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 29, 2015 Community Happenings


 Health Insurance Open Enrollment begins November 1

Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins Nov. 1 and continues through Jan. 31, 2016.

Those who do not currently have health insurance can explore options on www.healthcare.gov to check affordable health care coverage eligibility.

Individuals may receive assistance lowering monthly premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, or be eligible for Medicaid, depending on income, age and family size. Those who currently have insurance through the Marketplace must renew by Jan. 31.

There are three ways to sign up or renew. People can visit the official Health Insurance Marketplace website, www.healthcare.gov; call the Health Insurance Marketplace at 1-800-318- 2596, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week; or call SEARHC Outreach for assistance at 966-8883, 966-8662 or toll-free at 1-855-966-8684 during regular business hours.

SEARHC is a Certified Application Counselor agency offering free assistance to all Southeast residents. Those needing assistance may also call Get Covered Alaska at 1-844-752-6725 or United Way at 2-1-1.

Anyone without health insurance in place during the 2016 calendar year will be required to pay a tax penalty on his or her 2015 tax filings. That penalty is $695 per adult, and half that for each child, or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is higher.   

“If you need assistance setting up an account on the Health Insurance Marketplace website and exploring your options and eligibility for cost saving reductions, we are here to assist you,” said Andrea Thomas, outreach and enrollment manager for SEARHC. “We are trained to help you navigate the process.” 


Story Time Set

‘‘Zoom’’ by Robert Munsch will be one of the readings during the next preschool story time 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at Kettleson Library.

The program will explore disabilities, acceptance, respect and self-image, and it will be coordinated with SAIL. All are invited. For more information, call the library at 747-8708.

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


Sitka Nutcracker

Story Time Listed

Sitka Friends of Dance will present “Sitka Nutcracker” story time 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at Kettleson Memorial Library.

The program will include a reading, performances and a mini class in which children will be able to learn some ballet moves and dances from ‘‘The Nutcracker – Land of the Sweets.’’

The event is for children ages 6 and older and registration is preferred. Families with young ones as well are invited to enjoy watching and dancing to the music in their own way. 


‘Chasing, Repousse’

Class at UAS-Sitka

The University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus will offer ‘‘Chasing and Repousse’’ Northwest Coast Art class 5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday Nov. 2-18, at the UAS-Sitka Campus.

The two-credit class will be taught by award-winning artist Nick Galanin of Sitka.

To learn more about the class and other UAS Sitka Campus programs, stop by the campus, call 747-7700, or go online at www.uas.alaska.edu/sitka. 


Raven’s Tail

Weaving Taught

The University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus will offer Raven’s Tail Weaving Northwest Coast art 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 9-21.

 The two-credit class will be taught by award-winning basket and textile weaver Teri Rofkar of Sitka.

To learn more about this class and other UAS Sitka Campus programs, stop by the campus, call 747-7700, or go online at www.uas.alaska.edu/sitka. 


Library Panel

To Meet Nov. 4

The City and Borough of Sitka’s Library Commission will meet 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, on the second floor of Kettleson Memorial Library’s temporary location, 831 Lincoln Street.

Agenda items include recent and upcoming library programming; and an update on the library expansion project. The public is invited to attend. 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. .


Sitka School Board

To Meet with Auditor

Members of the Sitka School Board will meet with the district’s auditor, BDO, during the Alaska State School Board Annual Conference in Anchorage at the Hilton Hotel. 


Medicare Expert

To Present in Sitka

State of Alaska Medicare expert Judith Bendersky will be in Sitka Nov. 3-6 to assist people with Medicare questions.

Bendersky is available to help people change their Medicare Part D (pharmacy plan) during the current open enrollment, Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

Bendersky will be available at the Legislative Information Office 1-5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3; at the Swan Lake Senior Center 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4; and at the SEARHC hospital 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Two “Medicare 101” presentations are being offered at Sealing Cove Business Center at 601 Alice Loop Road, 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, and 9:30-11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6.

For more information, contact the Legislative Information Office at 747-6276, Swan Lake Senior Center at 747-8617, SEARHC Outreach at 966-8883, or Judith Bendersky at 907-269-3669.


Unitarians Meet

Sunday’s Unitarian Fellowship program will celebrate All Souls’ Day with a look at traditions around the world, with storytelling by Rich McClear and Kathy Kyle.

Fellowship begins at 10:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 10:45 a.m.  

A harvest potluck will follow the program. Participants are encouraged to bring a locally grown or harvested dish, if possible. 

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


KGH Conferences,

Book Fair Listed

Keet Gooshi Heen parent-teacher conferences will be held Nov. 2-5. Students will be released at 12:45 p.m. each day and lunches will be served. No school will be held Friday, Nov. 6.

Parents should check with their child’s teacher for conference date and time.

The annual book fair will be offered in the library and open 1-5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 1-3 p.m. on Thursday.

Those with questions may call the office at 747-8395.


Hospital Auxiliary

To Meet Nov. 10

Steve Hartford, director of operations at Sitka Community Hospital, will speak at the Nov. 10 meeting of the hospital auxiliary.

Hartford will speak following the short business meeting which begins at noon. The meeting is open to the public.

Lunch, free to auxiliary members, is available at the Bistro across the hall from the basement classroom where the meeting is held.


Fall Carnival Sat.

At Betty Eliason

The annual Fall Carnival will be held 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Betty Eliason Child Care Center, 607 Lincoln Street.

The event will include games and activities, a cupcake walk, spooky story and a photo booth.

The $5 per child charge (or $15 for three or more children) includes a commemorative photo. 

Costumes are welcome. Children may join the group for downtown trick-or-treating following the carnival.

For more information call 747-5892.






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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