FAREWELLS – TOP: Staff and faculty of Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School wave to students and families as they drive by in the school parking lot this morning during a "reverse parade." Today was the final day of school in the district. ABOVE: Also today, Blatchley Middle School held a Rites of Passage ceremony in the parking lot. Principal Ben White hands out certificates to eighth-graders who will be attending high school in the fall. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

June 26, 2015 Community Happenings

Traffic Counters

Installed at Park

The Sitka National Historical Park  recently installed four traffic counters along the park’s scenic trails. 

The trail counters are not cameras, and provide park managers with an accurate count of the number of people who recreate on the park’s trails.  The information is used for annual reporting requirements, budgeting purposes, and maintenance requests.  


Metal Detectors

Banned in Parks

Sitka National Historical Park staff reminds the public that using metal detectors in the park is prohibited in all national parks by several laws and is most directly stated in the Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 2.1(7)). 

Digging up or removing metal artifacts from a National Park permanently damages the archaeological resources of the park. 

If you visit Sitka National Historical Park on a regular basis and see a visitor with a metal detector, note his/her location and appearance and report them immediately to the nearest ranger.  During business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily), you may also call the Visitor Center on 907-747-0110 for immediate assistance.   After hours, call the National Park Service ARPA Hotline on 800-478-2724 or the park’s Chief Ranger Neil Akana on 907-738-3851. 

        SEARHC Dentists

Receive Awards

The SouthEast Regional Health Consortium and the Academy of General Dentistry has announced that SEARHC dentists Matthew J West, DMD, FAGD, of Juneau, and Mandie L Smith, DDS, FAGD, of Sitka, each received the AGD’s Fellowship Award. The awards were presented at the 2015 annual meeting, June 18-21 in San Francisco.

To earn the AGD award Dr. West, a graduate of Oregon Health and Sciences University, and Dr. Smith, a graduate of University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, each completed 500 hours of dental continuing education, passed a comprehensive written exam, and fulfilled three years of continuous membership in the AGD.

“We are proud to honor Dr. West and Dr. Smith for their commitment to reaching this lofty goal,” said AGD Immediate Past President W. Carter Brown, DMD, FAGD. “They have distinguished themselves professionally among their peers and are role models for both their fellow dentists and the communities of Juneau and Sitka.”


Sacred Harp Sing

To Meet Sunday

The 4th Sunday Sitka Sacred Harp Sing will be held 3:30-5 p.m. Sunday,  June 28 at the Pioneer Home Chapel. Beginners and listeners are always welcome.Call 738-2089 for more information.


        Coho Clan Meet


The Coho Clan meeting scheduled for June 27 has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, July 12, at 314 Katlian St.

All clan members are encouraged to attend. For more information call Chuck at 738-4025.



        BIKE CAMP

        Kids First Bike

Camp on Tap

Sitka Community Hospital and Community Schools are sponsoring Sitka’s first bike camp for students in grades three to six.  The hands-on camp will be 9:30-noon August 3-6 at Keet Gooshi Heen.

Instructors Doug Osborne and Bill Giant will work with students on the basics of safe and effective cycling.Group rides will happen every day.  Campers need a bicycle and helmet.

 For more information or to register contact Twila  Keaveny at at Community Schools 747-8670. 

SCS to Host

Photo Exhibit

The Sitka Conservation Society will host a “Meet Your Neighbours” photography exhibit by SCS intern, Lione Clare at the Backdoor Cafe Saturday, June 27, through Friday, July 7. “Meet Your Neighbours” is an international photography project which seeks to improve the connections between residents and local animals.

Lione Clare followed the guidelines of the project by shooting her subjects on a white background in their natural environment. Her local subjects include sea urchins, owls, skunk cabbage, abalone and columbine.

Prints and art cards will be available for purchase. SCS will host a reception during First Friday 5:30-7 p.m. July 3.


       Ventures Summer Program Offers a Variety of Star Wars Activities for Youth

       Ventures’ Program

Features ‘Star Wars’

Ventures will offer many new Star Wars activities during the week of June 29 -July 2.

Students will participate in force and lightsaber training, starship building challenges, force meditation, a mock Jedi council, lightsaber crystal hunts, Jedi master quests, Star Wars art projects, tie fighter hot dog snacks, and many more activities. Science, technology, engineering, art, and math will be incorporated into the Star Wars-themed activities.

Swimming will be offered 2-3 p.m., Monday-Thursday at the Blatchley pool.

Students should bring to Ventures: a sack lunch that does not need to be cooked, warm clothes, boots, and swimming gear. Students may bring bikes, but they must have a helmet.

Call 966-1317; email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; visit: Baranof School, Room 17, or look at website sitkaschools.org/ventures.




Activities Slated

At National Park

Sitka National Historical Park offers daily guided programs teaching visitors about the park’s natural and cultural resources.

The week’s activities include:

Sunday, June 28: 10 a.m. – Totem Walk; 3:30 p.m. – Sea Otter Discovery Talk

Monday, June 29: noon – Totem Walk; 1:30 p.m. – Sea Otter Discovery Talk

Tuesday, June 30: 10 a.m. – Totem Walk; 12:30 p.m. – Sea Otter Discovery Talk; 1 p.m. – Totem Walk

Wednesday, July 1: 9:00 a.m. – Totem Walk; 10:30 a.m. – Russian-American History Walking Tour; 2 p.m. – Sea Otter Discovery Talk

Thursday, July 2: 10:30 a.m. – Russian-American History Walking Tour: 1 p.m. – Totem Walk

Friday, July 3:11 a.m. – Totem Walk

Saturday, July 4: 10 a.m. – Totem Walk

The Russian-American History Walking Tour leaves from the Russian Bishop’s House.  All other ranger-led tours meet at the Sitka NHP visitor center.

For more information about the ranger-guided tours at Sitka NHP, call the visitor center at (907) 747-0110.




SCVB Board Meets

The Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, in Centennial Hall. Contact the SCVB office for more information: 907-747-5940 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 5-22-20)

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 11:00 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 2

Total statewide – 404

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 44, 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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