PERFECT WEATHER – Surfers assess the waves at Sandy Beach this morning. Waves were between 14- and 20-feet today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

January 16, 2015 Community Happenings

White E Sale Sets

The children’s store only at the White Elephant Shop will have half-price sale Saturday noon-3 p.m.


Jazz After Hours

At VanWinkle’s

Jazz After Hours will be held upstairs at VanWinkle’s Restaurant Saturday, Feb. 7, immediately following the evening concert.

The concert will end earlier this year than in previous years.

‘‘It’s your opportunity to enjoy great jazz up close and unforgettable,’’ Jazz Fest organizers said. ‘‘Festival musicians and friends will move over to VanWinkle’s after the Saturday night Jazz Fest performance. Those of us who just can’t get enough jazz in Sitka have one more chance to join them from 9:30 p.m. to closing.’’

A $40 donation to the Sitka Jazz Festival will cover the jazz program with local and visiting musicians and light appetizers. A cash bar will be offered.

Attendees may also donate to VanWinkle’s to assist with medical expenses. Tickets will be available at Harry Race Pharmacy and Old Harbor Books, when they re-open. 


SAFV Program

For Kids, Moms

Sitkans Against Family Violence will offer the Kids Club and Moms Empowerment Program beginning in February.

The groups take place for five weeks and is specifically geared to moms with children ages 6-12 who have experienced domestic violence within the last two years.

Moms will receive $25 for participating in an initial interview. Call SAFV at 747-3370 to register. 


Pizza Express Night

To Benefit Skippers

A fundraiser is to be held at Pizza Express to benefit the Sitka Skippers.

Those who dine in or order out 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, will have a portion of the proceeds donated to the skippers.

The team is raising funds to travel to regionals in March.


Sitka Community Hospital

Offers Cardiac Rehab Dept.Sitka Community Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department  is working well, the hospital said, and offered an example.

Carl Peterson had been seeing Dr. Andrew Coletti, a visiting cardiologist from Bellingham, Wash., at Sitka Community Hospital, to monitor his aortic stenosis for approximately three years, the hospital said.

Working with Coletti, Peterson decided it was time for his aortic valve to be replaced, before fishing season started. 

Aortic stenosis occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows and the valve is not able to open fully, causing an obstruction of blood flow. It causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the body and eventually, if left untreated, can lead to serious heart problems.

Peterson flew to Bellingham for an aortic valve replacement, triple bypass and pacemaker placement. He was able to stay in a nearby apartment facility for patients for six weeks. He started with phase I cardiac rehab there, then moved to phase II cardiac rehab. He soon was at a point where he could travel home to Sitka. 

He was able to come home earlier than expected to finish his final four weeks of Phase II cardiac rehabilitation because of the program offered at the hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department. 

“The program here in Sitka was very personable,’’ Peterson said. ‘‘The cardiac rehab team of Sara Bergendahl, PT, and Robert Hattle, RN, took care of my physical and medical monitoring during the three exercise and education sessions per week. It’s really great that we are developing the infrastructure to have a program like this in Sitka.”

Peterson also found it was cost-effective to complete the program in Sitka as compared to paying for living expenses away from home, SCH said.

Currently, Peterson exercises at Sitka Community Hospital’s Oceanside Therapy Center independently five days a week. He has worked up to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and 20 minutes of weight training, with the goal of increasing over time.

Peterson stresses the importance of participating in rehabilitation prior to a medical procedure. He said that because he had been to Oceanside Therapy Center prior to his surgery, he had a shorter recovery and was in much better condition.

‘‘By working with Dr. Coletti and my local physician Dr. Coruzzi, I was able to plan for this procedure and be much better prepared than if we waited and an emergency occurred,” he said. 

Those wanting more information about Sitka Community Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program can call 747-1771. 


Story Time Set

‘‘Knitty Kitty’’ by David Elliott will be one of the readings during the next preschool story times at Kettleson Memorial Library 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 22.

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

Story times help to promote early literacy skills, expand children’s vocabularies and broaden and enrich their experiences, stimulating brain development, the library said.

