DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS – Harbor Point and No Name Mountain are pictured this afternoon from the Old Sitka Cruise Ship Dock. A draft master plan for the Granite Creek to No Name Mountain area was discussed at a joint Assembly and Planning Commission meeting Wednesday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith, of Ferndale, Wash., passed away Sept. 7, 2017, at the age of 90.
Born in Lackawanna, N.Y., Ken left High School early to join the fight in World War II. His journey through the European Theater awoke empathy, compassion and courage that would serve him well in the years to come.
Returning home, he attended Sterling College, where he met the love of his life, Betty Marie Ramsey. They married on Aug. 18, 1950, in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Ken and Betty began their Christian service as mission teachers at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka. Answering his call into the ministry, Ken earned a master of divinity degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary and began his 40 years as a Presbyterian minister serving at the Chapel by the Lake, in Auke Bay.
After 22 years, the family moved to Hawaii and served 12 years at the Waimea United Church of Christ on Kauai. Called back to Alaska, Ken served another eight years at Eagle River Presbyterian Church.
Church members and non-church members alike were struck by his vigorous devotion to congregation and community. He directed and presided over the “Go See Seminar” mission trips throughout Southeast Alaska aboard the Anna Jackman, one of several vessels in the legendary “Presbyterian Navy.”
Entering retirement, Ken maintained a robust schedule, holding numerous community and volunteer posts, and writing 19 books.
Ken was known for his humor, empathy toward all people, and innovative programs. He was involved in numerous building projects in each of his congregations, and in many community projects as well. He would see a need, and start projects himself to get momentum going. Ken often commented that being a pastor was the “best job in the world.”
His congregations fondly remember his inspired, thoughtful sermons, his mind-bending puns, and the creative energy and practical love he applied to everyone and everything he was involved with. Ken loved and embraced all people and cultures, truly living a life dedicated to Christ.
Cherished activities included mowing lawns; careful cultivation of sourdough pancake batter for prodigious community breakfasts; crafting his inventive weekly children’s sermons; singing, writing, and always serving others. Boundlessly energetic, he was also a man of humility, and questing insight.
He is survived by wife Betty Marie Smith; his sons, Kevin J. Smith (Anne Fons), Mark E. Smith (Robin Merritt), Gerald R. Smith (Janel) and Kenneth A. Smith (Daniel Collison); daughter Janet A. Smith (Robert P. Jones); granddaughter Kathleen B. Smith, and grandson, Jackson P. Smith (Jessica).
Kenneth was pre-deceased by his mother and father, William and Marjorie Smith; his brothers, James and Gerald; and his son, Philip A. Smith.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 at Birchwood Presbyterian Church.
Memorials can be made out to the Presbyterian Mission (Presbyterian Church USA), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA, 15264-3700; https://pma.pcusa.org/donate/make-a-gift-info/102/.
Visit www.molesfarewelltributes.com to share memories and stories.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-4-20)

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. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 8

Total statewide – 513

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 48, 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 29, 2020

June 1, 2020

June 2, 2020

June 3, 2020

June 4, 2020