SUMMER FLING – Erika Youngberg and one-year-old son Axel enjoy the light surf at Sandy Beach Saturday as temperatures climbed to 68 degrees under clear skies. The Youngbergs were among some 100 people sunbathing, splashing and swimming to deeper water before the weather turned to showers as was forecast for Sunday. (Sentinel Photo by Reber Stein)





November 20, 2015 Community Happenings

New Arrivals

Baby Girl Kyle

Sally Jane Kyle was born 12:53 p.m. on Nov. 6 at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe hospital to Frank and Tamara Kyle of Sitka.

At birth, the infant weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 21-1/2 inches long.

The father and mother are self-employed commercial fishermen.

Maternal grandparents are Ron and Karmon Conatser of Rice, Wash. Paternal grandmother is Kathy Kyle of Sitka. Great-grandparents are Shirley and Kenny Kimball of Sitka, and Georgia Planck of Poulsbo, Wash.

This is the couple’s first child.



SEARHC receives “Gold Seal” accreditation

SEARHC once again earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety.

The accreditation award recognizes SEARHC’s dedication to continuous compliance with the Joint Commission’s standards which address important functions relating to the care of patients and the safety of a hospital environment.

SEARHC underwent a rigorous on-site survey earlier this month. A team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated compliance with standards specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, safety, performance improvement, leadership and medication management at sites in Sitka, Juneau, Haines and Klawock. 

The results showed that SEARHC received high marks for excellent nursing practice, quality of care, a clean environment and strong infection prevention program, strong leadership, and a safe environment.

It was also noted that there was “phenomenal progress made” in quality initiatives since the previous survey in 2013. SEARHC received special acknowledgment in the area of sterilization and newly implemented practices. It includes the use of an iPad application developed by SEARHC that enables substantially better tracking of equipment that requires sterilization. SEARHC has been encouraged to submit the sterilization program it developed to the Joint Commission as a leading best practice for others to follow, a press release from the hospital said.

The accreditation from the Joint Commission also opens the door for SEARHC to attain a Critical Access Hospital designation for Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CAH designation will provide flexibility in the services MEH provides.

“Accreditation by The Joint Commission validates the great work we’re doing and that our providers and the entire staff are meeting the highest standard of excellence within the healthcare community, not only at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and Ethel Lund Medical Center but our clinics in the region,’’ said SEARHC CEO, Charles Clement. ‘‘As we continue to pursue excellence in our patient care, the guidance that the Joint Commission surveyors provided has been and will continue to be extremely helpful in this journey.” 


Positive Parenting

Seminar to Run

‘‘The Power of Positive Parenting’’ seminar will be offered 2-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Hames Center.

This is the first of several free parenting seminars as part of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program to be offered over the next year, including: ‘‘Raising Confident, Competent Children’’ and ‘‘Raising Resilient Children.’’ 

Developed at the Queensland University in Australia, this parenting program aims at educating and supporting parents and caregivers of children and adolescents. It has more than 30 years of research in 23 countries to back it up, organizers said.

“What I love about this program,” said Lois Denherder, occupational therapist at Sitka Community Hospital, “is that it doesn’t just focus on discipline, but it also provides ways to prevent behavior problems, encourage positive behavior and skill development, and maximize self-esteem, confidence and emotional resilience. Who wouldn’t want that for their kids?”

Through a grant from the Alaska Mental Health Trust, the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership chose Sitka as a pilot city in which to introduce Alaska to the Triple P program. In the past few months, at least 10 people working in health, social services and education in Sitka, have been accredited as Triple P Providers.

“As practitioners working with children, our Positive Parenting Program training has given us an excellent, additional tool to help parents, caregivers and children in our community,” Denherder said.

Contact Lisa Hodges at Center for Community’s Early Learning Program at 966-4229 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Lois Denherder, pediatric occupational therapist at Sitka Community Hospital, 747-1771 for more information about individual parenting consultations or group seminars.


Visiting Poet,

Former Sitkan,

To Teach Class

The Island Institute and 49 Writers are co-sponsoring a class by visiting poet and former Sitka resident Caroline Goodwin 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 19 at the Island Institute, 304 Baranof Street.

The class, ‘‘List and Litany,’’ is designed to help participants walk confidently into the metaphorical “blank page.” 

Participants will spend the first hour responding to a series of specific prompts. Next, students will read and begin to shape their writings, looking for any patterns.

Christopher Dewdney will perform a section of ‘‘A Natural History of Southwestern Ontario’’ and students will read a few poems that use listing effectively. The workshop will conclude with a reading and discussion of next steps in developing the writing.

Students will have the opportunity to send a piece of writing to the instructor via snail mail for a brief written response.

Goodwin is a San Mateo County, Calif., Poet Laureate.

The class costs $45 for 49 Writers members and $55 for the general public. Registration is required at 

49 Writers is a statewide membership organization whose mission is to support the artistic development of writers throughout Alaska, foster a writing community, and build an audience for literature. 

