VIGIL – More than 300 people share seven minutes of silence on Totem Square during a vigil for George Floyd, who died last week while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The large turnout for event made it difficult for participants to maintain the six-foot social distance that organizers had hoped for. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

January 26, 2016 Community Happenings

Author to Launch

Book in Sitka

Author Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, a third generation Alaskan and former Sitkan, has written her first novel, a young adult book, ‘‘The Smell of Other People’s Houses.’’ A book launch event will be 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at Old Harbor Books.

The book is a coming-of-age story set on the edge of America and written from varying perspectives. The story explores the mysteries of heart. 

Growing up in Fairbanks in the 1970s is anything but easy, and Hitchcock paints a vivid picture of four very different teenagers through their intertwining stories amidst the changing seasons, times of hardship, tragedy, luck, and salvation.

Ruth misses her father, killed long ago in a plane crash. Now, at 16, she has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora’s luck changes dramatically when she escapes her parents to move in with her best friend’s family. Alyce loves working with her dad on his fishing boat. He needs her help, but she also longs to be a dancer, and this summer brings a difficult choice. Hank and his brothers have stowed away on a ferry to escape their mom’s boyfriend, but, ironically, the trip will put one of them in terrible danger.

Hitchcock earned an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University. A longtime journalist for Alaska Public Radio, she spent 10 years fishing commercially and raised her children on a boat out of Sitka. She now lives in Lyons, Colo.

The publisher is Wendy Lamb Books. Price of the book is $17.99.



Class to Register

Native American Fatherhood  Families Association has created and designed a program for fathers and mothers using a Native American approach.

NAFFA will present ‘‘Motherhood Is Sacred’’ for 12 weeks beginning 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at STA Social Services, 110 AmericanStreet. It is open to all women.

‘‘We encourage mothers, aunties, grandmothers, foster-moms, or any woman caring for children to attend,’’ NAFFA said.

The goal of the program is to strengthen families through responsible parenting. NAFFA teaches parents to connect with their heritage as they become actively involved in the lives of their families.

Sessions are free and snacks will be provided. It is being offered on a first-come, first-served, basis as space is limited

‘‘Fatherhood and Motherhood Is Sacred’’ curriculum is created and designed by the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association. It is hosted by Sitka TANF and Sitka Tribe of Alaska. Presenters will be Martha Moses and Jean Swanson.


 Story Time Set

At National Park 

Preschool story time at Sitka National Historical Park visitor center is set 10 a.m.  Monday, Feb. 1.

The event will include a Russian folktale, activity, song and snack. The theme will be the Russian Bishop’s House heritage garden.

For more information, call the park’s visitor center at 747-0110.


Lunar New Year

Grind Feb. 13 

The Sitka Monthly Grind will present the Lunar New Year’s Grind Feb. 13 at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Tickets must be purchased in advance beginning Jan. 30 at Old Harbor Books. Tickets are $5 for adults, $1 for children under 12. Those who take a plate of homemade dessert will have the price of their ticket refunded at the door.

The Grind guidelines remain non-political, family oriented, and affordable. Call Jeff at 747-4821 with questions.


Benefit Saturday

For Widmarks

A fund-raising event for the Jeannie Widmark family is set noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at the ANB Founders Hall.

Taco lunch, silent auction and a dessert auction are planned. The public is invited. Those wanting to contribute items for the dessert or silent auctions may contact Sitka Tribe of Alaska, 747-3207.


Tlingit and Haida

Meeting Saturday

Sitka Tlingit and Haida will meet 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, in the common room at the Monastery Street senior apartments.

Delegates will be chosen for the next two years. All members are reminded to attend this important meeting, organizers said.

For more information call Harriet Beleal at 738-3470.


Office Hours Set for

Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins

State Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins is making a visit from the legislative session in Juneau this weekend.

He will hold public office hours 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at the BackDoor Cafe and 1-2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, at  Highliner Coffee.

No appointment is necessary. Those who have any questions or can’t make it to office hours should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call his Sitka office at 747.4665.






Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-2-20)

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 10:20 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 20

Total statewide – 487

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 47, 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.                                                                          

Login Form

Most recent Sentinels — PDF edition

May 27, 2020

May 28, 2020

May 29, 2020

June 1, 2020

June 2, 2020