NEW TRAIL – Asa Dow wears a mask as he cuts a branch placed at the exit of the new 907 single-track mountain bike trail loop off the Sitka Cross Trail to officially open the trail Monday afternoon. Dow was one of about a dozen volunteers who built the trail, the first of its type in Sitka. The single-lane trail is exclusively for bikers and runs south to north. The Sitka Cycling Club, which organized the construction, will be building a second bicycle trail off the Cross Trail. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

December 20, 2019, Community Happenings

Holiday Hours 

At Hames Center

Hames Center has set its Christmas holidays hours.

It will be open 5:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Christmas Eve, offering all regular scheduled classes.

Christmas Day hours are noon-4 p.m. with a Jingle Spin Ride with Cindy Edwards at 1 p.m.

For information or to sign up for classes call Hames Center 747-5080 or visit www.hamescenter.org


Masses, Concerts

Set at St. Gregory’s

St. Gregory’s Catholic Church has announced its Christmas Eve and Christmas Day schedule.

On Tuesday, Dec. 24, the schedule is a 5 p.m. children’s Mass with pageant; 9:30 p.m. Christmas concert with the adult choir; and a 10 p.m. Mass.

A 10 a.m. Christmas Day Mass is planned Wednesday, Dec. 25.

St. Gregory’s Catholic Church is located at 605 Lincoln Street.


Office Hours Set

For Rep. JKT

State Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins will hold public office hours 10-11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30, at the Backdoor and 11 a.m.-noon at Highliner Coffee.

No appointment is necessary.


Lutheran Church

Services on Tap

Sitka Lutheran Church has announced Christmas services.

A 10:30 a.m. Dec. 22 service is planned.

On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, a family-friendly candlelight service is at 5:30 p.m.

On Christmas Day, a 10 a.m. worship service will be held in the Pioneers Home Chapel, held jointly with St. Peter’s Episcopal and the United Methodist Church.

‘‘Lessons and Carols,’’ held jointly with St. Peter’s Episcopal at St. Peter’s will be 10 a.m. Dec. 29.




SJ Museum Gives

Call for Artists

In Residency

The Sheldon Jackson Museum and Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum  announce the open call for Alaska Native artists to apply to the 2020 Native Artist Residency program. 

Three residency positions are available: May 15-31; July 24-Aug. 8; and Aug. 15-30. All residency slots involve creating art at the museum and offer an artist stipend of $1,600, travel to and from Sitka, a food per diem to offset costs, and lodging.

As in previous years, artists-in-residence are invited to a welcome dinner with a local welcome committee and paid time accessing and studying the museum’s Alaska Native ethnographic and art collection.

Artists-in-residence may focus on traditional or contemporary Native art forms including but not limited to wood carving, ivory carving, silver engraving, beading, skin, gut and fish skin sewing, drum making, and basket or textile weaving, drumming, and dancing.

Beginners as well as experienced artists are welcome. Artists benefit from utilizing the museum’s collections for research and meeting visitors from around Alaska and the world and local Sitka community members while working in the museum gallery, the museum said.

Individuals wanting an information packet on the program outlining pay and benefits, position expectations, the residency schedule, and other details may call the museum at 747-8981 and request a packet be emailed or mailed. The packet also is available at www.friendsofsjm.com and http://museums.alaska.gov/artist_opportunities.html .

Questions about the program or application can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 747-8981. Applications are due Jan. 29.


Grief Support

Group to Meet

Brave Heart Volunteers, in partnership with SEARHC, will host an eight-week grief support group for those who have experienced a loss and are seeking support and education.

The group, free of charge, meets weekly on Mondays beginning Jan. 13 at the Manager’s House on the Pioneers Home campus. Dinner is provided.

To register, call Brave Heart Volunteers at 747-4600 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .”


Sitka Homeless Coalition

Receives Mental Health Grant

The Sitka Homeless Coalition is among the recipients of Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority grants to organizations across the state.

The trust awarded more than $969,000.

Grants to community partners fund beneficiary supporting programs and initiatives that align with the trust’s mission and values. These grants are a part of the trustee approved $24M grant program for fiscal year 2020, which includes grants for Alaskan nonprofits, Tribal entities, state and local government agencies and service providers. Grants are awarded throughout the year.

 Trust funds will support the Sitka Homeless Coalition, that provides the Men’s Winter Night Shelter in the community offering a safe, indoor sleeping option for unsheltered men during winter nights when temperatures are expected to drop below 40 degrees, or the weather is particularly wet and stormy.

The community has successfully implemented a shower and laundry program for the men identified to benefit from the shelter, a press release said. The shelter will be an interim service until a more permanent housing solution can be implemented. The Sitka Legacy Foundation and the City and Borough of Sitka are also supporting the effort.

“We know that real improvements in beneficiary outcomes won’t occur without collaboration and partnerships,” said Mike Abbott, CEO of the Trust. “We are proud to support these beneficiary-serving organizations and initiatives, and grateful for the professionals who are applying their skills and expertise to improving the lives of their fellow Alaskans.”

The mission of the Trust is to provide leadership in the advocacy, planning, implementing and funding of services and programs for Trust beneficiaries. Beneficiaries include Alaskans who experience mental illness, substance use disorders, developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, and traumatic brain injuries.


Grace Harbor

Services Listed        

The congregation of Grace Harbor announces its Christmas services and welcomes the Sitka community to celebrate.

“You Shall Call His Name Jesus,” based on Matthew 1:21, will be the theme of services this weekend. The Saturday evening service is at 7 p.m., and the Sunday morning service will be at 10:30 a.m.

The Christmas Eve Service will be 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24. The service will include vocal specials and the singing of the traditional Christmas hymns. Pastor Paul McArthur will present the message titled “In the Fullness of Time.” Supervised infant childcare in the church nursery will be provided.

The church is located at 1904 Halibut Point Road, across from Sea Mart. For information, call 747-5706.


White E Closure

The White Elephant Shop will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 26. It will reopen noon Saturday, Dec. 28.







Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-3-20)

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 11:10 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 18

Total statewide – 505

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 47, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

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



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 sitkasentinel.com. 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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