NO MOORE CLINIC – Contractors from CBC Construction use an excavator to tear down the  Moore Clinic building this morning. The building, which was most recently owned by SEARHC, was built in the mid-1950s by Dr. Phil Moore. Moore was a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who came to Sitka after WWII to open a clinic to treat tuberculosis patients from around the state on Japonski Island using vacated Naval base buildings. He helped develop new treatments for TB which was devastating Native communities. That operation evolved into SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. Moore also helped establish Sitka Community Hospital in the 1950s. The cleared clinic lot will likely be used for building housing by SEARHC. ( Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

July 24, 2020, Community Happenings

Roald Helgesen to be COO


Of Tlingit & Haida Council

Roald Helgesen has been named chief operating officer of Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. He will take over on Aug. 3.

Based in Juneau, Helgesen will be the liaison with government and private organizations. He’ll represent Tlingit & Haida in business negotiations and serve on the Tribe’s Investment Committee for the Tribal Trust Fund, the board for the Tlingit & Haida/Hope Condominium Association and tribally-owned enterprises, and be a trustee for the Tribe’s employee retirement plans. 

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Roald to Tlingit & Haida’s administrative team,” said President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson. “His wealth of knowledge and experience as well as commitment to serving our communities will not only strengthen the governance of Tlingit & Haida, it will greatly contribute to our efforts to keep the Tribe moving forward and expanding services and opportunities for our tribal citizens.”

Helgesen graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and minor in public administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1994 and a master of science degree in health care administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. 

He was chief executive officer and hospital administrator for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and president and CEO of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium. Early in his career, he was a volunteer EMT and firefighter in Sitka, becoming fire captain, and worked for SEARHC’s medevac team.

“I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Tribe to meet the needs of our tribal citizens,” Helgesen said. “Building on the successes of the past, the efforts of President Peterson, the Executive Council, Tribal Assembly and staff are positively impacting the lives of our people. I am honored to join the leadership team and excited to support the Tribe’s priority of expanding political and economic sovereignty.”


Helgesen grew up in Sitka. He is Eagle/Frog of the Sgajuuga.ahl clan, an enrolled tribal citizen of Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Tlingit & Haida, and a shareholder of Sealaska Corp. He is married to Carly Helgesen and they have two children, Kaare and Karin.


Citywide Cleanup Event

Continues Through Sunday

The annual citywide spring cleanup is being held through Sunday.

The Jarvis Street Transfer Station will be open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Residential property owners can clean up their property and haul acceptable refuse to the station free of charge during spring cleanup days. Batteries, paint and metals are not being accepted. Commercial waste will be charged at the standard rate, the city said.

Yellow spring cleanup garbage bags can be picked up at the fire hall.

The Sawmill Creek Scrap Yard also will accept items this weekend. Vehicles, scrap metal, water tanks, refrigerators (clean), dryers, washing machines, stoves, aluminum boats, boat trailers, outboards and lower units (drained of oil), properly cleaned fuel tanks and residential fluorescent bulbs will be accepted free of charge. Commercial waste will be charged at the standard rate.

The city said vehicles three-quarter ton rated or smaller will be accepted free of charge. The inside of the vehicle must be clean of all garbage. Larger vehicles will be charged at the standard rate and accepted by scheduled appointment. All vehicles must be accompanied with a title or notarized 849 DMV form. Vehicles must be towed at the owner’s expense.

Postponed until fall is the household hazardous waste collection.

Recyclables, residential yard waste and junked boats are being accepted this year.

Residents can recycle glass, tin cans, aluminum, #1 and #2 plastics and corrugated cardboard at the Recycling Center, 802 Sawmill Creek Road.

Residential yard waste, up to five cubic yards per customer, can go free of charge to the Granite Creek Waste Area, 402 Granite Creek Road, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. both days (pickup truck loads only). Commercial operators’ waste is not part of the spring cleanup event and must be paid for. Yard waste includes brush, overburden, stumps and green waste.