Those with questions can contact Erin Hollowell, executive director, at 49writers@gmail or 907-491-1001. 


Unitarians Meet

Denton Pearson will make a presentation on Sunday, Nov. 22, about the history of Thanksgiving at the Sitka Unitarian Fellowship. 

‘‘On average, Americans eat 13.3 pounds of turkey per year,’’ Pearson said. ‘‘More than twice as many turkeys are eaten during the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States as are eaten at Christmas – nearly 46 million versus 22 million. Eighty-eight percent of Americans eat turkey during Thanksgiving. How did this tradition get started?’’

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


Story Time Set

‘‘Bunnies on Ice’’ by Johanna Wright will be one of the readings during preschool story time 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, at Kettleson Memorial Library.

Readings, rhymes, songs and a craft project are included. All are welcome. For more information call 747-8708.


World of Opera

Opens for Kids

Kettleson Memorial Library will open its door to the world of opera 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 through an interactive presentation by opera singer Rhiannon Guevin of Sitka.

Participants will learn about the art form through a series of interactive exercises by listening to and watching excerpts from Mozart’s fantastical opera ‘‘The Magic Flute.’’

The presentation will be for students in preschool through kindergarten, but all ages are welcome.

For more information call the library at 747-8708.


Lingonberry Harvest

Hike Set for 4-H

4-H Alaska Way of Life will host a lingonberry harvest hike 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

All 4-H families are welcome to join. The group will follow-up the hike with lingonberry sauce-making 5 p.m. Nov. 24. Contact Molly at 747-7509 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up.


Marine Highway

To Host Meetings

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Alaska Marine Highway System, invites Alaskans to participate in six community engagement meetings scheduled across coastal Alaska. The goal of the public meetings is to havea constructive dialogue around the fiscal challenges that face AMHS.

In Sitka, the meeting will be noon-2 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Sealing Cove Business Center, 601 Alice Loop Road.

All state agencies are working with reduced operating budgets due to low oil prices, ADTPF said. This will have an impact all modes of transportation.

Meetings are an opportunity for Alaskans to hear from department officials, ask questions and present potential solutions regarding short and long-term operating possibilities for AMHS.

Six meetings have been scheduled.

Each meeting will be available via teleconference for anyone who cannot attend in person. The toll-free number to participate is: 1-800-315-6338, conference code 03902#. The line will open five minutes prior to the scheduled start time for each meeting.


Quilts Raffle

Drawing Nov. 28

The drawing for the ‘‘Library Book Quilt’’ and the ‘‘Butterfly Garden Quilt’’ being raffled as a fund-raiser for Kettleson Memorial Library will be 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, at Kettleson Library’s temporary home in Stratton Library on the SJ Campus.

Money from this fundraiser will be used to purchase unfunded items for the new library. 


Boy Scouts Begin

Tree Sales Nov. 27

Boy Scout Troop 44 will begin selling Christmas trees 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, at the Sea Mart parking lot.

Trees range in height from 4 to 10 feet. Wreaths are also available.

Weekend hours will be 6-8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

Credit cards will be accepted. For more information call 738-2703.


Junior Ranger

Day at SNHP

Sitka National Historical Park will offer a free morning of art in the park for children and their families 10 a.m.-noon Friday, Nov. 27, at the visitor center.

 Kids can create a number of wildlife-inspired crafts, including animal masks and colorful paper jellyfish. Refreshments will be provided for all participants. It is a family activity and all children must be supervised.


Kaagwaantaans Meet

Sitka Kaagwaantaans will meet 3 p.m. Sunday at Blatchley Middle School in Room 114.

The agenda will be clan business, song practice and reports. For more information call Roby at 738-4004.


Yoga, Live Music

Set at Yoga Union

Yoga Union, a nonprofit group, will offer a live-music, power vinyasa flow yoga class 5-6:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, on the SJ Campus.

Corrie Bosman will instruct and music will be provided by Ellen Sevigny. Those with questions can call 623-7022.


Venison Workshop

Set for Nov. 23

UAF Cooperative Extension Service  will host a free workshop on deer processing, led by Chuck Miller, 3-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at Sitka Kitch in the First Presbyterian Church, 505 Sawmill Creek Road.

Registration is required. Call 747-9440 with questions or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.





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 6-21-21)

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 12:21 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 13

Total statewide – 68,112

Total (cumulative) deaths – 366

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,602

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 – 4

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 390 (341 resident; 49 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 386

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 5,340 (72%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,967 (67%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 77 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:





June 2001

Sitka police and federal authorities are investigating a report three counterfeit $100 bills were passed at a Sitka jewelry store. “It’s difficult to solve it, if you don’t get a good description of them, especially if they are transient or tourists.” said SPD Lt. John Bocza.

June 1971

Photo caption: David Bruce, 10, caught this 64-pound king salmon Saturday fishing with his grandfather, Philip “Peewee” James near Olga Strait. The big fish was 46 inches long with a girth of 32 inches. David and his grandparents live at Mt. Edgecumbe.