PASSING THROUGH – Orca whales swim near the Indian River estuary Thursday night. A pod of more than a half-dozen adult and juvenile orcas spent the late afternoon in Sitka Sound near shore as people along Sawmill Creek Road photographed and video recorded them. NOAA Fisheries recommends staying at least 100 yards away while viewing whales from boats. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

August 29, 2019, Community Happenings

Mermaid Festival Launches

with Music, Markets, Food

The second annual Sitka Mermaid Festival continues this week with a full calendar of events including a banquet, music, market, and games and races. Saturday will culminate with a ‘‘Rock the Dock’’ concert  at the Crescent Harbor shelter.

This year’s theme is “Vitamin Sea: Nurturing the Ocean that Nurtures Us.” 

‘‘Food for Thought: Where Art and Science Intersect’’ will be 6-8 p.m. tonight at the Sitka Sound Science Center. The panel discussion from local artists, mathematicians and scientists on drawing creative inspiration from science will be presented by Cyndi Gibson, Norm Campbell, Amelia Mosher and Bobbi Jordan. Attendees can take their sketchbooks for the art activity following the panel discussion.

On Friday, doors open at 6 p.m. at Centennial Hall for the Umami Banquet: A Tasting Event, hosted by the Sitka Mermaid Festival and the Sitka Seafood Festival. Presenting partner Alaska Airlines will fly visiting chef Cassandra Kelly of Arcata, California, to Sitka to work with local chefs to prepare a selection of small plates and charcuterie board sourced from the sea. Sitka Cirque will perform. The banquet includes live music, silent auction and a full bar. Seating is limited. The full tasting menu is $65, standing-room-only, $40. Tickets are available at Old Harbor Books and online at

Following the banquet will be ‘‘Siren Song Jazz After Hours’’ at the Pub with Stephanie Rebecca Patton and Jesse Sullivan. No cover will be charged due to the support of sponsors.

All-day Mermaid Festival events scheduled Saturday at Centennial Hall and Crescent Harbor shelter include the following:

–The Mermaid Market is slated 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Centennial Hall;

–Food trucks will be under Crescent Harbor shelter, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.;

–Mermaid Promenade Along the Sea Walk gathers at the new playground near Sitka Sound Science Center at 11 a.m. Participants will leave at 11:30 a.m. and march down the SeaWalk to Crescent Harbor Shelter;

–Kids games will be noon-3 p.m. under Crescent Harbor Shelter;

–Fish tote races are set 4-6 p.m. at Crescent Harbor;

–The Rock the Dock concert is listed 5-11p.m. under Crescent Harbor shelter. It will boast music, beer garden  and food trucks;

–The Mermaid Market continues 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, at  Centennial Hall. Food trucks will be under Crescent Harbor shelter, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Those interested in getting involved or volunteering with the event can contact Mosher at (707) 672-2909.

For more information email or like the Facebook page at



Troll Fishery

Has 3rd Opening

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced a third Chinook salmon retention period of the general summer commercial troll season will begin at 12:01 a.m., Sept. 1, to target approximately 1,200 treaty king salmon. 

The retention period will continue for 10 days, through 11:59 p.m. Sept. 10. Based on the number of Chinook salmon remaining on the annual troll allocation and the number of permits actively fishing, a total of two Chinook salmon per permit will be allocated during the 10-day fishery.


The department estimates that 82,000 treaty Chinook have been harvested in the summer troll fishery. 


Pioneers Plan

Fall Meetings

Pioneers of Alaska men’s and women’s igloos 22 and 12 will begin their fall series of meetings Thursday, Sept. 5, with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. at United Methodist Church on Kimsham Street.

Dinner will follow, and a brief meeting will be held on upcoming convention  issues and related voting and proxy signing. Pioneers are being encouraged to participate and contribute to the dinner as desired.


Library Preschool

Story Time Slated

‘‘Opposites’’ is the story time at Sitka Public Library 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

It will include the reading “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth’’ by Eric Carle. Rhymes, songs and a craft project also will be part of the event.

Everybody is welcome. For information, call the library at 747-8708.


Teen Advisory

Board to Meet

The Sitka Public Library Teen Advisory Board will meet 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at the library.

The board is a monthly open-forum lead by the TAB members to discuss the issues related specifically to tween and teen use of the library, including materials and events.


TAB helps the youth services librarian design new library events for teens. They also spend time choosing new free books, hanging out and getting to know each other. Teens willing to share ideas and suggestions on how to make the library a better place are welcome to join the board. Ages 13-19 can attend the meetings, held once a month on Fridays, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Pizza and snacks are included. Teens can check the library calendar page for exact dates and times.


Rummage Sale

At St. Peter’s

A rummage sale will be held 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 31, at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea See House.


Proceeds will go toward covering the bill of the recent emergency roof repair on the historic See House. The church is located at 611 Lincoln St.


Moose Women

Meet Sept. 3

The Women of the Moose will meet 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, upstairs at the Sitka Moose Lodge.

The agenda will include conference planning. Co-workers are invited, and being encouraged, to attend. A door prize will be drawn at the end of the meeting.



Pianist Oyaguez

Set to Perform

The Sitka Music Festival and St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church invite the public to a piano dedication and brief performance 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept 5, at St. Peter’s.

Spanish pianist Alfredo Oyaguez, a guest artist for the Festival’s Autumn Classics concert series, will showcase the 100-year-old Steinway piano that now resides at St. Peter’s. 

Contact the Festival at 747-6774 or St. Peter’s at 747-3977 for information. 


3Com Phones

Free from City

The City and Borough of Sitka will be giving away 3Com phones on a first-come, first-served, basis starting Friday, Aug. 30, with no limit. The phones are located at City Hall, 100 Lincoln Street, second floor, in a bin by the vending machine. 

The phones are operable on a 3Com system only. Those with questions cancontact IS system administrator Don MacKinnon at 747-1847.



White E Closure

On Labor Day


The White Elephant Shop will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, Sept 2.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-31-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 12:50 p.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 108

Total statewide – 2,990

Total (cumulative) deaths – 23

Active cases in Sitka – 15 (10 resident; 5 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 133.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 



Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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July 2000

Clinton Buckmaster shot and wounded a large brown bear Tuesday night when it charged him near his Thimbleberry Bay home in the 2100 block of Sawmill Creek Road. As of press time, the bear was still at large.

July 1970

The city council agreed at a special meeting Thursday to consider the request of Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1 for redevelopment planning funds for the Indian Village. Cost has been estimated at $12,000.