MASKED UP – Mt. Edgecumbe High School students receive prizes for their costumes this afternoon outside the school library. This year’s Halloween costume contest was held outdoors with everyone wearing masks in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Sitkans are trying to have a degree of normalcy while acting responsibly during the pandemic. Businesses are having Halloween-themed  sales over the weekend. Also, Sitka merchants will be hosting the downtown Trick-or-Treat event Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. with everyone asked to observe social distancing recommendations. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Jane Eidler Dies at 69; Was Longtime Resident

Jane Eidler

Jane Eidler, a longtime Sitka resident, passed away peacefully at home on September 24, surrounded by her loving family.  

Born in 1951, Jane grew up in New York, in Queens and then on Long Island. Soon after graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1972 with a degree in sociology and psychology, she moved to California where she worked as a Vista volunteer at a federal prison.

Her adventurous spirit led her to Sitka in 1975 where she worked as a substance abuse counselor at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, a swim instructor and lifeguard at Blatchley Pool, and helped start the Baranof Barracudas swim team.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, inspired by her love of the great outdoors and passion for teaching, she worked seasonal jobs as a naturalist interpreter for the National Park Service at Denali National Park (where she met her husband Mike Wild) and Glacier Bay National Park. As a Park Service employee Jane ran dog sled teams and climbed rope ladders onto cruise ships to give talks to visitors. She was a “people person” who enjoyed talking with people from all walks of life, which inspired her to work for the U.S. Census in 1990 and 2000, knocking on doors and counting residents in Sitka.

Jane and Mike had three children, Logan, Lauren, and Lincoln. When her children were young, she started a walking tour business in Sitka, serving cruise ship passengers in the summer. During the school year Jane managed the Blatchley Pool, where she taught swimming to generations of Sitka children, taught lifeguarding, championed aquatics programs for people with special needs, and earned a reputation as the no-nonsense “pool lady.”

Jane’s no-nonsense personality served her well as a volunteer usher at the Sitka Performing Arts Center, where she loved attending performances and presentations of all varieties. Her love of the arts extended to her own participation, and she rarely missed a contra dance in Sitka, where her daughter Lauren played with the band Fishing for Cats.

Jane was a regular fixture at another Sitka arts scene staple, the Monthly Grind, where her desserts often took top prize. A self-proclaimed chocaholic, her baking prowess extended to bread and bagels – her famous bagel recipe is included in the New York Times Cookbook. She loved sharing baked goods, and many other foods, as the host of potlucks, brunches, game nights, and family gatherings. Raising three kids in the Jewish faith in a community without a rabbi or synagogue, Jane got creative with other Jewish families in Sitka, writing her own Purim plays for the kids, and baking hamantaschen and latkes and other traditional foods for holiday get-togethers. Jane’s non-food creations included hand knit socks, felted baby booties, and original homemade pop-up birthday cards, which often included a personalized original haiku. Her love of haikus inspired her to write a haiku book, which was published in 2015.

She maintained friendships and close relationships across Alaska and the world by writing letters and postcards, which provided a window into life in a small town on a remote island on the Pacific coast. Jane’s volunteer service to that small town included serving on the Sitka Public Library Commission for 11 years, and as an active member in the Friends of the Library for six years, and supporter of numerous exchange students.

A lifelong student of nature herself, Jane enjoyed attending natural history events, bird watching and walking in beautiful places. 

While Jane has passed on to another beautiful place, she is survived by her husband of 36 years, (Paul) Michael Wild of Sitka; their three children, Logan Wild (Kenley Jackson) and Lauren Wild (Evan Love) of Sitka, and Lincoln Wild of Hoonah; siblings Barbara Eidler of Great Neck, N.Y. and David Eidler of New Orleans, Louisiana; sisters-in-law Barbara Wild (Fred Sorensen) of Anchorage, Mary Mounce (Dave Werner) of Palmer, Johanna Shorey of Baker City, Oregon, and Sandie Huston (Lee Schultz) of Austin, Texas.

Nieces and nephews are Joshua Eidler of Denver, Colorado, Paul Shorey (Jessica Swartz) of Bend, Oregon, Eli Shorey of Baker City, Oregon, Levia Shoutis (Will, Lucas, and Siri Shoutis) of Philipsburg, Montana, Serena Jones (Nick, Ruby and Maclynn Szymoniak) of Anchorage, Galen Jones (Morgan Michelsohn) of Anchorage, Will Mounce (Miranda, Jack and Sage Mounce) of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

She was predeceased by her sister Susan Eidler; parents Bernard and Frances Eidler; niece Emily Mounce; nephew Robert Mounce; and brother-in-law Doug Shorey.


The family would like to express gratitude and thanks to the community of Sitka for the love and support they provided to Jane and her loved ones as she struggled with dementia for the last several years. Donations in Jane’s memory may be made to the Alaska Alzheimer’s Association, Brave Heart Volunteers, or to the children’s program at Sitka Public Library. A memorial service will be held at a later date. 

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 10-30-20)

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 9:40 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 380

Total statewide – 14,837

Total (cumulative) deaths – 81

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (14 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 62 (49 resident; 13 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 430.

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. 




October 2000

Photo caption: Their Halloweeen party over, Sitka Tribe of Alaska staff members and their families turn heads as they stroll down Katlian Street Friday. Several Halloween events were held over the weekend. This afternoon kids were invited downtown to trick or treat at businesses; and tonight parties and more trick or treating expeditions will bring out more ... whatever.

October 1970

The only method through which the United States will adopt a 200-mile limit for its contiguous fishing zone is by a change in international law which would require consent of two-thirds of the nations at an international conference, the assistant Secretary of State for Fisheries and Wildlife told fishermen in Sitka.