For more information, call the library at 747 8708



Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital

Gets New Administrator

 Jeff Prater has been named new hospital administrator at SEARHC-Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.

He began work at the consortium on Jan. 13. Prater fills a position held by interim administrator Noel Rea, who has been an integral part in the management of Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital over the past 18 months, SEARHC said today in a press release.

Prater has more than 25 years’ experience in healthcare, with extensive experience in hospital settings. He  most recently worked at Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital in Barrow, where he was hospital administrator.

He said he and his fiancé, Kama Blasing, are happy to be in Sitka.

“Kama and I are extremely excited to be in Sitka and for the opportunity to join SEARHC, an organization with such a great history of commitment to community,” Prater said.  “It is a true honor to be here and build on this strong tradition. I look forward to advancing the efforts that have already been set into motion here at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.’’

‘‘I was drawn to this position based on SEARHC’s vision for the future of health care delivery in Southeast Alaska,’’ he said. ‘‘My passion is to deliver the safest and highest quality health care to the people we serve.”

Prater’s proven approach includes collaboration with physicians and other critical health care staff as well as acknowledging the essential needs of patients.

“We are thrilled that Jeff is joining our leadership team at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital to continue with our objective of providing quality care and a positive patient experience,” said SEARHC CEO Charles Clement.



Tyler Gilson. (Photo provided)


New PT Joins

Rehab Team

Sitka Community Hospital and Oceanside Therapy Center is welcoming Tyler Gilson, PT, DPT.

Gilson graduated with a bachelor of science degree in exercise science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 2007, a bachelor of science degree in health science in 2008 and a doctorate of physical therapy from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, in 2010.

He is from Mifflin, Pennsylvania, and discovered Sitka in 2011 as a traveler. His personal interests include hunting, fishing and hiking. He enjoys working out and was a collegiate wrestler while at Shippensburg University. Gilson has a strong background in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine with a focus on manual therapy and experience in vestibular rehabilitation.

‘‘Having Gilson join the rehabilitation department at Sitka Community Hospital is a significant milestone in the ongoing development and growth of the program,’’ the hospital said.

He joins rehabilitation team members Kay Turner, PT, DPT; Jennifer Disney, PT; Sara Bergendahl, PT; Bridget Hitchcock, PT, MPT; Lois Denherder, OTR/L; Mo McBride, OTR/L; Tori Hay, OTR/L; and Michael Boyle, ST. 



Tribal Council

Meets Jan. 21

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska Tribal Council will meet 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the Sheet’ka Kwáan Naa Kahídi. The meeting is open to the public.

For information, contact KathyHope Erickson, 747-7352.


Unitarians Gather

Sunday’s Unitarian Fellowship meeting will focus on the UUA’s principle 6: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

The group will discuss the General Assembly’s vote on Social Action as well as look at other UUA aspects directed toward social justice.

Fellowship begins at 10:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 10:45. A children’s program is provided. Soup and bread may follow the program at noon.

The Fellowship Hall is located at 408 Marine Street, with parking behind off Spruce Street.



Adult Open Sewing

Session to Register

An adult open sewing class will run 7-9 p.m. Thursdays Jan. 15-March 12 in the Blatchley Middle School home economics room.

The cost is $40 per person and registration is open at the Sitka Community School office.

Participants will learn basic sewing techniques, including basic alterations, simple patterns or basic quilting. Some machines are provided. Those who have one should take their own.




‘Travelers’ Tales’ Well-Told

Meaux, Jean Morgan, editor, Stephen Haycox, foreword, ‘‘In Pursuit of Alaska: an Anthology of Travelers’ Tales, 1879-1909.’’ University of Washington Press, 284 pages. Some black-and-white photographs and maps. Softbound. $26.95.

In 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the United States to mixed reviews. Whether you thought it was a mistake or a clever idea, not many came to see in person. It was too distant and lacking in climate and value until gold was discovered.

Meaux divides her book into three sections. The first concerns the curious such as Septima Collis and John Muir in Southeast, the second includes a few adventurers north such as Hudson Stuck on the Arctic Coast, and the third and by far the most numerous, the gold rush participants.

