Neighbors Digest

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2007

'Bye Bye Birdie' to show tonight and Saturday

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JUNEAU - Alaska USA Federal Credit Union and Northern Lights Junior Theatre will present 'Bye Bye Birdie' at 7 tonight and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium this weekend.

Directed and accompanied by J. Althea, "Bye Bye Birdie" is a loosely based parody of Elvis Presley's draft into the Army in 1959. It was the first Broadway musical to use rock and roll music as part of its score. The cast includes 30 youth and six adults. Choreography was done by Janice Hurley. Costumes were by Shelly Wright.

Tickets are available at Hearthside Books. This project is partially funded by grants from the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and Parks and Recreation.

Empowering workshops to be held Saturday

JUNEAU - Two empowering workshops will be held Saturday at the Vocational Training & Resource Center, 3239 Hospital Drive. Deana Darnall will teach a "Power of Change!" workshop on taking charge of menopause from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Life coach Diann Darnall, of Fairbanks, will lead a "Holiday Stress Busters!" workshop on getting the most of your holiday with less stress from 1:15 to 4:15 p.m.

"Power of Change!" will empower women to take charge of menopause. Particpants will learn about the science and art of menopause, normal vs. abnormal changes, taking steps to increased health and finding keys to reaching goals.

"Holiday Stress Busters!" is a workshop designed to help you get the most of your holidays with less stress. Come and learn about causes of stress, your signs of personal stress, self-care keys, and develop an absolute "yes" list.

For more information, call Deana Darnall at 586-9868. Check in at 8:15 a.m. for the "Power of Change!" workshop. Cost is $89. Check in at 1 p.m. for "Holiday Stress Busters!" workshop. Cost is $69. Lunch will be provided for those participating in both. Cost for both workshops is $125.

High school activities to hold auction, dinner

JUNEAU - The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team, Swim/Dive Team and choir will hold its annual auction on Dec. 1 in the Juneau-Douglas High School commons. A variety of items may be previewed prior to the auction at 2 p.m.

An International Smorgasbord, with an all-you-can-eat buffet of a variety of foods to choose from, will be from 5 to 6 p.m.

At 6 p.m., following the International Smorgasbord, there will be an outcry auction, silent auction, door prizes and dessert auction.

Tickets for the supper cost $8 per person and $25 for two adults and two children. Tickets may be purchased at the JDHS activities office or at the door. The auction is free. Credit cards will be accepted during the auction.

If you have items you wish to donate for the auction, or if you have any questions, contact Sandi Wagner at 523-1580.

Broadcast of suicide survivor roundtable

JUNEAU - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Behavioral Health Department will join more than 130 other sites nationwide to host a teleconference for the Ninth Annual National Survivors of Suicide Day. The teleconference will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the SEARHC Juneau Medical Center board room, which is on the second floor of the SEARHC Administration Building, 3245 Hospital Drive.

National Survivors of Suicide Day is designed to support those people who have lost a loved one to suicide, giving survivors a chance to share their experiences and be supported in their loss. It's also a chance to get information about resources for healing.

The event features a national panel discussion featuring a group of experienced survivors and behavioral health professionals. The discussion will be sent to each of the local conference sites using satellite and Internet broadcast technology. Several local conference sites have scheduled additional activities, such as breakout groups and local panel discussions.

Those who can't attend Saturday's event in Juneau can access the program through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Web site, (click the National Survivors of Suicide Day link for more information and a link to a registration page to view the broadcast). For those participating on the Web, an online chat will follow the event. A recording from the 2006 roundtable was posted on the AFSP site.

For more information, please call project coordinator James Gallanos of the state Office of Prevention and Early Intervention Services at 465-8536 or call Norene Otnes at 463-6670.

Child advocate info meetings begin Monday

JUNEAU - The Juneau Court Appointed Special Advocate program is recruiting volunteers to be the voice of hope for abused, neglected or abandoned children in our community. There will be three one-hour informational meetings at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Mendenhall Valley library conference room, at noon on Nov. 29 and at noon on Dec. 12 at the Office of Public Advocacy, 211 Fourth St., Suite 101. You must attend one information meeting in order to participate in the training.

CASA volunteers watch over and advocate for these abused and neglected children to make sure they don't get lost in the overburdened legal system or languish in foster care. They stay with each case until it is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence - the one adult who cares only for them.

There is no legal background or special experience required. We are looking for volunteers who can be objective and committed. The 32-hour core training begins Jan. 10, 2008, and is provided free of charge. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and must undergo a screening, which includes a background check.

For more information, call Lynn Squires-White, Juneau CASA program coordinator at 465-2268, or check out the Alaska CASA Web site at

Sitka patient housing project breaks ground

SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will break ground on a new $3.45 million patient housing facility across from the SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital at 9:30 a.m. today.

The 7,820-square-foot facility will have 18 rooms, including two that are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The patient housing facility will serve Alaska Native and non-Native patients receiving health care services in Sitka, including care received at non-SEARHC facilities. The facility will be Medicaid-eligible and will offer affordable lodging rates for uninsured patients.

McGraw's Custom Construction of Sitka recently was awarded a $2.4 million contract to build the facility. The total cost is about $3.45 million, with funding coming from the Denali Commission ($1.7 million), the Rasmuson Foundation ($750,000), the Paul G. Allen Foundation ($275,000), Tlingít-Haida Regional Housing Authority ($80,000), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development ($50,000), and SEARHC ($568,000).

SEARHC has some patient housing on its Sitka campus (MTE Arms), but has to contract with the Sitka Hotel and Shee Atika Corp. (Totem Square Inn) for additional patient housing needs. Some SEARHC beneficiaries refuse or postpone travel for needed health services because of the lack of adequate or affordable housing in Sitka. The new facility also will help SEARHC be able to handle the growing elderly population in the region, which is expected to rise considerably over the next 20 years.

The groundbreaking ceremony takes place at 9:30 a.m., with refreshments to follow at the Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital's Litehouse Cafeteria. New SEARHC President/CEO Roald Helgesen will be at the ceremony, and this will be one of Roald's first public functions since his return to SEARHC.

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