Junk boats will be charged at the standard rate according to size, the city said. Boats must be clean of any debris including engines, outdrives and fuel tanks. Metal boats will be accepted at the Sawmill Cove Scrap Yard. Wood or fiberglass boats will be accepted at the Sitka Landfill by approval and appointment only. 



Contact the city public works maintenance shop at 747-4041 to schedule disposal at the Sitka landfill.


Food Distribution

At ANB Hall

Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 1 and Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 4, in collaboration with ACC’s USDA Food Box Program, will be handing out boxes of vegetables and dairy products to families in need 10 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at the ANB Founders Hall. The event will last until noon, or until all boxes are distributed.

Food pickup is curbside only.


School District

Sessions Set on

Opening Schools

The Sitka School District will hold  Smart Start information sessions 11 a.m.-1 p.m. July 29-30 at Centennial Hall.

School district employees will meet July 29 and parents and students on July 30. A Zoom link will be posted on the website under announcements.

Superintendent John Holst and members of the Smart Start Task Force will answer questions, hear concerns, and gather suggestions regarding the opening of schools on Aug. 27.



Tidepool Walk

Slated Saturday

The Sitka Sound Science Center has planned three upcoming tidepool walks, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 25.


The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and advanced registration is required.  Due to COVID-19, the center asks participants to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.  To book a spot, visit and click ‘‘book now.’’



Card of Thanks

The family of Stephanie J. Edenshaw wishes to thank you most sincerely for your expressions of kindness and sympathy at our loss.  

Your thoughtfulness and generosity of your donations in the memory of Stephanie was appreciated.

We would especially like to thank you to the following: Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Sealaska Corp. and Shee Atika Inc.

Thank you for being at our side during this difficult time in our lives.

The families of: 

Tara Edenshaw,  Michelene Adams, Frances Widmark Jr., 

Clifford Edenshaw, Sally Gregory


Face Coverings

Required at All

UAF Locations

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is requiring employees, students and campus visitors to wear face coverings inside university buildings and vehicles across the state.

Face coverings also are required in outdoor locations on university property where it’s not possible for people to remain at least six feet apart.

The new policy applies to everyone age 5 and older. The full policy is available online at For information about the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit


Volunteers Sought

For Trail Event

Volunteers are needed to pull alders along Sawmill Creek Road at the Sitka Trail Works’ trail maintenance event 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2.

With water and gloves in hand, individuals will meet at the gravel parking lot about a quarter mile after Whale Park on the left side of the road.

Tools and a limited number of gloves will be provided. A mandatory COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire and a liability waiver must be completed prior to participation, the organization said.

Social distancing between different household groups and face coverings are being encouraged. Teens wanting to help must attend with an adult. For information call 747-7244 or visit 


Group Bike Ride

Listed on Aug. 8

Bicyclists will gather at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, at Whale Park for a group ride to Medvejie.

The ride is hosted by Sitka Trail Works, and is open to all. 

The moderately difficult 14-mile round-trip ride will be over pavement along Sawmill Creek Road and over gravel along Green Lake Road to Medvejie and  back. Participants should take their own water and appropriate clothing for the weather.

Those 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult and have a liability waiver signed by their legal guardian. The leaders will carry first aid supplies. A mandatory COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire and a liability waiver must be completed prior to participation, the organization said.

For information call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244 or visit



Canned, Smoked

Salmon Cooking

Class on Tap

Learn how to cook with canned and smoked salmon with Sarah Lewis through the Sitka Kitch 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, via Zoom.

Lewis is UAF Cooperative Extension Agent for Southeast Alaska. Before class, students will receive a delivery of the ingredients, as well as a list of supplies and equipment to have on hand. 

The registration deadline is 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6. The class costs $20. Register and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal on the EventSmart page, (click on class title).

Current members of the Sitka Food Co-Op can attend the online classes for $10 each by sending an email to

For more information about the class, contact Jasmine Shaw at 747-9440. 


Food Preservation

Series to Begin

A series of distance-delivered food preservation classes begins July 30 through the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service.

Julie Cascio, of the extension service, will demonstrate how to can, pickle, flavor vinegars, dehydrate, and make sausage, jams and sauerkraut.