Before each account Meaux tells the reader a bit about the author and offers a precis of her or his account, then launches into the excerpt, finishing with an epilogue. These work quite smoothly, telling the reader who will be speaking, giving a bit of background, then the quotation followed by a short afterword. 

Her writing is well done, the quotations excellent, and the epilogues give a nice “then what happened to the writer?” 

As to the choice of writers, whether judged excellent, adequate, or unnecessary, that will depend on the reader’s interest in and knowledge of Alaska’s travelers. This reviewer could have done nicely without the gold rush accounts which predominate, but will cheerfully admit to a prejudice against the whole idea of masses of people heading greedily for presumed easy riches, while doing no research at all; just intent on picking gold nuggets out of the grass.

But in that case, the truthful answer will be for the complainer to write her own book. Read Meaux’s book and decide for yourself.

–Dee Longenbaugh 



BIHA to Meet

The Baranof Island Housing Authority board of commissioners will meet 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at 245 Katlian Street. The public is invited to attend.


Herring Panel Meets

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska Herring Committee will meet 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at 429 Katlian Street.

The panel will discuss Board of Fish proposals. The meeting is open to the public. Questions can be directed to 747-7168.



Roundup Set

Parents of incoming kindergartners who do not attend a preschool, or attend a private preschool, are being asked to call Baranof Elementary School at 747-5825 and give the child’s name and date of birth.

The budgeting process has begun and the school wants to know how many classrooms to plan for next year. 

Kindergarten registration will be held at Baranof Elementary School 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 31-April 2/

 Children who will be 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2015, will be eligible to enroll for the 2015-2016 school year.

Parents are reminded to take the following to registration: current immunization records, health physical certificate (given within the past year) and birth certificate or passport.

For more information, call Baranof Elementary at 747 5825.


Child Find for


Screening Set

Sitka School District will provide a ‘‘child find’’ preschool screening for children ages 3-5 Friday, Feb. 6, at the Rasmuson Building on the SJ Campus.

An appointment is required for the screening. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, parents should call the Baranof Elementary office at 966-1334, or Mandy Evans, special education director, at 966-1253.

The child find program is provided without charge to families who live within Sitka Borough School District boundaries. The purpose is to identify children who are having difficulty in their development, and to provide special education services to them, when it is appropriate.

Parents may have concerns about their child’s development in the areas ofhearing, vision, speech/language skills, motor skills, thinking skills and emotional or social skills.

A screening is a series of short tests and professional observations in various developmental areas. Children who are unable to pass one or more areas of the screening may have a developmental delay in those areas. The screening, however, is not enough to determine that a child is delayed; it is only designed to see if further investigation into a child’s developmental progress is necessary.

Screenings for children ages 3-5 will be held at the Rasmuson Building, at least once per quarter, and those dates will be publicized. Additional appointments at other times or locations may be scheduled as needed.


Tlingit and Haida

Meeting on Tap

Sitka Chapter of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska will meet 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at 415 Hollywood Way.

All tribal members are invited.


ANB to Meet

Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 1 will meet 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the ANB Founders Hall.

ANB encourages all members, and other interested citizens, to attend.

For more information call Harriet Beleal, 738-3470.




BIHA Board

Meets Jan. 20

The Baranof Island Housing Authority board of commissioners will meet 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at 245 Katlian Street. The public is welcome to attend.


Piano Concert

Set for Jan. 23

The international piano duo Julia Kruger and Victor Bunin will present a piano concert 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at the Sitka Performing Arts Center.

The duet team has performed at venues, events and orchestras around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, and the United Nations in Kosovo.

Admission is by donation. Call Jammie Wileman at 747-5764 for more information.


AMSEA to Add

Staff, Courses

The Alaska Marine Safety Association announces the addition of Emergency Medical Services instructor and commercial fisherman Eric Van Cise to their Sitka staff.

Van Cise has more than 20 years of experience teaching first aid, CPR and remote medical care to first responders in urban and remote settings. He is a certified EMS instructor for the State of Alaska, Wilderness Medical Associates International, and American Safety and Health Institute.

