OPEN AIR CONCERT – From left, musicians Ross Venneberg, Brian Neal, Wade Demmert and Roger Schmidt perform an outdoor brass concert for residents of the Pioneers Home Monday. The professional musicians, who are hunkered down in Sitka, are regulars at the annual Holiday Brass Concert. The Pioneers Home has been closed to visitors during the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

December 7, 2015 Community Happenings

Organist to Play at

Lutheran Church

Karen Bretz will play a one-hour concert of seasonal Advent music 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, Dec. 10.

Bretz will play the historic 1844 Kessler organ at Sitka Lutheran Church. She is the organist at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Anchorage.

Advent is the church’s time of preparing for Christ’s birth. The concert will focus on this reflective theme and will include Advent hymns such as ‘‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’’ and ‘‘Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.’’ Bretz will also play characteristic French Christmas pieces called ‘‘Noels.’’

Organ builder Martin Pasi, of Roy, Wash., will tune and adjust the organ Dec. 9. Pasi rebuilt the organ after it was severely damaged in a 1993 church fire.

The Kessler organ was manufactured in Estonia in 1844 and shipped to Sitka in 1846. It is a five-stop tracker organ with a single manual and no pedal board. It is likely the oldest existing pipe organ west of the Mississippi River. 

The free concert is open to the public. For more information, contact Bretz at 351-6591 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


ANS Called

Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 1 members are being asked to attend Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Sitka Police Department’s Town Hall meeting 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi.

‘‘The ANS recently mediated a meeting with the SPD and had a very honest and courageous question and answer session regarding the recent tasering of a young man in Sitka,’’ ANS said. ‘‘The SPD was very informative and we are supportive of the effort of STA and the public to work together towards fair justice and equal civil rights for all.’’

ANS members will hold a short regular meeting after the Town Hall meeting, at the ANB Founders Hall. Agenda items will include Christmas holiday dinner update, 2016 strategic planning, advocacy, Elizabeth Peratrovich Day committee formation and consideration of creating an ANS culinary training academy.

For question call ANS secretary Stephanie at (646) 510-0696.


Drawing Listed for

Ride With Santa

Children wanting to ride with Santa on the fire truck during the Landlubbers Christmas Parade can sign up for a chance at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at the giant candy cane float at the ANB Harbor parking lot. The parade is at 4 p.m.

One child’s name will be drawn. A parent or guardian must accompany the child in case the fire truck gets an emergency call.

For more information call Jim at 747-6201 or Linda at 747-6985.


All Invited to Make

Reindeer Ornaments

As part of At Saxan, Sheldon Jackson Museum’s family friendly and free third Saturday program, participants will make reindeer Christmas ornaments and learn about Sheldon Jackson’s introduction of reindeer to Alaska 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19.

The program is free and best for children ages 6-10. Participants should  wear clothing that can get paint on. For more information and to register a child for the free program, call 747-8981. 


Little League Sets

Board Elections

Sitka Little League will hold board elections for the 2016 season 6 p.m.  Thursday, Dec. 17, at Blatchley Middle School.

Those interested in helping with the upcoming season are invited to attend.




Holiday Dinner

Meeting TonightThe ANB/ANS Holiday Dinner Committee will meet 6 p.m. tonight, at the ANB Founders Hall to make plans for the annual Community Christmas Dinner.

Volunteers are needed for various tasks including shopping for and wrapping presents, decorating, staffing the dessert and beverage tables, serving, setup, cleanup and roasting turkeys, which are being provided.

For information call Kerry MacLane at 752-0654 or Joy Wood at  542-0845.


Seedling Farms

Lunch on Tap

Sitka Seedling Farms, a Health Summit initiative designed to meet Sitka’s food system needs in a comprehensive way, will be discussed noon-1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at the Larkspur Cafe.

Sitka Seedling Farms, which is a finalist in the Paths to Prosperity economic development contest for Southeast Alaska, will work to solve space issues that have hampered local food production for years by exploring innovative land relationships to develop the resources Sitka’s food system needs to thrive, such as production space for food entrepreneurs, community greenhouses, food storage, processing facilities and more.

Interested Sitkans are invited to a discussion on this proposal, For more information contact Matthew Jackson at 907-821-1412 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Health Summit

Gathering at UAS

The Sitka Health Summit and City and Borough of Sitka’s Health Needs and Human Services Commission will hold a health and wellness networking and leadership development event Dec. 10 at UAS-Sitka Campus, Room 229.

The first of three post-planning day follow-ups will run 1-3 p.m. The first hour will be devoted to networking, learning about local coalitions and hearing updates from current health initiatives. From 2 to 3 p.m., the hands-on Leadership Feedback training will be offered and a module on measuring success will follow.

For more information, contact Lauren at 966-8797.








Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-7-20)

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 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Sunday: 19

Total statewide – 1,184

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (3 resident; 5 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 12 (10 resident; 2 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 78.

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 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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