how to put together a balanced meal and how to make time for physical activity every day. They also get to taste-test healthy recipes, learn problem-solving skills, learn how to make healthier choices at a restaurant, and, most importantly, learn from others who have similar situations. The participants learn from each other and receive on-going support in their efforts to remain diabetes-free.

The 16-week schedule will allow students to complete the program by the spring. Daytime and evening class hours will be available, but the schedule will be flexible to make it more convenient for the participants. The Juneau class will be in the SEARHC Administration Building Conference Room (second floor), 1046 Salmon Creek Lane, and the Sitka class will be in the SEARHC Diabetes Program office, 208-B Lake St. (next to GCI and Sitka Tribe of Alaska's Resources Protection Department).

The participation requirements for these Lifestyle Balance Program classes are to be at least 18 years old, be of Alaska Native or American Indian descent, be a resident of Juneau or Sitka, have a clinical diagnosis of prediabetes (which needs a recent physical and bloodwork), and a willingness to participate in regular group education sessions and individual counseling sessions. For more information and to register for the classes, contact Kathy Dennis in Juneau at 364-4453 or call Jeannette Chavez in Sitka at (907) 966-8916.

Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition hosts LunaFest film festival

JUNEAU - For the first time ever, the nation-wide LunaFest film festival will be held in Juneau at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25 at Centennial Hall. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and children and are available at the door or at Hearthside Books. The Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition is hosting the film festival to raise money to improve reproductive health care and education in Southeast. The will donate 15 percent of the funds raised to the Breast Cancer Fund.

LunaFest was established by Luna, the manufacturer of Luna bars, in 2000. More than a hundred festivals are held across North America every year.

Luna promotes the LunaFest films to "raise awareness for women's issues and support worthy women's nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada."

"We're really excited about bringing LunaFest to Juneau. I have family who have seen the festival and have raved about it. This is a fun way to support women's health and promote breast cancer research" said Lisa Eagan Lagerquist, the chair of the Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition, bringing the film festival to Juneau.

The films range from 30 seconds to several minutes. The films are made by women, about women and for women. For a complete list of the films with summaries from this year and in past years please visit This is a chance to see some great films and raise money for women's health.

For more information about LunaFest, visit or send an e-mail to

Angoon to do smoke, carbon monoxide detector checks

ANGOON - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and Admiralty Research and Development Program will be doing in-home checks and installations of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on Monday in Angoon.

Angoon residents can schedule an in-home smoke or carbon monoxide detector or installation by signing up at the SEARHC Angoon Health Center, the Angoon Senior Center, the Angoon Post Office or the Angoon Trading Company.

For more information, contact Jennifer Young at (907) 966-8866 or Paul Audette at (907) 966-8742 in Sitka, Melissa Cullum at (907) 788-3301, or the SEARHC Angoon Health Center at (907) 788-4600.

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