“We are very pleased to offer fishermen and others who work, recreate and conduct subsistence activities in remote environments, first aid courses that are appropriate to remote care when rescue is many minutes or hours away,’’ Executive Director Jerry Dzugan said. ‘‘As in our other safety and survival workshops, the first aid courses will emphasize AMSEA’s commitment to relevant, hands on, skills based training.”

New course offerings from AMSEA include an eight and one-half hour, mariner’s first aid and CPR workshop and a 36-hour wilderness advanced first aid workshops. The mariner’s first aid and CPR workshop is tailored to the needs of fishermen, mariners and others in remote environments. Attendees receive a U.S. Coast Guard-accepted first aid and CPR certification from American Safety and Health Institute that is valid for two years.

AMSEA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational institute. Support organizations are Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, State of Alaska Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, State of Alaska Office of Boating Safety, University of Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska Marine Safety Education Association.

The wilderness advanced first aid workshop prepares students for emergency situations that involve prolonged patient care, severe environments, and improvised equipment. Students will receive Wilderness Medical Associates International’s internationally recognized, WAFA and Adult CPR certification, which is valid for three years. The workshop includes patient assessment drills and simulations. The WAFA certificate meets the U.S. Coast Guard training requirements for first aid and CPR on commercial fishing vessels.

AMSEA also provides first aid courses suitable for urban and industrial environments. AMSEA is an Alaska-based nonprofit educational association dedicated to training mariners cold-water safety and survival techniques and reducing injuries and the loss of life at sea since 1983. Those interested in learning more about AMSEA’s first aid and CPR workshops may call 747-3287 or visit AMSEA’s website at


Business Start-Up

Videoconference on

The videoconference ‘‘Heck Yeah, It’s Time To Start My Own Business!’’ will be 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at Kettleson Memorial Library.

The interactive and informative tutorial – presented as part of the Alaska Online With Libraries Project – is a starting point for anyone who has ever thought about starting their own business. The public is invited to attend.


4-H to Meet

The Sitka Spruce Tips 4-H club will meet 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at Centennial Hall. This is a location change. For information contact Sarah at 747-7509.


Mark Verne

Concert at Loft

Sitka Folk will present a concert at The Loft 7 p.m. Jan. 23.

Mark Verne will perform followed by the Penny Dreadfuls. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the Fiddle Grind and at the door. Only 45 will be sold due to limited space. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7.

For more information call Ted at 747-5482.


Chinese Class Set

On SJ Campus

The Chinese class “Singing all the Way to China” will start on Jan. 23 for those in kindergarten through first grades.

The class is a part of after-school program of Sitka Fine Arts Camp. Children will learn how to sing Chinese nursery songs and how to read some simple Chinese characters. A related handcraft will be provided at the end of the class.

Call SFAC at 747-3085 to register.


Catastrophes At-Sea

Stories to be Told

“Survival at Sea: Local Stories and Lessons Learned from those who have Come Back Alive!” will be moderated by AMSEA followed by a short question and answer period 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at Kettleson Memorial Libary.

A panel of locals will share their stories of surviving catastrophes at sea. 

‘‘Prepare to be riveted by local sea lore, as well as to learn a thing or two about keeping yourself safe while on our local waters,’’ organizers said.

Contact the library with questions at 747-8708.


Alaska Herb

Guide Published

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has published a comprehensive Alaska guide for herb enthusiasts.

“An Alaska Herb Garden” features information about cultivating, harvesting, storing and using herbs. The 74-page guide includes color illustrations, recipes and detailed information on 25 herbs and general information on nearly 40 more.

The guide is a collaboration between the extension and the Georgeson Botanical Garden. The garden’s director, professor Pat Holloway, wrote the section about cultivating herbs.

The publication is dedicated to Barbara Fay, a longtime gardener who taught community herb classes in Fairbanks for more than 20 years. She worked with Holloway on herb research at the garden and enlisted other gardeners to join her and tend the herb beds.

Fay’s notes and class materials formed the guide’s framework. Extension home economist Roxie Dinstel and two of Fay’s fellow herb enthusiasts, Virginia Damron and Marsha Munsell, provided information on preserving and storing herbs, edited the guide and tested recipes.

Holloway said the guide will be a great asset to gardeners and others interested in growing and using the herbs. She credits Fay.

