SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT – Tamy Stevenson hands an ice cream cone to a young customer Friday afternoon near Moller Field. Tamy and her husband, Greg Stevenson, opened their soft serve ice cream truck business, Sitka Swirls, on January 1. They have been open most Friday and Saturday evenings outside the ball field off Halibut Point Road. Updates about their hours are posted on the Sitka Swirls Facebook and Instagram pages. Kids pictured are, from left, McKenna Cropley, Maddox and Jack Dozier and Jacob Roy. (Sentinel Photo)

Ellen Hope Hays

Ellen Hope Hays, who made history when she was named superintendent of Sitka National Historical Park, passed away peacefully on Oct. 8, 2013.  She was 85 years old.
Ellen was living at the Sitka Pioneers Home at the time of her death.  She had moved back to Sitka from Bainbridge Island, Wash., in January 2013.
Ellen was born Dec. 29, 1927, the seventh of 14 children born to Andrew and Tillie Hope of Sitka.  She was a Tlingit of the Raven moiety, Kik’sadi Clan and Point House.  Her clan name was Kaa Katlin (Raven Looking Forward).  She was raised and lived much of her life in Alaska.
She married Roger Lang and they had one child, Karen Valorie Lang.  In 1978 she married Henry Hays, and they moved to Bainbridge Island, Wash., in 1994.
Ellen was a graduate of Sheldon Jackson School, and was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Alaska in 1996.
Ellen spent her professional career with the National Park Service and on July 9, 1974, she became the first woman and the first Alaska Native to be appointed superintendent of a national park in the Pacific Northwest.
She also was the first woman to apply and be accepted as a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood.  She was instrumental in the Brotherhood’s successful effort to operate the Visitor Center craft shop wing of Sitka National Historical Park, which eventually became known as the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center.
Throughout her life, Ellen promoted the values of art and the humanities.  She served on many boards and commissions that were dedicated to these causes, both in Alaska and Washington. 
Ellen forged many enduring friendships throughout her life.  She was a mentor, friend, and teacher to many.  She was passionate about her family, her heritage, the arts and education.  She believed one should always be learning.
Ellen is survived by her husband, Henry Hays, of Bainbridge Island, Wash.; daughter Karen Coleman of Sitka; granddaughter, Kendra Pountney (Michael) of Sitka; grandson Jerrick Fulkerson of Juneau; and great- grandson Robert Pountney of Sitka.
She is also survived by two brothers, Fred Hope (Margaret) of Sitka,  and Percy Hope of Juneau.  She also has numerous nieces and nephews, and is survived by her dearest friends Herb and Polly Didrickson of Sitka.
A memorial service will be held later in the Fall.  In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances of Ellen to her family (c/o Karen Coleman) at PO Box 92, Sitka, AK  99835.

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 3-8-21)

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 noon Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 91

Total statewide – 57,216

Total (cumulative) deaths – 301

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,258

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. Sunday.

Active cases in Sitka – 5

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 328 (294 resident; 34 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 323

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The City of Sitka posted the following update on vaccinations in Sitka as of March 8, 2021.

Partially vaccinated – 3,922

Fully vaccinated – 3,251

Total population (16+) –6,931

Sitka has fully vaccinated 1,029 (75.77%) of its senior population (1,358 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data are for the City and Borough of Sitka. The data are updated weekly on Sitka’s COVID-19 Dashboard at: 




March 2001

Winners have been listed in the Close Up Program fundraiser drawing. Elaine Strelow, Don Levine, Mary Ferguson, Renee Loree and Danielle Cassedy won $500 each; Donna Bezezekoff, Cras Colton and Bobbie Bird won $100 each; and Jean Blair, Gina Hirayama, Ann Crider and Kristy Coltharp won $50 each. Thirty-five eighth-graders will travel to Washington, D.C., in May.

March 1971

Mrs. Natasha Calvin Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Calvin, Sitka, has been graduated magna cum laude from Western Washington State College, Bellingham. She was one of only three to receive the honor.