GREEN LIGHT – Karen Lucas works in her Katlian Street garden this afternoon. Warm sunny weather this spring has been a boon for local gardeners. The Farmers' Almanac is predicting this summer will be warmer than normal, with the hottest period in early July. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

January 14, 2015 Community Happenings



Volunteers Sought

Kettleson Memorial Library is seeking volunteers to teach basic computer skills to patrons in a classroom setting. Contact Greg Mandel at 747-8708 if interested.





Silent Auction

Items Sought

The Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum is seeking Alaska Native art donations for the annual silent auction, the proceeds of which will go to the support of the 2015 Native Artist Residency Program.

The auction will be held 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31.

Those who have an item to donate or have questions can call Mary at 747-6233. All items need to be received by 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30.


Science Saturday

Slated at KGH

Families and the community are invited to the Keet Gooshi Heen Family Science Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24.

Short ‘‘star’’ shows will be every half hour in Starlab, a portable planetarium, and the school’s multipurpose room will become a children’s science museum for the day.

Exhibits will be presented by organizations including the U.S. Forest Service, Sitka Sound Science Center, Sitka Conservation Society, the Alaska Raptor Center, Sitka National Historical Park, and the Sitka High National Honor Society.

Families should plan at least an hour for their visit, as the star shows often fill up quickly and there can be wait times. The event is free.

More information is available from Ashley Bolwerk at 747-8878 ext. 3.


Cancer Support

Group to Meet

In spite of the Seahawks/Packers football game, Sitka Cancer Support Group will meet 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, at the Braveheart Volunteer/Manager’s Building of the Pioneers Home.

Those in cancer treatment and cancer survivors are invited to spend some time with others who understand what they are going through. The support group is sponsored by Sitka Cancer Survivors Society. Call or email Mary Beth with questions if a ride is needed to attend, at 623-0842, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


 Free Legal Help

On MLK Day

Free legal help is being offered 4-7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19.

Lawyers will be on hand to answer questions about Medicare/Medicaid, eviction, child custody/support, consumer, divorce, rental properties, Social Security and foreclosure. The number to call is 1-800-478-5256.

The public service project is sponsored by the Alaska Court System, Anchorage Bar Association, Alaska Legal Services Corporation and Alaska Public Radio Network.

For more information go to www.alaskabar.org/mlk.


Harry Potter Book

Night Set Feb. 5

 The Harry Potter Book Night is planned 5:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Kettleson Memorial Library. Registration for the event closes Jan. 31.

‘‘The event gives new and existing fans a chance to share the wonder of J.K. Rowling’s unforgettable stories and, most excitingly, to introduce the next generation of readers to the unparalleled magic of Harry Potter,’’ the library said.

Children of all ages are invited. Readings, a sorting ceremony, games and a trivia challenge will be some of the activities. For more information, call the library at 747-8708.


Zombie Apocalypse

Topic of Seminar

To be Held at UAS

The next Natural History Seminar will feature Dr. Jim Powell, presenting “Mathematics and the Life-Impaired: How the Theory of Disease Predicts a Zombie Apocalypse,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at UAS-Room 229.

The usually staid Centers for Disease Control launched its tongue-in-cheek “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse” public campaign three years ago to drive home the importance of emergency preparation.

Universities have been infected as evidenced by the popular “Humans vs. Zombies” games occurring on North American campuses, organizers said. Anthropologist Krystal D’Costa suggests zombies capture the imagination because they represent modern society and technology gone awry and offer the perfect metaphor for an unstoppable pandemic. 

Utah State University professor Jim Powell expands the zombie metaphor to illustrate concepts and results from mathematical epidemiology, organizers said. Using storylines from such movies as “Night of the Living Dead,” “28 Days Later,” “The Walking Dead,” “I Am Legend” and “World War Z,”  Powell will show how mathematicians model an epidemic. He’ll talk about how scientists predict the course and impact of epidemics, discuss how “herd immunity” (vaccination levels for disease eradication) works and discuss the consequences of life impairment in politics and administration.

The same modeling strategies are used by Powell to understand and predict the spread of zombie deer (infected with chronic wasting disease) in Utah.

The seminar series is supported by a grant from the Sitka Alaska Permanent Charitable Trust to the Sitka Sound Science Center and by the University of Alaska. Those with questions may contact Kitty LaBounty at 747-9432


Sportsman’s Group

Meeting on Tap

Sitka Sportsman’s Association announces its membership annual meeting will be held 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at the indoor shooting range at 5211 Halibut Point Road. The public is invited to join current members.

On the agenda are nomination and election of directors, treasurer’s reports, preparation for the Sportsman’s Association-sponsored 60th annual salmon derby in 2015, review of on-going programs including indoor shooting range, trap and skeet shooting, RV park, and education for youths and adults in firearms safety. Suggestions will be heard regarding activities of interest to sportsmen.

Guest speaker will be area biologist Troy Tydingco with updates from Alaska Department of Fish and Game including proposals before the state Board of Fisheries, Redoubt Bay sockeye fishery, and salmon harvest forecast.

Tours of the building will be offered along with membership information and light refreshments.

For more information, contact SSA President Foy Nevers at 747-3469, Vice President Steve Ramp, 738-7267, or Treasurer Randy Gluth, 747-5325.


Community Health

Training Planned

A community health assessment training will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  Jan. 20-21 at Centennial Hall, sponsored by the Sitka Health Summit and the Sitka Health Needs and Human Services Commission.

