Neighbors Digest

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2007

Talking circle group to change meeting day

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JUNEAU - The weekly community talking circle hosted by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Behavioral Health Department will switch its meeting night to 6:15-8 p.m. Mondays, starting on Jan. 7, at the SEARHC Behavioral Health Department offices, Suite 109, Room 121, in the SEARHC annex (same building as SEARHC Dental), 3200 Hospital Drive.

Talking circles are free and open to all Juneau residents and visitors.

One of the purposes of the community talking circle is to connect with culture and traditions, so they start with smudging and frequently a circle member will sing and drum. The talking circle guidelines are reviewed at the beginning, and they emphasis confidentiality, speaking and listening from the heart, with each person getting a chance to speak while holding the eagle feather or other object that represents a talking stick. Everyone is given the same respect and attention when they speak, and each talking circle has an introduction round followed by four more rounds of talking.

The community talking circle has been meeting on Tuesdays for about a year, and it will meet from 6:15-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18 (no meeting on Dec. 25), until making the time switch to Mondays starting on Jan. 7.

For more information, please call Norene Otnes at 463-6670 or Cathy Wellwood at 364-4472.

Affordable housing program provides job training for young adults

SITKA - Young Alaskans Building Affordable Housing is a comprehensive job training, education and leadership development program for young adults of Alaska, ages 16 to 24. The program includes job training, classroom and vocational education, leadership development, counseling and job placement assistance. Participants learn construction skills while building low-income housing in the Sitka community.

The program is part of the private nonprofit organization Southeast Alaska Guidance Association in partnership with SouthEast Alaska Career Center and Baranof Island Housing Authority in Sitka. All program components will be conducted in Sitka. The affordable housing program provides guidance counseling, peer support groups, cultural and recreational events and activities, and job placement assistance for up to 16 eligible young adults per year. The program promotes youth leadership development, program decision-making, and community involvement. Successful program graduates will receive construction skills training coupled with academic education leading to a high school diploma or GED or further education.

The affordable housing program provides an opportunity for young Alaskans to gain work experience and acquire skills in the construction industry by building a residential home and/or other construction projects, developing leadership, and continuing education towards a GED. Participants will earn a training allowance of $1,200 per month and upon successful completion of the program, an AmeriCorps education award of $1,250.

The program runs March through December.

Applications for staff and students are now being accepted.

For more information or applications, contact Karen Martinsen, SEACC YABAH program director, at (907) 966-1355 or Dana Kelly, YABAH assistant, at (907) 966-1350, or by e-mail to

Coastal, Flying Lions offer helicopter tours of Mendenhall Valley lights

JUNEAU - Coastal Helicopters and the Mendenhall Flying Lions Club will provide helicopter tours of the lights of the Mendenhall Valley from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Gate 1 in the north wing of the Juneau International Airport.

Weather permitting, tours are on a first come, first served basis. If weather forces a cancellation, tours will be rescheduled for the following evening. The recommended donation is $25.

Funds raised will go to the Neurofibromatosis Foundation and Mendenhall Flying Lions Club sight projects. Coastal Helicopters will provide the helicopters, pilots and time. Coastal Fuel and Petro Marine will provide the fuel.

For more information, call Coastal Helicopters at 789-5600.

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