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)

August 14, 2015 Community Happenings


Yoga Program for

Babies and Books

Sitka Babies and Books will present a free Itsy Bitsy Yoga program for babies and toddlers 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at Kettleson Library.

The class will be instructed by Chloe Copeland, a Radiant Child children’s yoga instructor.

Registration is required and space is limited. For more information or to reserve a place call the library at 747-8708.


Story Time Set

Preschool story time will be held 10:30 a.m. Aug. 20 at Kettleson Memorial Library. For more information, call the library at 747-8708.


Oral History

Workshop Set

Sitka Fellow and oral historian Sarah Gibson will host a workshop about oral history and interview techniques 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 30, in Fraser Hall on the SJ Campus.

‘‘Bring someone who you would like to interview, or come on your own and be paired with an interview subject at the workshop,’’ organizers said.

The event is by donation. The Sitka Fellows program is sponsored by the Island Institute and the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.


Services Scheduled For

Marie Adele Wichman

Marie Adele (Kinberg) Wichman passed away Thursday morning, August 6, 2015, at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Wash.

A funeral will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15. A potluck will follow at noon at Sweetland Hall on Sheldon Jackson Campus.

Her ashes will be spread on Sunday, Aug. 16, at Iris Meadows at the Kinberg family homestead, on Kruzof Island.

“We will meet at Mud Bay at noon,” the family said. “Please provide your own transportation to Mud Bay and across the island to Iris Meadows.  Everyone is welcome.”

Marie K. Wichman

Ride to Iris Meadows

‘‘A free bird leaps from the back of the wind,

Floats downstream till the current ends,

Dips its wings in the orange sun rays,

And dares to claim the sky.’’

-Maya Angelou



BIHA Board Meets

Baranof Island Housing Authority Board of Commissioners will meet 5 p.m. Aug. 18, at 245 Katlian Street. The public is invited to attend.


Murray Pacific

Purchased by

LFS Marine

Murray Pacific Supply of Alaska, in Sitka has become part of the LFS Marine Supplies family with the completion of a purchase agreement announced August 11.

The iconic Sitka store will continue to operate under its current name, with its familiar crew and longtime manager, Linda Boord, at the helm, LFS saidin a press release.

The acquisition of this well-established fishing gear and marine supplier adds a year-round Southeast location to the six LFS stores already operating in Alaska: LFS/Donalson’s in Anchorage and Kenai, and LFS locations in Dutch Harbor, Cordova, Naknek, and Dillingham.  

“We are pleased to gain a strong presence in Southeast Alaska,” said LFS president Shane Russell.

“We are looking forward to servicing the customers in Sitka and other Southeast fishing communities, and we’ll also have an opportunity to supply gear for all of the regional fisheries. We have a lot of respect for Murray Pacific’s history and traditions in Alaska,” Russell added, “and look forward to working with Linda and her team.” 


Baranof Elementary

Staff Reunion Set

   There is a reunion for the Baranof Elementary School staff for the 1970s and 1980s  at McDonald’s 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22.

‘‘This is a drop-in-and-out gathering and is a time to reconnect with co-workers,’’ organizers said. ‘‘Please join us.’’

Those with questions can call Mae Dunsing, 747-8716 or 752-8716.


Boots Sought to Send On

Message On B.C. Mines

To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Mount Polley Mine disaster on Canada’s Fraser River, Southeast Alaskan communities are organizing a rubber boot drive to encourage Alaska’s Governor to get “extra tough” on B.C. mines. 

Citizens will take hundreds of pairs of the iconic rubber boots worn by Southeast Alaskans to Gov. Bill Walker in Juneau in late August. The new and used boots will then be delivered to the Glory Hole in Juneau for distribution to Alaskans in need, organizers said.

The “extra tough” campaign is sponsored by Inside Passage Waterkeeper, a local grassroots group that is partnering with people in communities to collect the boots and get the word out on B.C. mines. 

Sitka Conservation Society is one such group that has joined in on the campaign. 

‘‘With a twofold mission, to protect the Tongass and support sustainable communities, the decision for SCS to participate was easy,’’ SCS’s Edie Leghorn said. ‘‘Many of our advocacy campaigns revolve around protecting the salmon that nourish our forests, economies, and communities. Standing up against B.C. mines being built in the headwaters of our most important salmon streams was thus a project we were eager to help out with.’’

SCS is functioning as the community boot drop-off location in Sitka.

