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)

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.

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.