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)

Neland Jerome Haavig

Neland Jerome Haavig

Neland Jerome Haavig, a longtime resident of Sitka, Walhalla, N.D., and Mesa, Ariz., passed away on March 15 at Narrows Glen Senior Facility in Tacoma, Wash. He was 94.
He was born May 18, 1923, in New Rockford, N.D., Dakota, to Sylvester and Helen (Hanson) Haavig. He graduated in 1941 from Noonan North Dakota High School, where he excelled in athletics and received a football scholarship to Minot State College.
World War II interrupted his studies and he went to Seattle to join the Navy, entering into active service in 1943. He served in the Pacific theater on the cruiser USS Chicago, and in the Atlantic on the aircraft carrier USS Guadalcanal.
After his honorable discharge, he returned to North Dakota to begin his life with his high school sweetheart and wartime bride Joyce L. Helgeson from Columbus, N.D.
In the fall of 1945, Neland enrolled at North Dakota State University in Fargo and graduated in 1950. His first teaching job was in McHenry, N.D. During his tenure there, he attended summer school at the University of North Dakota where he earned a master’s degree. Neland was promoted to superintendent of schools in McHenry and went on to be the superintendent in Noonan, Drake, and Walhalla, N.D.
In March 1964, on the day of the Alaska Good Friday earthquake, Neland accepted the school superintendent position in Sitka. This wonderful opportunity took him, his pregnant wife, seven children, and two vehicles on a camping trip through Canada to the Alaska State Ferry Terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. They boarded the MV Matanuska and docked in Sitka on July 10, 1964.
For the next 15 years Neland was busy as the year round superintendent and as a commercial salmon troller during the summer fishing seasons. (This was true to his Norwegian heritage. His great-great-grandfather was a fisherman on Bomlo Island, Norway.) He retired as superintendent in 1979 and he continued to fish commercially until 1987 when he fully retired.
Neland and Joyce then began the snowbird phase of their life. They summered in Walhalla most of the time and wintered in Venture Out Park and Sunland Village in Mesa. Neland enjoyed entertaining and he was known for his halibut fish and chips.
 After no longer summering in Walhalla, they spent a few summers in Medford, Ore., before moving to Narrows Glen in Tacoma in January 2017.
Neland is survived by his wife, Joyce; and daughters Carole Andrews, Pasco, Wash.; Cynthia Haavig, Portland, N.D.; Leslie Hansen (Richard) University Place, Wash.; Kristi Haavig (Jake Allmaras) Medford, Ore.; Maren Haavig (Mark Neidhold), Juneau.
His sons are Steven Haavig (Paula Scavera) Juneau, and Paul Haavig, Sitka.
Grandchildren are Stephany Andrews, Tate Andrews, Brett Haavig, Erika Haavig, Adam Hansen, and Kristofer Hansen; and great-grandchildren are Ander Call, Averie and Bryce Haavig; and Beckett, Maddox, and Paxton Hansen.
Neland was preceded in death by his parents, his son Neland J. Haavig Jr.; son-in-law Thomas Andrews, and two sisters, Arlene Stevenson and Sallymae Hunter.   
This spring, a celebration of his life is planned, and he will be interred at Sitka National Cemetery.
Neland was dearly loved by his family and friends. The family is grateful to all the professionals at Narrows Glen and Franciscan Hospice Tacoma who provided care, guidance, and support during Neland’s last days.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contribution to a favorite charity in Neland’s name.



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.                                                                          

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