Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s office building on the corner of  Siginaka Way and Katlian Street is pictured Tuesday. The building’s HVAC system was replaced using Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Alaska Native corporations are also eligible for CARES Act funding. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

April 5, 2019, Community Happenings


Spring Art Walk

Slated for Tonight

The annual Spring Art Walk is scheduled 5-8 p.m. Friday, April 5, at participating locations in downtown Sitka.

Participants can enter the drawing at every location for a chance to win two first class upgrades on Alaska Airlines.

For a complete list of artists and locations, visit the Facebook page at


The event is sponsored by the Greater Sitka Arts Council


Climate Connection: Connecting to the issues, the solutions and each other. A collaborative effort by Sitkans concerned about climate change.

Buy Local, Think Global

By Libby Stortz

Did you know that airfreight produces 47 times more CO2 than marine shipping? Marine “shipping is recognized as the most efficient form of commercial transport. In fact, the enormous scale of the industry is only around 3% of total global CO2 emissions.”*

You can save money, improve your health and support our local economy by buying locally.  Using our own shops, co-ops and Sitka-sourced products produces less CO2. If we resist buying the latest new things, it keeps our pocketbooks up and our carbon footprint down.  That’s why we say “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Those alluring two-day air freighted deliveries produce a lot of CO2.  

Harvesting our Alaskan bounty for those who can’t, helps our families and community.  Small gardens on porches, windowsills or yards are fun and helpful. 

Most of our purchases will continue to be shipped into our town but people in the know choose to make more thoughtful decisions. I hope you’ll join us to help ourselves and our planet!  If you’d like to do more to decrease your carbon footprint or to make a donation visit, or

*International Chamber of Shipping.


Libby Stortz is a member of Citizens Climate Lobby, Sitka Chapter.



Boathouse Plans

Work Party SetSitka Maritime Heritage Society welcomes volunteers of all skill levels to help prepare the Japonski Island Boathouse before its first exhibit installation.

The next work party will be 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 13.

‘‘Please meet us at the boathouse, ready to get your hands dirty for a few hours, help a local nonprofit, and meet some new people,’’ organizers said.

Snacks will be provided. For information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 738-0319.


Hames to Host

Volleyball Tourney

Hames Center will host a 3 vs 3 co-ed double elimination volleyball tournament on Saturday, April 27.

Teams must have a minimum of one female. Tournament warm up begins at 10:30 a.m. with championship match scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The cost is $60 per team. Register at Hames Center by Friday, April 19.


Teams will serve as referees when not playing. All proceeds will help fund Hames Center’s volleyball equipment. For information call 747-5080. 


Silent Auction

At SJ Museum

On Saturday

The Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum will host its annual silent auction 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the museum.

The sale helps support the Native Artists in Residency program, which brings Alaska Native artists to Sitka each summer to share and teach their creative work.

Donations of artwork, Native and non-Native, paintings, drawings, fiber work, basketry,  jewelry, and books etc. are being offered to the highest bidders. Light refreshments will be served.

Call 747-6233 with questions.


School Board Meets

The Sitka School Board will hold a budget work session and hearing at the Sitka High School library 6 p.m. Friday, April 12. The budget hearing for public testimony will begin at 7 p.m.

The School Board is encouraging  community members to attend.


Unitarians to Meet

Helen Dangel will give a presentation about the Kayaani Commission and the Tlingit spiritual connection to plants at Sunday’s meeting of the Sitka Unitarian Fellowship.

Gathering begins at 10:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 10:45 a.m. Soup and bread will follow at noon. The Fellowship Hall is located at 408 Marine Street, with parking behind off Spruce Street. 


Workplace Diversity

Subject of Workshop

The University of Alaska Southeast Sitka will host a free workshop on welcoming diversity in the workplace 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24.

Community experts will provide resources to open communications between and better serve diverse groups, including different languages, ability levels, genders, sexual orientations, and religions, UAS said in a press release.

