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)

October 23, 2015 Community Happenings


Wrapping Up Visit


At home in Tuscon, Ariz., Kimi Eisele sometimes goes out to find a saguaro cactus to stand with, as both a meditation and a sort of quiet performance.

“When I stand with the saguaro, I slow down. I take it in. I let it take in me. I allow myself to be myself, the saguaro to be a saguaro. We witness one another,” Eisele says. 

Eisele is a dancer, choreographer, writer, and visual artist. Her art explores issues of place, nature, change, loss, and adaptation. This fall, Eisele is the Rasmuson Foundation Artist in Residence at the Island Institute.

Enchanted by Sitka’s rain, hail, and lush landscape, Eisele couldn’t feel farther from the saguaro, but a conversation with Brian McNitt yielded a new idea. Eisele says, “He started sharing with me about the yellow cedar – its cultural significance here and its die-off due to a changing climate.” She has spent her time in Sitka exploring humans’ relationship to yellow cedar through movement in natural landscapes, shadow puppetry, and the production of an audio essay for Raven Radio.

“The radio piece is an audio essay about my exploration of yellow cedar, so it’s kind of a personal journey of who I learned about the tree from including scientists, culture bearers, and naturalists, including Paul Hennon, Kitty Labounty, Heather Powell, Teri Rofkar, and Pat Heuer,’’ she said. ‘‘Incorporated in that is the walk that (a group of us) took up to the upper cross trail. The piece looks at the yellow cedar as a member of the community, and looks at the reasons for its decline due to climate change.”

The radio piece will air as a special this Sunday morning from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Raven Radio.

Her investigation of the yellow cedar has inspired her to conduct a series of movement-based compositional improvisation workshops, combining sound, spoken text, and dance. Eisele describes it as “a way of paying attention with a group of people and making something together that’s completely temporary, and that you’re completely invested in while doing it.” 

The final workshop of the series is open to all and will be 5:30-7:30 p.m.   Friday, Oct. 30, the Allen Hall dance studios.

Eisele’s work in Sitka will culminate with a final performance and question and answer 6:30 p.m. Nov. 11. The performance will be a shadow puppetry about the yellow cedar. In advance, she will lead two shadow puppetry workshops at 304 Baranof Street on Oct. 24 and Oct. 28, and participants will have an opportunity to contribute to the final piece. 

She says that “the play of light and shadow seems appropriate for a species in decline. In the workshop, I’d like to introduce people to the form and play with light and shadow. People can make a shadow puppet and learn how to use it.”

Those workshops will be designed for all ages, but last week Eisele worked with the Island Institute’s Story Lab program to do a special shadow puppetry workshop for elementary school students. 

“Everybody made an animal from this ecosystem, and some looked at pictures to reference, some made up their own – including an amazing whale. We played with the shadows and improvised a story, a narrative.”

Eisele has been very busy in Sitka, and says that she’ll miss the warm and generous community when she returns home to Tucson in mid-November. 

Her time as a resident at the Island Institute has been made possible through the generous support of the Rasmuson Foundation’s Artist Residency Program. More information about the Island Institute and about Kimi Eisele is available at www.iialaska.org, or by calling 747-3794.



Marine Safety

Instructor Training

Set in Louisiana

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association will conduct a six-day Marine Safety Instructor Training at Omega Protein in Abbeville, Louisiana, Jan. 18-23.

The intensive train-the-trainer course prepares individuals to effectively teach cold-water survival procedures, use of marine safety equipment, and vessel safety drills.

After completion of the course, participants will be prepared to teach AMSEA’s U.S. Coast Guard-approved Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor training, pending authorization from the Coast Guard. Participants may elect to co-teach a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor training in Abbeville Jan. 24.

The cost for the course is $875 for AMSEA members and $995 for non-members. For more information or to register call AMSEA at 747-3287 or visit www.amsea.org.


Safe Streets Talk at

Library Oct. 29

Sitka Community Hospital and Sitka Public Library are joining forces to give a short presentation on Safe Streets.

All are invited to the presentation at the library on the Sheldon Jackson campus 6:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. 

Multiple door prizes will be raffled and given, including lighted reflective bands, vests, iron on reflective tape, helmet stickers and two high-visibility jackets.

For more information call Sitka Community Hospital’s Director of Health Promotion Doug Osborne at 747-0373.


Results Given For

Alaska Day Biathlon

After verification of times and shots, Sitka Sportsman’s Association has announced winners among 28 athletes who braved a wet day to finish in the annual Alaska Day Biathlon held at the Robert LaGuire Indoor Shooting Range on Oct. 17. 

All times shown are net after deductions for shooting accuracy.

“Adventure Team” claimed a plate on the Biathlon Team Trophy with total time of 1:51:45 for the 5K course comprised of three running segments interspersed with two shooting stops. The 4-runner team of Alex Weissberg 24:19, Andew Krysinski 27:19, Michelle Snowden 28:49, and Jenny Klejka 31:18, took the first prize of $100 cash.

