FULL FIELD – Bathtub toy ducks float down Granite Creek toward a finish line at Halibut Point Recreation Area Saturday afternoon during the annual Sitka Rotary Club duck race. First place, two Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets, were won by Ron and Leah Kari. This year all 3,500 ducks were sold by June 14. Money raised at the event is donated to dozens of Sitka non-profits. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Maryellen Bowers, 96, Dies in North Carolina

Maryellen Severinghaus Bowers

Maryellen Severinghaus Bowers, 96, died peacefully at her home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, after a period of declining health, on May 13, 2019.
She was born Oct. 8, 1922, in Ithaca, New York. She graduated from Cornell University in 1943, after which she moved with her husband, Wayne, to Los Alamos, New Mexico.
After spending a year in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Wayne and Maryellen moved to Chapel Hill where they lived for the rest of their lives, apart from a number of sabbatical years spent in Cambridge, England, as well as one in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Maryellen was an accomplished seamstress and knitter, making most of her own clothes as well as many for her family. In later years she added to her repertoire of skills by taking up tie-dying and weaving.
She loved gardening, and was especially fond of camellias, with which she surrounded her house on Franklin Street over the years.
She also was active in community affairs, particularly during the racial integration struggles of the 1960s. She was once referred to by a segregationist opponent as the Madame Defarge of the integration movement on account of her habit of knitting during meetings. Needless to say, Maryellen was unfazed by this bit of nastiness and continued to knit while playing an active role in the struggle against Jim Crow until it was eliminated from Chapel Hill.
On another occasion, she was involved with a group of citizens opposed to a local bank’s desire to erect a multi-story building on the main block of Franklin Street which would have been incompatible in height with the rest of downtown. Maryellen had the idea of hoisting a balloon to the proposed height of the building. Many people, startled by the visual impact, were persuaded to sign the petition that her group had ready at a table on the sidewalk in front of the bank and, ultimately, those opposed prevailed.
Maryellen was preceded in death by her husband Wayne Alexander Bowers, who died in August 2008, and her daughter Margaret Ellen Barrett, who died in April 2008.
She is survived by three children, John Severinghaus Bowers of Ithaca, New York, Ruth Elizabeth Bowers of Stockton, New Jersey, and Wayne Cameron Bowers of Sitka; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial gathering will be held 2 p.m. (E.S.T.)  Sunday, August 18, at 714 East Franklin Street – the home Wayne and Maryellen bought in 1949 to raise their family in.
Contributions in Maryellen’s memory may be made in lieu of flowers to the American Friends Service Committee at the Southern Poverty Law Center.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-6-20)

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 1:25 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 28

Total statewide – 1,166

Total (cumulative) deaths – 16

Active cases in Sitka – 6 (3 resident; 3 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 12 (10 resident; 2 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 74.

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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