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 30, 2015 Community Happenings

Wedding Bells for

Puckett, Blakeslee

Allen and Judy Puckett announce the marriage of their son, Coy Puckett, to Tiffany Blakeslee, the daughter of Becky Blakeslee, Nancy Grogan and the late Lance Blakeslee of Vancouver, Washington.

The happy couple was joined in marriage at a destination ceremony held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on Aug. 14. The bride’s brother, Aaron Blakeslee, wrote and performed the ceremony. 

 The bride wore a long, flowing, white strapless gown made of lace, and carried a bouquet of flowers consisting of stargazer lilies. Maid of honor Hollie Brase, and bridemaids Makenzie Pyles, Annalicia Wright and Julie Blakeslee, complemented the bride by wearing fuchsia-colored short dresses.

The groom wore gray slacks and matching vest, with a white shirt. Best man Devin Pyles and groomsmen Michael Paxton, Samson Blakeslee and Tyler Juhl all wore dark-colored slacks and a white shirt.

Approximately 30 family members and friends joined the couple, celebrating their union in marriage. A wedding reception was held Sept. 5 in Vancouver, Washington, for those who could not attend the wedding. 

Coy and Tiffany Puckett have begun their new life together in San Diego, California, where the bride works for Siemens and the groom is employed with LPL Financial.


School Board Meets

The Sitka School Board will meet 7 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Sitka High School library.

Prior to the meeting the board will meet with the Sitka High School student government at 6 p.m. The public is invited.


State Parks Board

To Meet Nov. 10

The State Parks Board will meet 7:30 a.m. Nov. 10 in room 108 at 601 Alice Loop. The meeting is open to the public.


Raven Board Meets

The Raven Radio board of directors will meet at the station 5:45 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2. For more information, call 747-5877.


STA to Meet

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s Herring Committee will meet 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at the STA Resource Protection Department Office at 429 Katlian St. The public is invited to attend. 

STA encourages tribal citizen to serve its committees and commissions. Those who have any questions regarding the meeting or becoming a member of the Herring Committee can contact Resource Protection Director Jeff Feldpausch at 747-7469.


STA Cultural

Panel to Meet

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s Cultural, Customary and Traditional Committee will meet noon Thursday, Nov. 5, at the STA Resource Protection Department Office at 429 Katlian Street.

A light lunch will be provided. The public is invited to attend. 

STA encourages tribal citizen to serve on its committees and commissions. Those who have questions regarding the meeting or becoming a member of the CC&T Committee can contact Resource Protection Director Jeff Feldpausch at 747-7469.


Old Church Bell Made Sound

 Every 170 years or so, you have to repair your belfry.

In mid-2014, National Park Service facility inspectors noticed that one of the two support knees that hold up the Russian church bell on the Russian Bishop’s House had visible rot, and looked to be structurally compromised. This week, park maintenance staff took down the bell and supporting assembly, repaired the belfry and reinstalled the bell.

The two original support knees for the belfry were carved from naturally-curved yellow cedar “buttress” roots that helped the trees stand upright. A replacement for the rotted one had to be located and harvested to provide the “correct” type of repair. After considerable professional review – and following NPS standards for the preservation and protection of historic structures  – the park identified and procured a replacement yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) knee that could be used to replace the structurally-compromised wood from one of the original knees. 

Curved timbers were an essential part of shipbuilding in the 19th century and there is strong architectural evidence that shipwrights helped design and construct the Russian Bishop’s House. The “hanging” knees used to support the bell were constructed like the hanging knees used to support a ship’s deck and are a character-defining feature of the building.

The Russian Bishop’s House is a National Historic Landmark building constructed by the Russian American Company for the Russian Orthodox Church in 1843. One of only four standing buildings from the Russian era in North America, it was restored by the National Park Service in the 1980s and is used to interpret and research the Russian colonial period in North America from 1741 to 1867.

For more information about the belfry repair, call Chief of Resources Brinnen Carter at 747-0140 or Chief of Maintenance Michael Trainor, 747-0150.


Softball Association

To Hold Meeting

The Sitka Softball Association Post-Season/Mudball Tournament meeting will be 3 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Elks Lodge.

The meeting has been set up by the 2015 Mudball Planning Committee who represent 12 different men’s, women’s and coed teams from this last season.

Any interested SSA members and all teams are asked to have a representative be part of the post season/tournament meeting so everyone can stay informed and have input in the future of the league.


‘Tracing Roots’

To be Shown

In observance of Native American Heritage Month, Sitka National Historical Park will offer a free screening of local filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein’s ‘‘Tracing Roots’’ 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 in the park’s visitor center.

‘‘Tracing Roots’’ follows renowned master weaver and Haida elder Delores Churchill on a journey to understand the origins of a spruce root hat discovered in a retreating glacier. 

Free popcorn will be provided during the film screening. 


Story Time Set

At Park Monday

Parents and tots are invited to explore the world of totem poles with a  ranger at the Preschool Story Time event 10-10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 2.

The group will read a story, complete an activity and craft, eat a snack, and take home a fun worksheet. Participants must be accompanied by a parent/guardian for the duration of the program.  

For more information about the monthly Preschool Story Time events at Sitka NHP,e contact Becky Latanich at 747-0132.




‘Cold War’ a Hot Read

Russell, Alan, ‘‘A Cold War.’’ Thomas Mercer. Softbound. 383 pages.

Your reviewer found this a highly annoying book. It concerns a complete monster – a man who lives in the Interior of Alaska and highly enjoys kidnapping women and using them until he tires of them, then kills them.

So what’s annoying? The author can write. He writes so well that while you’re snorting at the plot you are simultaneously excitedly reading the pages, simply unable to close the book. 

The heroine, Nina, is the latest young woman to fall into his hands. The hero is a police detective, a kind, thoughtful man who is passionate about saving women, particularly our heroine. 

The monster, self-named Baer, takes Nina to his cabin somewhere in the barren Interior where his dog team is waiting. As he has been driving a van, this seems to add only verisimilitude to the scene. He gets Nina to cooperate by telling her he is holding her for ransom and then surgeons can reattach her ring finger, which he has sliced off for the diamond ring. At the cabin he is more honest – he has not asked for ransom and threw her finger away. 

Later on, while setting his traplines, Baer details how he set the trapline that caught Nina. She is now pregnant and deeply concerned about escape. Baer is proud of his cleverness and makes clear she is completely in his power. But Nina is a totally modern woman. She has also found the diary and maps of Baer’s previous woman, and empathizes so much with Elese that she regards her as a beloved sister and memorizes the maps.

She eventually finds a way to escape (just as well, she is now nearing the end of her pregnancy and is literally out of shape) and takes her revenge on Baer. The detective and a pilot friend have also been busy. 

All is set to end well, as suspense novels must do, until we’re almost at the end, when suddenly another plot muscles in. There is no reason I could see for this abrupt shift (did your reviewer stop reading and pitch the book across the room? Of course not – too well written). Also, this copy is said to be an uncorrected proof, so there’s still hope the last chapters will be saved for the next adventure. 

Strong suggestion – from the last two books reviewed, there appears to be a plot to inhabit the new Alaska with male monsters and truly modern, physically fit women who make the old male heroes of yesteryear seem puny. Is that truly what the audience wants?


–D. L.



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.

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