Close behind with a total time of 1:57:47, the “Binky’s Band” team of Charles Moncayo 27:30, Thomas Borgerding 29:06, Gregory Lamecker 29:57, and Michael Krzmarzick 31:14, received $80 for second place.

Team “Run & Gun” had a total time of 2:16:13. Composed of Amanda Miller 30:26, Matt Moore 31:43, Alex Carlson 36:25 and Zaccarias Roberts 37:39, the team received $60 for third place.

The “Sharp Shootin’ Sisters” with total time of 2:2531 placed fourth for $40. Members were Brita Speck 32:04, Stacy McQueary 33:08, Maura Bresser 39:53 and Jessica Twydell 40:26.

Weissberg, Krysinski and Moncayo also won $50, $30 and $20, respectively, in individual men’s overall category.

Among overall individual women entrants, Snowden, Miller and April Rezendes won $50, $30 and $20, respectively, after scoring corrections.

Best men’s shooters at 10 knockdown targets tied for Michael Krzmarzick and Anthony Vlahovich each with 5 hits prone, 4 hits standing. Best women’s shooter was Amanda Miller with 3 hits prone, 3 hits standing. These shooters each received $50.

Serving as range officials and assistants for the safety clinics and biathlon event were Steve Ramp, Ted Allio, Foy Nevers, Randy Gluth, John McCrehin, Buzz Brown, Dave Hardy, Zak Hutton, Jere Rynearson and Jack Greenhalgh. Roland Wirth was registrar with the computerized scoring program. Refreshments were provided by Elaine Strelow and Angela DeWinter.

Sitka Sportsman’s Association also thanks the contestants not named above and the spectators who cheered them on.


Venison Topic of

Extension Workshop

UAF Cooperative Extension Service is hosting a food preservation workshop focused on venison (canning, jerky, smoking) 3-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at Sitka Kitch, 505 Sawmill Creek Road.

The class is free and all ingredients, jars and equipment will be supplied by a grant from the SEARHC WISEFAMILIES Traditional Foods program. 

Pre-registration is required and 12 spots are available. Call 747-9440 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.


Restorative Yoga

Workshop Taught

Lisa Sadleir-Hart will teach a restorative yoga class at Yoga Union 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. Email Lisa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 747-5985 to register.


Beginner Yoga

Class to Register

Ann Walter will teach a beginner’s yoga sign-up series focused on basic asanas (poses) and breathing techniques to ease chronic pain, improve range of motion, increase strength and balance, relieve tension and calm the mind. 

The class will be held 6-7:17 p.m. Wednesdays Oct. 28-Dec. 16 at Yoga Union. Call 738-0416 with questions or to sign up.


Harbor Mt. Road

Closure Extended

Ongoing maintenance activities on Harbor Mountain Road will continue through Sunday, Oct. 25.

Sitka Ranger District said that the current road closure has been extended through Sunday and will include the road segment from gate zero to the Harbor Mountain Trailhead parking area. An extension to the closure is necessary as additional maintenance tasks have been identified to address existing resource damage and alleviate the potential for future resource problems.

The closure is needed to protect motorists and contractors on the steep, narrow route. Call the Sitka Ranger district at 747-6671 with questions or concerns.


VFW Services

Officer in Sitka

VFW Services Officer Gerry Glover will be at the Sitka Job Center noon-4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. 

Glover will be available to answer questions about VA entitlements and provide free assistance filling out the application forms for VA entitlements. VFW membership is not a requirement.


Conferences Listed

At Blatchley School

Blatchley Middle School will hold parent-teacher conferences Nov. 2-5.

Students will be released from class at 1:25 p.m. Nov. 2-5. No school will be held on Friday, Nov. 6.

Conferences will be held by appointment only 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 and 5. Conferences will be open to all 2:30-7:15 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 4.


 Story Time Set

Old Harbor Books is hosting a free story time for kids 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 201 Lincoln Street. Those with questions may call 747-8808.


Memoir, Empathy

Book Club on Tap

All are invited to spend an evening walking in another’s shoes at the Memoir and Empathy Book Club meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Kettleson Library.

Participants can share an excerpt from their favorite memoir, or dive into the world of memoir for the first time. The group will discuss whether reading a memoir can help cultivate empathy, and how to then take that empathy into the wider world to enact change.

Those who have an excerpt to share  can e-mail it to the organizer, Melissa Marconi Wentzel. Those who plan to attend can contact her to receive the excerpts in advance. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 738-0462.


Open Mic Set

Sitka Folk will host an open mic session Sunday, Oct. 25, at the Larkspur Cafe.

Sign up is at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. For more information, call Ted at 747-5482.


STA Plans Tribal

Council Election

Sitka Tribe of Alaska will hold Tribal Council elections 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi.

Registered STA voters must take their tribal identification card to vote to fill four seats. 

Absentee voting is 4:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 28-Nov. 9 at the STA offices, 456 Katlian Street.

Those who have questions may call Election Supervisor Rose Demmert at 738-5450.











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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