The training will assess community assets, resources, data and data gaps as they relate to all aspects of community – healthcare, health behaviors, food, education, the economy, employment, housing, transportation, recreation, arts and culture.

The goal of the training is to prepare for an upcoming comprehensive community health assessment. Data collected during the community health assessment will benefit all Sitka’s organizations. RSVP Melissa Marconi Wentzel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 738-0462.


TAP Class Set

A Training for Alcohol Professions class will be held 9 a.m. Jan. 17 at Westmark Sitka in the banquet room.

The class fulfills the State of Alaska education requirements for servers and sellers of beverage alcohol. Cost is $45 and ID cards required.

Those who have an expired TAM card less than 6 months expired may simply take the test. Cost is $45 and individuals must arrive by 8:30 a.m.

Call Helen at 738-6738 for more information.


Registration On for

Wearable Arts Show

The seventh annual Sitka Wearable Art Show and Runway Extravaganza registration forms are available at www.thinkartthinksitka.com or call Jeff 747 4821 to get one.

The theme is ‘‘7 Seas/Clean Seas’’ and the dates are March 6 dress rehearsal and March 7 a matinee and evening show at Centennial Hall. It is sponsored by the Greater Sitka Arts Council.


Artesian Well to be

Temporarily Closed

Temporary shutdown of the Starrigavan artesian well will begin Jan. 21 and continue for about one to two weeks.

Sitka Ranger District said that if additional work on the well becomes necessary, the shutdown might last longer.

During the shutdown, no water will be available to the public. Once work is completed by the contractor and testing of the water meets government regulations, the artesian well will reopen to the public.  

Call the Forest Service pre-recorded information line anytime at 747-6685 for updated information on when the public may again collect water from the well. 


STA Kayaani

Panel to Meet

The Kayaaní Commission will meet at the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Resource Protection office, 2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at 429 Katlian Street.

For more information, contact Heather Riggs at 747-7167.


Fourth Grade

Choir Performs

The fourth-grade choir concert will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Keet Gooshi Heen multipurpose room.

The young musicians have been working together since September during their lunch recesses to learn the music they will share. Admission is free and open to the public. 


Emblem Club Meets

Sitka Emblem Club will meet 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Elks Lodge. All members are encouraged to attend.

The meeting will include a nominating committee for the upcoming year’s officers. Members should take a gift for their secret sisters for the yearly revealing. Those with may call President Glade Morales at 738-0630.


Pioneers Install

Igloo Officers

Grand President of the Pioneers of Alaska Grand Igloo, James Rhoades, will be in Sitka Jan. 20 to install Sitka Men’s Igloo 22 and Women’s Igloo 12 officers.

The installation will be held at Sitka Methodist Church on Kimsham Street following the social hour at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6. All Pioneers may attend.



Darren English. (Photo provided)



Jazz Trumpeter to Play

At Annual Sitka Festival

The Sitka Jazz Festival has announced that trumpeter Darren English will perform during the festival set Feb. 5-7 at the Sitka Performing Arts Center.

English is a jazz trumpet player from Cape Town, South Africa. He is the two-time recipient of the Fine Music Radio Award and the 2012 recipient of the SAMRO Overseas Award. In South Africa, he has performed and recorded with some of his country’s most respected musicians, including Marcus Wyatt, Jimmy Dludlu, Mark Fransman, Alvin Dyers, Robbie Jansen, Andre Peterson, Kyle Shepherd, Hugh Masekela, Feya Faku and producer/director David Kramer.

Internationally, he has worked with UK pop star Craig David, UK reggae icon Finley Quaye (2010), Excess Luggage (Norway, 2011), and pianist Joe McBride (USA, 2012). He has performed at the Grahamstown International Jazz Fest (2011), the North Sea/Cape Town International Jazz Festival (2008-2011), and the Norwegian Folk Music Festival (2009). 

He has recently become involved with a range of groups on trumpet and drums in the United States, including the Joe Gransden Big Band, the Marcus Lewis Big Band, Russell Gunn’s Krunk Jazz Orkestra, Jacob Deaton’s Sweet Deat and the Revivalists, the Kevin Bales Quartet, and Kebbi Williams. He has also performed frequently alongside some of the U.S.A.’s finest musicians, including Russell Gunn, Joe Gransden, Carmen Bradford, Gregory Tardy, and Audrey Shakir. 

He most recently performed with his quintet at the Atlanta Jazz Festival (U.S.A. 2014) and as a soloist in Russell Gunn’s Krunk Jazz Orkestra and featured guest with the Rialto Jazz Ensemble, directed by Gordon Vernick. Darren has recently recorded his debut album under Atlanta’s top jazz label, Hot Shoe Records®, which features Grammy-nominated trumpeter Russell Gunn, Joe Gransden, Carmen Bradford (Count Basie Orchestra), and saxophonist Gregory Tardy.

English is endorsed by B.A.C. Custom Artist Series Trumpets.

Now in its 20th year, the Sitka Jazz Festival works to bring professional jazz musicians from around the world to Sitka to teach, inspire and perform. The festival strives to teach music appreciation, skills, history, artistic expression, and cross-cultural understanding through jazz in a supportive environment. Visiting artists and local educators provide clinics in jazz history, jazz theory, and jazz improvisation, as well as a variety of individual instrument and section-specific workshops. 

For more information visit the website www.sitkajazzfestival.com



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 5-28-20)

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 10:55 a.m. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 13

Total statewide – 425

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 46, 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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