PERFECT WEATHER – Surfers assess the waves at Sandy Beach this morning. Waves were between 14- and 20-feet today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Billie Mae Eder

Billie Mae Eder

Billie Mae Eder, the first woman to serve as a Kitsap County (Washington) commissioner and a pioneering force for environmental and land use regulation, died Feb. 4 from dementia. She was 90 years old.
She was born in Sitka, where her father, William Haynes, was serving in the U.S. Navy. Her mother, Mary, named her for actress “Billie” Burke, who played Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Her father was transferred to a number of Navy postings, ultimately Seattle, where she went to work at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. She met Dan Eder, who also worked there, and they were married in 1954. They had two daughters, Darcie and Kathie.
Bremerton was their home for nearly 60 years, and they were longtime members of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church there.
She got into politics when a track of trailer residences was built near her home at Kitsap Lake, without any planning for such density. After sewage began running down area streets, she got neighbors together for a march on city hall.
She held a seat on the planning commission, at first, then was appointed a county commissioner in 1988; two years later she was elected to a four-year term. Known as a centrist Democrat, she garnered respect from both sides of the political aisle.
The Eders lost their daughter, Kathie, in a tragic accident in the surf at Ocean Shores in 1972. Soon after, she ran successfully for county treasurer, and served for 10 years.
No matter what stage of life, Eder was happy to engage in political conversation, her daughter said.
“She didn’t have any problem sharing her political beliefs,” her daughter said. “She made no bones about how she felt.”
Following the death of her husband in 2005, she moved to Lone Tree, Colorado, to be with her daughter, Darcie, and grandchildren, and lived there the rest of her life.
Eder will be buried with her husband at Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Bremerton.

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 11-24-20)

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 12:25 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 578

Total statewide – 27,669

Total (cumulative) deaths – 115

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 619

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Active cases in Sitka – 29

Hospitalizations in Sitka – 3

Cumulative Sitka cases – 176 (155 resident; 21 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 147 cumulative

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.




November 2000

Photo caption: A painting by the late Dr. Walt Massey hangs on the wall of the Pioneers Home dining room,. bringing smiles from home administrator Julie Smith and Massey’s son Brian and daughter-in-law Amy, the home’s dietary manager. The painting of early-day Sitka was done in 1971, the year Dr. Massey, an optometrist and artist, died. It originally hung in the Canoe Club and was given by the restaurant’s owner, Frank Richards, to local historian Joe Ashby, who gave it to the Pioneers Home.

November 1970

Photo  caption: Sitka High School band director James Hope receives a check for $2,000 from American Legion Post 13 Commander Carroll Kohler. The Legion had voted to contribute $1,000 for uniforms and the Auxiliary voted to match that amount. The check was presented at the Legion’s Veterans Day banquet.