The workshop is for employers looking to accommodate diversity in the workplace, volunteer coordinators looking to expand their recruitment efforts, employees wanting to create or strengthen a safe and welcoming work environment, and businesses working with a diverse clientele or customer base.

It is scheduled for Room 229 on the Sitka Campus. Snacks and beverages will be provided. The event is free and open to the public, and part of UAS Sitka’s Career Development Series. 

For more information or accommodations, contact Angela Hilsman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 747-7797. 


UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:


‘Fisherfolk’ Lunch

Set at KGH School

All fisherfolk are invited to the annual ‘‘We Love our Fisherfolk’’ lunch 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

Individuals will be expressing gratitude to those who have donated to the Fish 2 Schools Lunch program. RSVPs are needed by Friday, April 19, to Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509. 


Sitka Land Trust

Group to Meet

The Sitka Community Land Trust will meet 6:15-7:45 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at the Sitka Public Library.

The public is being encouraged to attend. The SCLT is a non-profit organization that relies on community support and participation. For information contact Mim McConnell at 738-2888.  


T’ai Chi Chih

Practice on Tap

T’ai Chi Chih Practice will meet 10 a.m. Saturday, April 6, behind Sitka Public Library.


On Honor Roll

Ashley J. Barry of Sitka has been named to the scholastic honor roll winter term at Oregon State University.

To be listed, students must carry at least 12 graded hours of course work.


Barry is a sophomore in business information systems.


Herring Topic

Of Presentation

Peter Bradley will share notes and observations from his ongoing research into the history of commercial herring fishing in Southeast Alaska and Sitka Sound, with an emphasis on the formative years of the sac roe fishery, 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, at Sitka Public Library.

A conversation will follow. 

For his research, Bradley used excerpts from ADFG research reports, Board of Fish meetings, Sitka Sentinel articles, and various other sources.


Sitka Tells Tales

Event April 26

Sitka Tells Tales, the local live storytelling series returns 7-8:30 p.m.  Friday, April 26, at the Fisheye Cafe.

The theme of the stories is “Overcoming the Monster: Stories of Demons, Fears, and Metamorphosis.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $5. This event hosted by Artchange Inc. For information or to sign up to tell a story at a Sitka Tells Tales event e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 738-2174. 


Tickets on Sale

For Quilt Raffle

The Sitka Cancer Society will sell raffle tickets for its ‘‘Quilt for a Cure’’ quilt and handmade moccasins at the Rainy Day Bazaar Saturday, April 13, at Centennial Hall.

The queen-size quilt ‘‘The Batik Beauty,’’ made by Ocean Wave Quilters and quilted by Vicki Swanson. The gift certificate for handmade moccasins was donated by artist Linda Janacek.

Tickets are $5. Proceeds help fund mini grants for those dealing with cancer in Sitka. The drawing will be Dec. 8.


Anyone who is dealing with cancer can apply for a grant. Contact Candi Barger at Sitka Realty or any board member for an application.


Honor Herring

Parade, Koo.eex

Set for Saturday

The Honor Herring Parade is planned 1 p.m. Saturday, April 6, beginning at the Crescent Harbor boat launch.

Clan leaders and community members will greet guests arriving in the STA canoe, and then march together to ANB Founders Hall for the 2 p.m. Yaaw Koo.eex’ (herring party).

Koo.eex’ means “to invite.” The ceremony honors the ancestors and  history.

‘‘The Yaaw Koo.eex will honor the sacred relationship that Tlingit have with the herring and their integral role in our way of life – haa kusteeyi,’’ organizers said.



Sitka Tribe, Forest Service continue Tlingit potato garden for community

 The Sitka Ranger District and Sitka Tribe of Alaska will work together again on April 19 on a traditional food source for community members. Forest Service staff and the tribe will share how to grow Tlingit (sometimes called Maria’s) potatoes, and tell about  their biology, history, and cultural aspects.

