DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS – Harbor Point and No Name Mountain are pictured this afternoon from the Old Sitka Cruise Ship Dock. A draft master plan for the Granite Creek to No Name Mountain area was discussed at a joint Assembly and Planning Commission meeting Wednesday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

August 26, 2015 Community Happenings

Skippers Tryouts,

Registration Set

Sitka Skippers will hold tryouts and registration for new jumpers 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, in the Keet Gooshi Heen gym.

To sign up, jumpers must be able to demonstrate 25 consecutive single bounce jumps.

Ropes are provided for tryouts. Space is limited and open to both boys and girls. Cost for new jumpers is $100.


Sacred Harp Sing

Set for Aug. 30

The fifth Sunday Sitka Sacred Harp Sing will be 3:30-5 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Pioneer Home Chapel. The group sings from the Cooper Book, which has more of a southern gospel, camp meeting style to it. 

Listeners and singers can attend and no experience is necessary.



Training Set

SAFV’s free community training on all aspects of interpersonal violence continues on Aug. 31, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 408 Marine Street with “Domestic Violence 101.”

Find the schedule at safv.org, or call 747-3370 for more information. 

The session on “DV 101” explains the dynamics of domestic violence  and how to support a friend or loved one who experiences it. The next day of training is Sept. 12.


CORE Class Set

Sitka Community Schools will offer CORE classes designed to improve functional strength and balance using free weights that are provided.

Class times are 5:15-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays Sept. 1-29 at the Baranof Elementary Gym.

The cost is $45. Registration is open at Sitka Community Schools.


National Elks Leader to Visit Sitka Elk Lodge

Ronald L. Hicks, national president of the BPO Elks of Fredericksburg, Virginia, will visit Sitka Elks Lodge 1662 this Friday and Saturday, August 28 and 29. 

Hicks will visit the Sitka lodge as part of his nationwide tour of lodges and state Elks associations following his election.

Hicks was installed as the Elks Grand Exalted Ruler at the Grand Lodge Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.,  in July.

Tours of Sitka have been planned as well as no-host dinners at the Elks Lodge 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. Both are open to members and invited guests. Officers are being encouraged to attend. 

Hicks will be traveling with his wife Nancy; Washington State Association President Dennis Ramsey and wife Huey; Alaska State President Jon Shennett and wife Cathy; Paul Whitney, Alaska State Association secretary, and wife Jeanie; and Mike Luhr, grand trustee, Special Rep E. Dist., PSP, PDDGER.


Cookbooks for Sale

By Local Quilters

Ocean Wave Quilters is selling limited-edition cookbooks.

Books are filled with potluck-tested and approved recipes as well as photos of beautiful quilts, all by local quilters.

The cookbook is available at Abby’s Reflection Apparel and Quiltworks. Call Jan Lovett, 747-3653, with questions.


KGH Reminds Parents

Of Drop-Off Rules

Parents and guardians of Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School students are reminded that students are to report directly to the playground in the morning and no earlier than 7:45 a.m. as there is no adult supervision until that time.

Parents are to drop their students off at the entrance to the playground in front of the school in the designated student drop off area.

They are asked to not use the district office parking lot for dropping students off because of traffic congestion and safety reasons.


Applications Ready

For Boys Run I

Sitkans Against Family Violence is launching its second year of ‘‘Boys Run I toowú klatseen: Strengthen Your Spirit,’’ an after-school empowerment program for boys.

Boys will train for a final 5K while developing healthy lifestyle skills, connecting to Southeast Alaska values, and strengthening their spirits, SAFV said.

‘‘With the guidance of wonderful coaches, we envision these boys growing into confident, compassionate men who will help to create a community of non-violence,’’ SAFV said.

The program will meet 2:30-4:15 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday. Training for coaches will be on Aug. 29. The program will end with a community 5K Fun Run on Dec. 5.

Enrollment applications can be found at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School in the main office or from the school counselors. For more information, visit safv.org or call 747-3370. Applications are due Monday, Sept. 7. 



Oral History, Folk Music,

Dance Mixed by II Fellow


Raven Radio listeners may have heard a new voice on the airwaves in recent days. Sarah Gibson is in town this summer through the Sitka Fellows Program, and has produced a number of audio postcards, including one about the recent Tlingit Language Immersion program  and another about local musician and cab driver Hank Moore.

Her time in Sitka is culminating with events on three consecutive days this week – an oral history workshop on Thursday, a square dance on Friday, and the performance of ballads on Saturday.

Gibson collects oral histories, particularly of folk tradition bearers. She says that her broader interest in folk traditions is rooted in her interest in music. 