She will lead classes by Zoom on Thursdays through Oct. 8. Participants may register for one or all of the classes, which cost $5 each.

Registration and class details are available at

The classes are:

‘‘Smoking and Canning Fish,’’ 1-2:30 p.m. July 30;

‘‘Making Jams and Jellies,’’ 1-2 p.m. Aug. 6;

‘‘Flavoring Vinegar,’’ 2:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 6;

‘‘Can Fruits in Jars,’’ 1-2:30 p.m. Aug. 20;

‘‘Can Tomatoes in Jars,’’ 1-2:30 p.m. Aug. 27;

‘‘Pickling,’’ 1-2 p.m. Sept. 10;

‘‘Making Sauerkraut,’’ 2:30-3:30 p.m. Sept. 10;

‘‘Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables,’’ 1-2 p.m. Sept. 17;

‘‘Can Vegetables,’’ 2:30-3:30 p.m. Sept. 17;

‘‘Canning Meats and Poultry,’’ 1-2:30 p.m. Oct. 1;

‘‘Making Fresh Sausage,’’ 1-2:30 p.m. Oct. 8.

For information about the workshops, contact Cascio at or 907-745-3677.


ADF&G: Utilize

Online Resources

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish is asking individuals to use online resources to obtain permits or sport fishing licenses to help minimize the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Those who have questions or need fishing information can contact the local ADF&G office. The webite is: 

–Purchase a license or register a sport fishing guide or guide business; apply for a senior or disabled veteran license; obtain a sport, personal use or subsistence permit, visit the online store at:

–Report your personal use or subsistence fishing permit harvest:

Sport fishing guides and business operators:

–Sport fishing guide or business registration information is here:;

–Saltwater log book information can be found here (Saltwater charter businesses should consider signing up to use eLogBook):

For the latest updates on coronavirus (COVID-19):

–Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):;

–Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS):

‘‘Please practice social distancing and follow local mandates regarding the wearing of masks in public places,’’ Fish and Game said. ‘‘If you must visit an ADF&G office and your community has a mask mandate, please wear a mask.’’

For information, contact Deputy Director Tom Taube at (907) 465-6184.


U.S. Coast Guard,

Partners Continue

Missions in Sitka

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau personnel will continue to conduct missions in Sitka with assistance from small boat teams from Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Seattle from July through September.

Mission goals include search and rescue, recreational and commercial vessel safety, and the protection of Alaska’s fisheries. 

The Coast Guard and partner agencies will continue to maintain a regular presence on the water and conduct boardings at sea with special safety procedures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release from the Coast Guard said. 

Prior to deploying to Alaska, MSST personnel underwent one week of pre-deployment self-isolation followed by a COVID-19 test. Upon arrival to Sitka, they received a second COVID-19 test. After 14 days in a restricted movement status in Sitka, all tests came back negative and the team became fully operational on July 15, the press release said.

Boarding safety precautions include MSST personnel wearing full personal protection equipment including masks and gloves. They determine COVID-19 exposure risks by asking a series of pre-boarding questions. Small vessel inspections are completed alongside the vessel, if possible, to maximize social distancing. MSST personnel report the majority of boaters have been compliant with safety and fishing regulations.

The Coast Guard is conducting these operations with Sitka Police Department and NOAA Office of Law Enforcement.

“We are closely monitoring local COVID-19 trends and following all the latest CDC safety guidance as we continue to perform vital missions in Sitka,” said Capt. Stephen White, Sector Juneau Commander.


Hotline to Help

With Legal Struggles

During Pandemic 

The Alaska Bar Association has  launched a free hotline to help Alaskans who are struggling with legal issues as a consequence of the statewide impact of COVID-19.

The hotline, which went  live on July 20, will be staffed three days a week by volunteer lawyers who will be able to respond to questions related to employment, family law, and debt and foreclosure issues.

It was developed through a partnership between the Alaska Bar Association and Alaska Legal Services Corporation. The service will target Alaskans of modest means who may not have the resources to pay for legal support.