Since 2017, the Sitka RD has provided a sunny plot of land to serve as the shared potato garden. Together, the Tribe and the Forest Service provide the seed potatoes, and the Tribe’s Traditional Foods Program and the gardening class from Pacific High School will again assist with the planting.

Community involvement is also needed to get the garden planted. Volunteers are asked to wear boots and gardening gloves, and take shovels. Five gallon buckets of seaweed to incorporate into the soil would be beneficial as well. 

Volunteers who help tend the garden may receive more than gratitude as their reward. 

“Last fall we harvested 90 pounds of potatoes. We shared the harvest among those helping out and through the Sitka Tribe’s Traditional Foods Program. And this year, we will be expanding the garden so we can grow even more potatoes,” said District Ranger Perry Edwards. “This project teaches people how to grow and sustain a traditional food, while supporting the need for food security among Sitka families. It’s also a fun and very sustainable way to celebrate Earth Day.”

Tlingit potatoes have been present in Tlingit gardens for more than 200 years. The potatoes originate from Mexico or Chile and were a trade item in Southeast Alaska in the early 1800s.

The work day and educational opportunity will be 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the Sitka Ranger District office, 2108 Halibut Point Road.

For more information, contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



This Week in Girls on the Run

By Sitkans Against Family Violence

Girls on the Run is an empowerment-based program for girls in third through fifth grade, currently in its 11th season at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School! GOTR is more than an after-school activity; it is a program designed to bring girls together with strength and resilience and prepare them for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.

This week in GOTR, participants are learning about the various ways to explore a new definition of beauty, and learning the benefit of thinking positively about ourselves! We are learning that the media and advertising industries portray girls and women in various aspects of themselves, some are healthy and others are negative. Team activities elevate their critical thinking skills to reduce the impact of negative or unrealistic images on their self-esteem. Here’s what participants said about media messages:

–“(Ads) don’t show what women look like and what they really want. It’s really sad.”

– When girls see those ads, they may not look like that, and they may feel sad or want to change themselves.”

–“You’re beautiful the way you are and you don’t have to change for anything or anyone.”

–“I feel happy when people show their positive self and they aren’t changing themselves.”

–“It doesn’t matter what you look like outside, it matters how you act and what’s on the inside!”

Throughout this season, GOTR will keep providing the Sitka community with updates from the program. We also hope to give mentors and parents an opportunity to pass on skills from GOTR to the youth in your life! Here are some conversation starters for talking with kids about emotional health and celebrating gratitude.

*Let’s each share how we define beauty.

*How do many advertisers portray women in their ads? Why do you think they do that?

*What if someone became your friend but never actually saw you. No pictures, nothing. How would you want them to describe you?

*Let’s each talk about what makes a person beautiful. (What’s on the inside?)

*Why is it important to value who we are on the inside more than the way we look on the outside?

Save the date for the final GOTR community 5K Fun Run at 10am on May 18th, starting at Crescent Harbor Shelter! Stay tuned for more details. Girls on the Run is brought to you in Sitka by Sitkans Against Family Violence.  Call 747-3493 for more information.




August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30, 2020, 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 8-4-21)

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 11:27 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 323

Total statewide – 72,584

Total (cumulative) deaths – 385

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,738

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 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Active cases in Sitka – 123

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 37

Cumulative Sitka cases – 873 (797 resident; 76 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 748

Deceased (cumulative) – 2

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Wednesday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 5,682 (77%)

Fully vaccinated – 5,242 (71%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 79 percent of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at:





August 2001

The Assembly agreed Thursday to place ballot questions on cell phone usage, downtown traffic lights and a fire hall before the voters in the Oct. 2 municipal election. Assembly members emphasized the election results would be used as a rough guide, not a mandate, on policy issues.

August 1971

Sitka student Phillip R. Wyman is among new admissions for the fall at Washington State University.