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)

Kate Sulser, Longtime Sitkan, Dies at Age 92

Kate Sulser

Family matriarch, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother Katherine “Kate” Esther Sulser passed from natural causes, peacefully in her sleep on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, while lovingly surrounded by immediate family.
Kate was born May 1, 1926, the daughter of Scott Isaac and Martha (Shell) Hammock. She was one of nine siblings who grew up on a farm in London, Kentucky. Her father worked for Champion Paper Company while Kate’s mother stayed at home with the children and tended the farm. Kate worked at Decca Records when she was 16 and later worked at Johnson’s Restaurant where she met Harry Sulser. At age 20 Kate married Harry in Covington, Kentucky, on Dec. 9, 1944. After Harry completed his service with the Navy, they relocated to Sitka, where Harry’s parents Harry Sr. and Vi Sulser resided.
Harry and Kate came to Alaska as part of this country’s Greatest Generation, seeking employment, outdoor adventure, and the opportunity to establish a homestead for their young family. Arriving in Alaska in the days before U.S. statehood, Kate raised a family of seven children. Despite the austere conditions of Sitka in the 1950s and ’60s, Kate was a strong woman who always had a pioneering spirit and positive outlook on life.
Kate was the glue that kept the family together while Harry worked full-time at Standard Oil and moonlighted as a bartender at several local taverns, including the Columbia Bar and Pioneer Bar. Despite the rigors of Harry’s unorthodox work schedule, Kate and Harry were able to save enough money to become co-owners of the Pioneer Bar when it became available due to an ownership vacancy. As co-proprietor of the Pioneer Bar, she supported Harry as they elevated the Pioneer Bar from a second-tier establishment to one of the town’s primary taverns.
Further, Kate and Harry enjoyed entertaining. For many years they hosted the annual Duck Plucker’s Ball at their home. Harry and about a dozen of his hunting buddies would go duck hunting in Mud Bay every year. They decided to build a cabin for that purpose so they would host the ball annually  to raise funds for the construction of the cabin. Kate would spend countless hours in the kitchen preparing for the party. They also hosted many family weddings at their home.
Kate had a love of gardening. You would often find her outside weeding and sprucing. In the spring her yard would burst into many vibrant colors. Her indoor foliage would be much desired as well.
Another activity she enjoyed was orchestrating her Christmas light show for many years. She would hang thousands of lights throughout her yard and house. It was a spectacular sight. She also had a love for collecting. She collected clocks, stuffed animals, Beanie Babies, phones, and all kinds of trinkets. If there was an open space, she would fill it.
Kate lived life to the fullest, her perpetual smile, laughter, and sunny disposition always made others feel like part of her extended family. Generous to a fault, Kate regularly helped financially prop up folks down on their luck due to illness, bad fortune, or unforeseen family emergencies.
In addition to her support for fellow Sitkans, Kate provided refuge and shelter to many abandoned four-legged and feathered friends. She harbored many ferrets, birds, and cats. She regularly used local veterinarian services to heal and nurture abandoned domestic pets and injured feral animals.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Harry Sulser; daughters Karen Howard and Sue Frank; grandchildren Shane Frank, Shawn Tisher, Jacoby and Mitchell Sulser.
Survivors include children Vickie (and Alan) Slade of Ketchikan, Linda (and Rick) Heim, Scott Sulser, Sandy (and Dan) Baird, and David (and Aftyn) Sulser, all of Sitka. Grandchildren include Ray (and Emily) Howard, Rhonda (and Mike) Whitmore, Dave Frank, Shannon Tisher, Chris (and Kasi) Heim, Janelle Heim, Ryan Allen, Brehanna (and Charlie) Johnson, David (and Shayla) Sulser Jr., Derek (and Saphire) Rennie, Mashaya Sulser, Dylan Sulser, Chloe Sulser, and Gatsby Sulser.
Kate is survived by 13 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She also is survived by her only remaining sibling, Helen Asher of Hamilton, Ohio.
A life celebration will be scheduled on her birthday, May 1, at 3 p.m. at the Elks Lodge. The family would like to give a special note of thanks to the overwhelming number of people expressing condolences in the days immediately following Kate’s passing. Those kind thoughts and prayers provided great solace and eased the grief associated with Kate’s death.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in her name be made to the Sitka Elks Lodge, Salvation Army, Sitka Animal Shelter, Pet’s Choice Veterinary Hospital, and Center for Community.

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.