2020 TOURIST SEASON – The 285-foot super yacht Lonian is tied up at the Old Sitka Dock Friday while its support vessel, the 217-foot Hoder equipped with a helicopter and ROV, is seen anchored in the distance. The 14-passender Lonian, which was launched in 2019, is owned by billionaire Lorenzo Fertitta, former owner of UFC. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

July 27, 2020, Community Happenings

 Brave Heart Volunteers

Awarded Hospice Grant

Sitka’s Brave Heart Volunteers is among the recipients of grants from the Foundation for End of Life Care, a Juneau-based nonprofit Foundation.

Nearly $50,000 was awarded to four Southeast Alaskan communities to alleviate loss of funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For nearly 20 years, Brave Heart Volunteers has provided the community of Sitka with compassionate end-of-life care, respite relief, grief support, educational training, and companionship to the lonely housebound and Pioneers Home residents.

BHV Executive Director Angie DelMoral said their $4,000 grant also helped offset losses from canceling their major fundraising soup dinner and auction.

“Like most organizations, BHV has been faced with several unique challenges since the onset of COVID-19,’’ she said. ‘‘Because the majority of our services involve in-person contact, one of our greatest challenges is determining how we can still maintain caring connections with our care receivers, who rely on our contact for their emotional wellbeing. We have also been faced with new concerns about funding since 67% of our funds come from individual donations and local businesses.”

One of their main programs is called  Core Companion, which is designed to provide companionship for those at the end of life to prevent isolation and provide respite for caregivers.

Sitka has a growing aging population and currently no other hospice program.

The mission of the Foundation for End of Life Care is to support end of life services including hospice services, bereavement care, and community education. 

“Every person should have the option to choose how they live out their last days,” said Board President Bruce Weyhrauch. “Our goal is to ensure fully funded hospice care is always available in Juneau and, when possible, support hospice organizations in other Southeast Alaska communities.”  

Grants totaling $49,506 went to the following communities: Juneau.     $40,606; Gustavus, $4,000; Sitka,    $4,000; and Haines, $900. 



Nominations On

For YWCA Award

The YWCA Alaska Women of Achievement Award nominations are now open.

Those who wish to recognize a woman for the impact that she has made on Alaska can submit an electronic or paper nomination by 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 14.

The Google electronic nomination form can be found at: https://forms.gle/qvrsrjY67h958JAR7.

The awards ceremony will be hosted virtually on Nov. 5. Additional details for the event will be available soon.  Individuals and organizations wanting to help sponsor the event can contact Melanie Leydon at mleydon@ywcaak.org or call 907-644-9600 ext. 1002.


Mobile Services

Canceled for


SEARHC mobile mammogram services have been canceled due to potential risks presented by COVID-19.

The mobile mammogram clinics, formed through a partnership between the Breast Cancer Detection Center of Alaska and SEARHC WISEWOMAN program, offer digital mammography services in remote SEARHC communities, typically in the spring and summer.  The organizations are now focusing on program resumption in spring 2021, SEARHC said in a press release.   

“The SEARHC WISEWOMAN team was looking forward to once again partnering with BCDC to bring this crucial service to our more rural areas,” said Pam Sloper, SEARHC WISEWOMAN RN.  “Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic has rendered the mobile mammogram tour to be a significant risk to our communities.  Our teams have an eye on 2021 to resume this important service.” 

SEARHC patients are being encouraged to stay up to date on mammography screening. Mammography services remain available in Sitka to all residents of Southeast, including those in remote service areas. 

The SEARHC WISEWOMAN program provides free clinical breast exams, Pap tests, and cardiovascular screenings for all women ages 30 - 64, and mammograms for women age 40 – 64, who meet specific income and insurance guidelines.  For more information, call SEARHC WISEWOMAN at 1-888-388-8782. 



Library Adds to


New audiobook titles have been added to the collection at Sitka Public Library.

New additions are in fiction, non-fiction and Alaskana (including Sitka’s own John Straley).

The library thanks Sitka White Elephant for financial support which helped to expand the audio collection.


Reception Slated

For Rickett Book

To celebrate the publication of Sitkan Nancy Rickett’s memoir, a reception will be held 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 31, on the lawn of the Pioneers Home near the main entrance. 

The memoir, ‘‘Becoming Myself,’’ covers the first 50 years of Nancy’s life. Signed copies of her memoir can be purchased at Old Harbor Books.

John Straley, her longtime friend, will serve as moderator for the reception.

Attendees are asked to observe distancing and mask requirements for the short ceremony. For information, call 747-5941.


Mountain Goat

Hunting Begins

The mountain goat season will begin Saturday, Aug. 1, in Unit 4.

Based on aerial surveys conducted last year, mountain goat populations appeared to be at or near historic high levels last fall, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said. A series of mild winters along with hunters being selective for male goats led to the increase.

However, the department said, snow conditions and mortality data from collared goats during the winter of 2019/2020 indicate that the goat population on Baranof Island has likely declined since the most recent surveys.

An emergency order was issued to close the mountain goat season in two of 34 zones on July 31.

Zones closed by the EO – South Baranof and Lisa Creek – could be over-utilized due to low populations levels and accessibility. Managers will re-assess and make in-season adjustments to quotas and zone closures when updated surveys are conducted in September.

Those portions of Unit 4 not affected by the emergency order will remain open until harvest quotas are reached or the season concludes.

Fish and Game is again requesting hunters bring in the head of their harvested goat to obtain nasal swabs as part of statewide Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (Movi) surveillance. Movi is a bacteria that can lead to respiratory disease and is linked to large scale die-offs of bighorn sheep in the lower 48.

For maps, zone quotas, FAQs and other information, contact the Sitka area office at 747-5449.


SMC Garbage Bear

Closes Campground

Sawmill Creek Campground is temporarily closed for camping because of a food-conditioned bear in the area.


The Sitka Ranger District said measures have been taken to close trash and food storage receptacles for public use. Day users of the area are to pack out all trash.


Music Festival

Via Raven Radio

The Uncommon Music Festival Radio Hour will be held 10 a.m. Aug. 10, 17, 24 and 31 on Raven Radio. It will include selections from four years of performances in Sitka plus glimpses behind the scenes and brand-new pieces.

Visit uncommonmusicfest.org for more information.


40 Day Party for

William Howard

A 40 day party for William Eli ‘‘Buddy’’ Howard, 78, will be 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, at the Sitka Moose Lodge, downstairs.


Mr. Howard died June 4.

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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 8-10-20)

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;45 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 69

Total statewide – 3,775

Total (cumulative) deaths – 26

Active cases in Sitka – 21 (15 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 16 (12 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 154.

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. 




August 2000

Bring your wand if you’re coming, leave your disbelief at the door (no Muggles allowed), because room 220 at Blatchley is a place where the decorations, outfits and conversations are all very, very Harry Potter. “If you want to levitate, go ahead,” said Lacy Simons addressing the young wizards of the Harry Potter Reading and Writing Club. Simons, a VISTA volunteer, formed the club ....

August 1970

Photo caption: Youngsters who participated in the summer reading program at Kettleson Memorial Library include, from left, Lari Cook, Nancy Erickson, Yumiko Hayashi, Kyoko Ikenoue, Lu Ann Beidel, Tiffany Rose, Jessica Roth, Gwendolyn Roth, Rhonda Audette, Heather Owen, Susan Kohler, Glenn Oen, David Oen, Eric Oen, Stephen Weddell, Robert Weddell, Randy Turner, Takahiko Hosei, Douglas Henie, Lance Robards and Timothy Von Clasen.