“We know many Alaskans are struggling in these uncertain times and that’s why we launched the free hotline program,” said Krista Scully, Pro Bono director of the Alaska Bar Association. “If your life has been impacted by the current global crisis, Alaska lawyers are volunteering their time and legal expertise. We’re here to help.” 

To use the free program, call 1-844-263-1849 6-8 p.m. on the day that applies to a COVID-19 noncriminal legal issue. Monday is employment, Wednesday is family law, and Friday is debt/foreclosure issues.

A volunteer lawyer will answer the hotline on those days and give brief advice. Scully said more Alaska lawyers are signing up to support the program but that she is still accepting volunteers.


WIC Enrollees

Given Notice

Individuals enrolled in WIC may receive coupons to the Sitka Farmers Market.

Call 623-0942 or email to request coupons. To determine eligibility with the equal opportunity program, call or email, especially if income has changed in the last 30 days. WIC serves children up to the age of 5 years old, and pregnant and postpartum moms.


Lutherans Worship

Outside on Sunday

Sitka Lutheran Church will hold worship outside 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 26, at Crescent Harbor shelter.


It will include worship and celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Social distancing will be practiced and masks will be worn. All are invited to attend. For information call 752-0123.


Climate Connection: Feeling Change: Part Seven 

By John Lewis

Recently we have looked at ways climate change is revealing itself in our feelings and social world. Let us now turn to ways we can respond. 

When things go well, our thoughts, feelings and sensations work together to form a single experience. So much so, that we don’t even think much about these parts. We act and live. It is like a puzzle that is already put together so that we see the full picture.

When overwhelmed or traumatized the world appears differently. These parts of our experience become broken up and put out of our awareness. The puzzle pieces become scattered and don’t seem to fit.  Our thoughts become disconnected from our feelings. We have physical sensations and we don’t know why. We get a deep sense of feeling unsafe but we cannot pin it down. In this state it is also hard to take in new information. And hard to see what is going on. 

Luckily, we have a way to put the pieces back together: play. In fact, play is one of the earliest ways we learn and heal. Play includes all kinds of activities done for pleasure. And is not unique to humans but an activity shared by other living beings. 

We often think of play as something for children. But as George Bernard Shaw put it, “we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”  When we play we turn down our conscious mind and allow things to come up. We can loosen up and can get out of our heads and into our bodies. Here we begin to put together thoughts, feelings and sensations. The world makes more sense and can begin to feel safe.

Outside play can better tune us into our surroundings. Much of our modern living creates a barrier between us and our surroundings. Outside play breaks down this barrier. It allows us to experience how we relate to our surroundings and how our surroundings relate to us. We can more intensely feel changes, even when that means loss. But we can also behold the beauty around us and be held by our surroundings.  

In play we engage our imagination. Many have a sense of hopelessness with our climate situation. It is hard to even imagine what a realistic way forward looks like. But imagination is like a muscle that you lose if you do not use it. We need to practice seeing new possibilities. And putting the familiar together in new ways. 

Most of all, play is enjoyable. It may feel wrong to focus on fun at a time where there is so much pain. But in play, we can act out fears and worries and shed new light on them. We can release some of the stress that our situation is causing.  If we put off relaxation and play until things get better, we may never see the full picture.


John Lewis is a behavioral health professional and a member of the Sitka Citizens Climate Lobby




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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 9-25-20)

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 1:10 p.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 127

Total statewide – 7,254

Total (cumulative) deaths – 51

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (8 resident; 12 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 41 (37 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 277.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




September 2000

School Superintendent John Holst, Police Chief Bill McLendon and Magistrate Bruce Horton are among panelist confirmed for a community forum on teen alcohol and drug use and the new random drug testing by police in the schools. Other panelists are to be Tribal Judge Ted Borbridge, Nancy Cavanaugh, R.N.,  Asst. District Atty. Kurt Twitty, Tami Young, Trevor Chapman and School Board member Carolyn Evans.

September 1970

Mark Spender, son of Dr. and Mrs. Ed Spencer, and David Bickar, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Bickar, are among 14,750 high school seniors honored today be being named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.