“This is her idea, her baby,” she said. “She is the one who got us all riled up about herbs.”

Copies are $15 and available at Extension district offices or by calling 1-877-520-5211.



To Sitka Nonprofits

Sitkans are being asked to support one or more of Sitka’s listed nonprofit organizations through the Pick.Click.Give program when applying for a Permanent Fund Dividend.

Donations are tax-free. Applicants can pick their favorite nonprofit from the list at, click on their name after applying for a PFD, and give to any of the 22 organizations that make Sitka the best place to be.

For more information, including a list of nonprofits, check out


Broadway Night

Set for Jan. 30

Sitka Community Theater will host its annual fundraiser, Broadway Night, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at Odess Theater on the Sitka Fine Arts Camp campus. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The event features an evening of local talent singing showtunes. Funds raised will go toward our spring play “The Flattering Word,” a one-act comedy set to be staged March 27, 28 and 29 at the Sitka Performing Arts Center

The $35 ticket includes entertainment, two glasses of wine and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are available at Old Harbor Books and the Daily Sitka Sentinel. Those with questions may call 738-0602.


SCT Announces

Play Auditions

Sitka Community Theater will hold auditions for the one-act comedy “The Flattering Word,” by George Kelly. Written in 1925, the plot centers around a touring actor who pays a visit to an old flame, now married to a pastor. 

Auditions are 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, and 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Rasmuson Student Center on the SFAC campus. There are two parts for men, three for women. Those interested in serving as assistant director or stage manager should attend one of the auditions as well. Set builders and costumers may call 738-0602. 

Those with questions may call director Taylor Ciambra at 203-815-4126.


Program for Native Students

Gets $466K in Donations

The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program is continuing to expand STEM education opportunities for under-represented students in Alaska as a result of support from numerous companies totaling $466,000.

Among ANSEP’s supporters in 2014, recent donations include: $25,000, Alyeska Pipeline; $50,000, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation;    $36,000, ConocoPhillips; $155,000,  Shell; and $200,000, Udelhoven Oilfield System Services.

The donations will help the program achieve its goal of increasing the number of Alaska Natives who are inspired and prepared to pursue a career path to leadership in STEM fields. The funds allow growth of the program’s multiple components from middle school, through college and into careers.

“We’re always grateful for the support we receive from companies in Alaska, especially those that also provide internship opportunities for our students and allow them to gain hands-on workplace experience in STEM fields,” said founder and Vice Provost Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder, Ph.D. “Companies that support ANSEP see the impact our program has on these students and therefore believe in the power of our program to make a lasting impact in the future of STEM in Alaska.”

As ANSEP enters its 20th year, more than 1,500 students are engaged in the program, including middle school, high school and university students as well as alumni. Students represent more than 95 Alaska communities. At its current growth rate, 4,000 ANSEP students will have the opportunity to be on track for science and engineering degrees by 2020.

More than 74 percent of all ANSEP students who began bachelor’s degrees in STEM since 2010 are still in school or have graduated. To learn more about ANSEP, visit









August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 11-24-20)

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 12:25 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 578

Total statewide – 27,669

Total (cumulative) deaths – 115

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 619

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Active cases in Sitka – 29

Hospitalizations in Sitka – 3

Cumulative Sitka cases – 176 (155 resident; 21 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 147 cumulative

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.




November 2000

Photo caption: A painting by the late Dr. Walt Massey hangs on the wall of the Pioneers Home dining room,. bringing smiles from home administrator Julie Smith and Massey’s son Brian and daughter-in-law Amy, the home’s dietary manager. The painting of early-day Sitka was done in 1971, the year Dr. Massey, an optometrist and artist, died. It originally hung in the Canoe Club and was given by the restaurant’s owner, Frank Richards, to local historian Joe Ashby, who gave it to the Pioneers Home.

November 1970

Photo  caption: Sitka High School band director James Hope receives a check for $2,000 from American Legion Post 13 Commander Carroll Kohler. The Legion had voted to contribute $1,000 for uniforms and the Auxiliary voted to match that amount. The check was presented at the Legion’s Veterans Day banquet.