CATCH OF THE DAY – Mason Allery, age 6, holds the first fish caught during the 2021 Kids Fishing Day Saturday on Swan Lake. Mason was given a prize and afterward successfully released his catch. The Sitka Rotary Club, U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game hosted the event, which had to be canceled in 2020. To avoid gathering large groups of people together, this year prizes were handed out throughout the three-hour event. More than a hundred young fishers and their crew members turned out. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson) 



Janis Hahl, Former Sitkan, Dies in Oregon at Age 77

Janis Hahl

Janis Mae Hahl, 77, formerly of  Sitka,  passed away Aug. 4, 2019, at Riverbend Hospital in Springfield, Oregon, from complications of a head injury incurred in a car accident July 29.
The cause of the accident is unknown, the family said. Doctors suspect she fell asleep or possibly fainted at the wheel. Family stayed near her side during her final days, and her granddaughter was with her when she passed.
She was in good health, driving home from celebrating her 60th high school reunion, at the time of the accident.
Janis was born in Elk City, Oklahoma, on Nov. 17, 1941. She moved with her parents, June and Daniel, and siblings Lucille, Betty, Ruth, and D.E. Hartman, first to Blythe, California, then to Turner, Oregon. Janis excelled at school, participated in cheerleading  and was a member of Future Homemakers of America. She graduated from Cascade High School, where she met her first husband, Jerry Lewis.
Jerry and Janis were married for 22 years. Janis was a dedicated wife and mother, staying home with her children while Jerry traveled for work. Janis later worked with Jerry preparing paperwork and log scales for his contract logging company. After more than 30 years of separation, Jerry moved in with Janis after she was widowed, and the two operated again as family.
Janis was known for keeping a comfortable home, and showing compassion toward others. She was a skilled painter, seamstress, and chef with a unique knack for hospitality, gardening, and organization. She will be missed dearly, and remembered as a caring mother, grandmother, and friend.
Janis and her husband Jim Hahl lived in Alaska for more than 20 years. Together they explored the coast of the Pacific Northwest, and enjoyed fresh seafood on their 25-foot sailboat. In Sitka, Janis worked as a manager at Mountain Miss, a rugged gear retail store, where she was known for her diligence and kindness. 
Janis returned to Florence, Oregon, from Sitka in 2013 after her husband, Jim Hahl, passed away.
Upon returning to Oregon, Janis was greeted with the birth of her only great-grandchild. She rekindled connections with her friends and family in the area including her two children, granddaughter, best friend, and first husband.
Janis was a resilient woman who maintained a loving demeanor despite the challenges she faced. She overcame polio as a small child, and was a two-time breast cancer survivor. She endured much loss including two children, first a stillborn infant in 1962, and her eldest child, Valerie Vadakin, in November 2017; her husband, Jim Hahl, in August 2012; her best friend, Dorris Cox, in January 2019; and her eldest sister, Lucille Smith, in July 2019.
Janis is survived by her son Brian Lewis; granddaughter Chelsea Vadakin; great-grandson Owen Burris;  brother Daniel Hartman; and former husband Jerry Lewis.
Memorial services will be held 4-7 p.m. Oct. 19, 2019, at Driftwood Shores Resort in Florence, Oregon.  For information about where to address condolences or questions about the service, please contact Chelsea at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 6-16-21)

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 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 26

Total statewide – 67,936

Total (cumulative) deaths – 366

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,595

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. Tuesday.

Active cases in Sitka – 1

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 387 (339 resident; 48 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 Tuesday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 5,304 (72%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,904 (66%)

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

Photo caption: Luke Nisbet holds up a “2005” sign at a rites of passage ceremony at Blatchley Middle School for the school’s 120 eighth-graders. It was the first ceremony to mark the “graduation” of eighth-graders from middle school.

June 1971

Two of the most controversial subjects to come before the city council in months are on tonight’s agenda. One would extend bar operating hours inside the city limits from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.; and the other would permit operation of coin amusement machines by persons under 18.