“Music is something that I’ve done for a really long time,’’ she said. ‘‘I’ve been a part of community choirs and community singing, folk music, for a really long time, since I was a kid. On a gut level I’m drawn to that certain form of art and the kind of art that emerges from communities, particularly in the South – folk arts.”

Her Sitka audio postcards are just part of the work that she is doing while in town; her primary project involves working through archival materials and interviews that she has conducted in North Carolina in order to write articles and produce audio profiles that capture the work of Southern folk musicians, artists, and craftspeople.

One of those people is Mike “Lightning” Wells, a blues musician and one of the last living people who worked with and learned from the progenitors of a North Carolinian branch of blues music known as Piedmont blues.

Other interview subjects include Molly Hemstreet, a social justice organizer who breathed new life into the collapsing textile industry in her town, Bobby Macmillan, a walking encyclopedia of Appalachian stories and music, Algia Mae Hinton, an extraordinary blues guitarist and dancer, and Windsor chairmaker Elia Bizarri.

At the 7 p.m. Thursday event in Fraser Hall on the SJ Campus, Gibson will be an oral history workshop. After she introduces the basics of oral history, interview techniques, and audio story production, participants will pair off and collect histories of one another.

On Friday, at 9 p.m. at the Larkspur, Gibson will give a brief lesson on Southern-style square dance, which will give participants all the experience they need to participate in the dance at 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday, at 8 p.m. at St. Peter’s By-the-Sea, Gibson will sing Southern ballads as part of a larger Sitka Fellows Program event which will also feature a short film by Ellie Schmidt and the performance of Nate Barnett’s new composition, a sacred cantata featuring local musicians and singers.

For all events, all are welcome and no experience is necessary. Donations to the program will be accepted. 

The Sitka Fellows Program, now in its fourth year, is a multidisciplinary group residency program which offers time and space to six emerging artists, thinkers, and entrepreneurs from across the country and around the world to develop their personal projects. The events listed above are the final events for this year’s group. Applications will open for the 2016 Sitka Fellows Program in January.

The program is coordinated by the Island Institute in partnership with the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, and is made possible through donations from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works program, David and Marge Steward, Sea Mart Quality Foods, and many individual donors.

For more information, visit www.iialaska.org or call 747-3794.


Bike-Riding Clinic

For Kids on Tap

Children ages 3 and older are invited to a learn-to-ride workshop sponsored by Sitka Community Hospital and Community Schools.

The workshop is for children who are on training wheels, have never ridden before, or are just starting out.  It will be in the covered area at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary and will run 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

Each participant will need a bike, a helmet and a participatory adult. The cost is $5 per child and $5 per adult.

For more information or to sign up call Community Schools at 747-8670.



Kettleson Closure

Kettleson Memorial Library will close at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29,  for the memorial service at Odess Theater to honor the life of William Stortz.

The library will reopen for regular operation hours on Sunday, Aug. 30.

For further information, contact Robb Farmer at 747-8708 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  


Golf Tournament

Slated Nov. 16-18

The golf tournament will be held Nov. 16-18 in Phoenix, Ariz.

The cost is $200 per player which includes three 18-hole rounds of golf and a banquet. Anyone who loves Sitka is asked to attend.

All money raised will go to the Gene Prewitt Scholarship Fund. E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and to register. A  Facebook page “Sitka Shoot Out Golf Tournament,’’ also is available.


Bald Eagle Release

Slated for Sunday

Alaska Raptor Center will be releasing bald eagles 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 30.

Releases will take place on the Alaska Raptor Center trail boardwalk.  Events are free and open to the public.  

ARC reminds the public that pets are not allowed anywhere on ARC property. Individuals are requested to  stay on the boardwalk to help protect the muskeg.


Sitka Trail Works

Gives Trail Updates

Following Landslides

Sitka Trail Works will lead a hike 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, on the newly repaired Herring Cove trail.

The hike will include the loop around Beaver Lake before returning to the trailhead. Hikers should meet at the trailhead at the end of Sawmill Creek Road at 9 a.m. The trail has numerous stone steps and some short steep sections but is suitable for a person of average physical ability, STW said.

Three waterfalls and a lake are adjacent to the proposed hiking route. The storm damage that occurred to the trail in 2014 was repaired earlier this year in a joint effort by Sitka Trail Works and the U.S. Forest Service Sitka Ranger District with grant funding from the State of Alaska Recreational Trails Program. Board member Roslyn Dailey will lead the hike.