‘‘We will also have a booth at the upcoming Sitka Local Foods Network market on Aug. 15, where people can learn more about the issue, drop off boots, or participate in our letter-writing campaign, asking Gov. Walker to enforce the Boundary Waters Treaty,’’ Leghorn said. ‘‘This is all in the lead-up to a portrait series, entitled ‘Faces of Clean Water,’ which will be appearing at the Backdoor Café next month.’’ 

The rubber boots are meant to be a symbol of Southeast Alaskans’ water-based livelihoods, cultures, and ways of life, all of which could be impacted by new mines going into operation just over Alaska’s border in the headwaters of Southeast’s major salmon rivers. While a wide cross section of Southeast Alaskans have asked the state to enforce the Boundary Waters Treaty with British Columbia, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott have not yet taken action to insist Alaska’s rights be protected under the treaty through an International Joint Commission, Leghorn said.

A community organizer partnering with the project in Sitka, Leghor said she recognizes the importance of the issue to people around the region. 

“I live on the docks and I know Sitkans care about this issue and are talking about it,’’ Leghorn said. ‘‘We want to make a difference and show the Governor that everyone wants real action on this.”

The state of Alaska has not offered rigorous analysis or feedback on any of the mines opening on the Stikine, Taku, or Unuk Rivers, Leghorn said. Many are concerned that Alaska did not oppose or comment on the opening of Red Chris Mine in the headwaters of the Stikine River, despite the fact that its owner, Imperial Metals Corporation, was responsible for the Mount Polley Mine disaster last year that destroyed a watershed, took away clean drinking water for the community of Likely, ruined local businesses, and damaged salmon runs important to downstream First Nations, she said.

Those who wish to participate can contribute boots in several ways. They can give up old boots; provide extra boots with their names that will be returned to them; support local retailers by buying a new pair of boots that will be donated to people in need; or contribute the cost of boots to their local organizer who will buy boots for them.

All participants will be entered to win a free pair of rubber boots.

Organizers are also collecting dozens of photos of Southeast Alaskans holding signs asking the Governor to get “extra tough” on B.C. mines and encouraging people to send in more photos and post on social media.


ANB Meeting

On Aug. 24

Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 1 will hold its first meet of the season 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at the ANB Founders Hall.

Agenda items will include nominations for Sitka delegates and alternates to ANB Grand Camp, hosted in Wrangell October 2015.

Fall  schedule planning and other business is also planned. For more informaiton call ANB Camp 1 secretary Steve Warren at 738-3695.


White E Shop Sets

Back-to-School Sale

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

The half-price back-to-school sale will include everything in the children’s store.

‘‘The racks are full so there is a good selection of clothes plus shoes,’’ White Elephant Shop personnel said.


‘Kon-Tiki’ Film

To be Shown

The classic, award-winning film “Kon-Tiki” about Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 balsa raft crossing of the Pacific from Peru to Polynesia will be shown at the downtown Coliseum 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23. Tickets are $5, available at the door and Old Harbor Books.

What is the status of transpacific voyages during prehistoric times? How has new science in oceanography, genetics, linguistics and experimental archaeology contributed to recent discussions? What about Thor Heyerdahl’s controversial proposal about South America to Polynesia connections?

A 20-minute discussion touching on those questions will be held after the 1-hour, 17-minute, film.

“Come and enjoy this one-time showing on the big screen of an amazing adventure,” said the organizers of the next Paths Across the Pacific conference.

The next Paths Across the Pacific conference, the ninth held in Sitka since 2002, will be Aug. 17-20, 2016. ‘‘Human Migrations Across the Southern Pacific’’ will be one of the topics.


Stress Management

Challenge to Begin

Sitka Community Hospital and the Hames Center are teaming up for a 21-day Stress-Less Challenge 7-8 p.m. Mondays Aug. 17-Sept. 7 at the Hames Center.

SCH’s Director of Health Promotion Doug Osborne will guide participants through a four-week course that will help them craft and practice a personalized relaxation plan. To register or for more information visit hamescenter.org or call 747-5080.


Babies and Books

Coupons Update

Babies and Books and Old Harbor Books remind families who completed the Early Literacy Summer Reading Program at Kettleson Memorial Library this summer that their earned coupons need to be redeemed no later than Saturday, Aug. 31.

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



Coho Clan Meets

The Coho Clan will meet 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, at 314 Katlian Street.

All clan members are being encouraged to attend. Call Chuck, 738-4025, with questions.


Strong and Steady

Classes to Meet

The Strong and Steady exercise class at the Swan Lake Senior Center meets 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sitka’s senior citizens are invited to participate in this free activity designed to improve strength and balance. For more information call 747-3412.





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.

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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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