CHECKING IT OUT – Fia Turczynewycz, a visitor from Ohio, walks her dog,  Mani, past the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center this morning. Tlingit master carver Tommy Joseph’s newly completed yellow cedar Waas’go pole, pictured in the background, was moved out of the park’s carving shed Thursday to make room for Joseph’s latest project – carving a Tlingit canoe with the aid of an apprentice. Joseph’s Waas’go pole is the third version of the Haida pole in the past century – a reproduction of a reproduction made in the 1930s by George Benson, which is placed inside the visitor center. Rangers are working on approval for a location along the park’s trail system for the new pole. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Denise L. Massey Dies; Former Sitkan was 64

Denise Louise Massey


Denise Louise Massey, a 1974 Sitka High graduate, passed away at home, July 9, 2020, in Bothell, Washington. She was 64.

Denise was born in Juneau March 11, 1956, the daughter of Dr. Walter Massey and Dolores Ingwersen.

Denise attended and graduated from Sitka High School in 1974. She graduated from Arizona State University in 1979,  with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. 

She was a property appraiser for her entire working career, and was with such companies as Bank of America. Denise had a reputation as a very accomplished appraiser, and was often given the most difficult assignments. At the time of her death, she was self-employed as an appraiser.

Denise attended modeling school in her high school years and modeled clothes for Sitka businesses. She participated in the Miss Sitka pageant in 1973. 

Denise lived in Bothell, Washington, for the last 35 years.

She was preceded in death by her father, mother, and sister Kathleen Jo Shupe. 

She is survived by her brother Brian Massey of Sitka, sister Pamela Massey of Seattle, sister Lori Massey of Fredericksburg, Virginia, niece Allison Massey of Sitka, niece Angela Wissmar of Seattle, nephew Walter Massey of Colorado Springs, and nephew Ryan Wissmar of Seattle. Extended family includes Ernestine Massey and Bob Peel of Sitka. 


Memorial service details will be announced at a later date. 

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 9-17-21)

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 10:47 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 875

Total statewide – 96,002

Total (cumulative) deaths – 454

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 2,207

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 14 new COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 187.73 per 100,000 population. Alert status will be high until the rate per thousand is below 100. Case statistics are as of Thursday.

New cases in Sitka – 5

Cases in last 7 days – 16

Cumulative Sitka cases – 946

Positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 9/10/21 – 1,090

Deceased (cumulative) – 3

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 – 6,132 (83.03%)

Fully vaccinated – 5,991 (81.12%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 89.85 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:





September 2001

Alaska Pacific Bank has opened an account for donations to be directed to the families of the World Trade Center attack of Sept. 11. The account has been opened with a $2,000 contribution from the bank and an anonymous donor.

September 1971

At the Sitka Historical Society’s meeting Sunday, Mrs. Esther Billman of Sheldon Jackson College presented a “surprise package” of recent donations to the Sheldon Jackson Museum by Mr. Hugh Brady, youngest son of former Territorial Gov. John Brady.