As a result of the Aug. 18 landslides several trails are closed or impassable, and the public is to avoid those areas and select alternate trail areas, Sitka Trail Works said.

The Cross Trail from Cascade Creek to Kramer Avenue is closed to preserve site control of the landslide remediation efforts. The remainder of the Cross Trail, from Cascade Creek through to Indian River, is somewhat damaged but passable, STW said. The trail to Heart Lake from Blue Lake Road is impassable and closed. Blue Lake Road remains closed to pedestrian traffic. The Gavan Hill Trail to Harbor Mountain above the Cross Trail to the Lookout is impassable. The Gavan Trail below the Cross Trail to Baranof trailhead is closed as crews work to remove the old boardwalk. The Gavan route from Baranof trailhead to the Cross Trail is being replaced with a new section of the Cross Trail and will be reopened later this summer. The trail to Beaver Lake from the Sawmill Creek campground at the end of Blue Lake road was also damaged by slides and should be avoided.

Trails undamaged by the landslides include all three in the Starrigavan area, Indian River, Verstovia and Herring Cove. For more information visit www.sitkatrailworks.com or call the office at 747-7244.


Marine Highway

Releases Schedule

The Alaska Marine Highway System today announced the release of its 2015-16 winter schedule. Reservations are available for booking at FerryAlaska.com, by calling 1-800-642-0066, or visiting ferry terminal staff throughout the system.

Coinciding with release of the winter schedule, AMHS will be applying a new reservations policy for all travel initiating Oct. 1 and thereafter. The new policy requires payment at the time of booking and includes a revised fee schedule for cancellations or changes.

The intent of the new reservations policy is to limit lost revenue due to late cancellations or no-shows. Late cancellations make it difficult for the AMHS to sell the limited space aboard ferries to other customers.

The new reservation policy includes  new cancellation and change fees and  may be found online at FerryAlaska.com.


SSD: Use Caution

Near Construction

Close to Schools

Construction is going on around Baranof and Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary Schools, and Sitka School District is urging families to take extra caution when traveling to and from the schools.

Not all streets are open around each of the schools, so plan for possible delays and detours, the district said. Additionally, parking at both schools is limited as a result of the ongoing construction.

If walking to Baranof, parents and students are being asked to use either Hollywood or Baranof streets, as they have sidewalks.

Questions about the construction projects can be directed to Stephen Weatherman for Baranof school, 747-4042, or Dave Longtin for Keet Gooshi Heen, 747-1883.


Welcome Home

At Sitka Lutheran

Sitka Lutheran Church at 224 Lincoln Street invites the community to its worship service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 30.

‘‘We welcome those who have been away for awhile or are looking for a place to call home,’’ the church said. ‘‘The open doors celebration of new beginnings will continue with a light lunch.’’

For more information, call 747-3338 or 752-0123.


Protection of Lands

Program Thursday

‘‘Sheet’ka Kwaan – Protection and Prayer for Our Ancestral Lands’’ will be hosted by Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 4, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 1 and Sitka Tribe of Alaska Resource Protection Department 6-8 p.m.  Thursday, Aug. 27, at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi.

A special invitation is being extended to Tlingit Sitka clan leaders, elders, STA Tribal citizens, STA Tribal Council, Sitka neighbors, first-responders, Assembly members, families and friends affected by recent Sitka events, and all others who wish to come together in the best interest of ancestral lands.

The Incident Response Team, U.S. Coast Guard, National Park Service and the City and Borough of Sitka will provide an update on the recent Jarvis Street diesel spill on Eagle Beach.

Tlingit elders will be given respect by being given time to address, inquire and guide the protection of land and sea, organizers said today.

Prayers ‘‘to balance and acknowledge the hurt from the recent events’’ will be offered for the Sheet’ka Kwaan land in Sitka. All families who wish to join in are welcome.

Coffee and tea will be provided. Light snacks will be appreciated. For more information call 738-6608.


ANS to Meet

ANS Camp 4 will meet 6:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at the ANB Founders Hall.

Highlighting the agenda items will be the second nomination and elections of delegates and alternates for the 100th celebration of Alaska Native Sisterhood in Wrangell at Grand Camp.

For more information call 738-6608.



Vigil Rosary for

Elmer, Ulises Diaz

St. Gregory’s Catholic Church will hold a vigil rosary for Elmer and Ulises Diaz 8:15 p.m. Thursday.


Refreshments will be served in the church hall after the rosary so that people may visit and share their memories of Elmer and Ulises.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-4-20)

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. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 8

Total statewide – 513

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 48, 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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