PAINTING WEATHER – Downtown Sitka is pictured from the vantage point of commercial painter Keith Fredrickson’s 60-foot man lift today. Fredrickson Painting Inc. was taking advantage of the partly sunny weather to get a coat of paint on the Sitka Hotel, foreground, today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

James D. Howard Dies; Former Sitkan was 71

James David “Jim” Howard “Yashenteen”

James David “Jim” Howard “Yashenteen,” Tlingit Coho, unexpectedly passed away Jan. 10, 2021, at the Yuvapai Memorial Hospital in Prescott, Arizona, a day before his 71st birthday.  

He had fallen ill Jan. 2 and had tested positive for COVID-19.

A member of the large, well-known and longtime Sitka family, Jim was born in Sitka Jan. 11, 1950, the son of Margaret and William Eli Howard Sr.

After graduating from Sitka High School, Jim attended the Alaska Skill Center in Seward, earning a vocational certificate credential in accounting.  His first post-education jobs began January 1980 at the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska in Juneau, where he remained until 1983. He went on to a 20-year career at the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Juneau and Anchorage, that lasted to 2004.  In 2005 he took a job with the Department of the Interior, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, as a program analyst in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he remained until he retired in 2013.

After retirement, Jim relocated to Prescott, Arizona, a place that grew on him, and he remained there until his passing.

Jim was predeceased by his parents, William Eli Howard Sr. and Margaret Howard; brothers Leo Lonnie Houston, Jr. and William Eli “Buddy” Howard Jr., Frederick David Houston, Charlie Dick Wright and Jacob John Wright; and sisters Irma Gertrude Button, Martha Emma Wright, and Doris Marie Wright; and nephew Phillip Schoonover.

Jim’s surviving brothers and sisters are Frank Glade Wright Jr., Paul Nicholas Wright, Samuel Richard Wright, Sharon Ann Wright-Brown, Phyllis Christine Tischer, Johanna Houston-Iverson, Deborah Picken, and Margeret Florence Wright. From his siblings came many nieces and nephews.

Jim also is survived by the mothers of his children: Evelyn Christine Taylor, with whom he had a son, Jason David Howard, in 1976; and Donna Lang, with whom he had a daughter, Erin Michelle Jessup, in 1988 and a son, Brian Jameson Howard, in 1990.

Jim also is survived by five grandchildren, Tiffany and Addison Katkus, and Michael Jessup, the three children of daughter Erin and Nicholas James Fleury and Quia Geshashw’gt-G’gwot Dangeli, the two sons of Jason Howard; and many close cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, and many friends in Alaska and Arizona, all of them sad to see him go.

Jim is loved and missed by many.  He was well known for his sense of humor and being a person of very few, but very meaningful, words, all which are missed by all.  Son Brian said, “He wasn’t a man of many words, but they were worthy of a man I gladly called my dad.”

He loved bowling, many other sports, and the Seattle Seahawks.  Each year he loved to make an annual visit to Santa Claus and have his photo taken with him. He was very proud of his Tlingit culture and family.

As soon as COVID-19 comes more under control and family members can come together, services will be held and he then will be buried next to his father, William Eli Howard, in Sitka, as he requested.

There are many, many, sad hearts involved here. COVID-19 was part of Jim’s passing. He was known to be a practicing mask wearer, and his family asked that everyone be aware that what they do can have serious, lasting, devastating effects on the lives of others.

“Please wear a mask always and snuggly against your face, two masks if possible,” family members urged. “Do everything you can to help alleviate the existence of this destructive virus.



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 5-8-21)

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 11:50 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 114

Total statewide – 66,120

Total (cumulative) deaths – 343

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,508

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. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 367 (321 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 359

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 4,898 (70.469%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,486 (64.56%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,249 (84.51%) 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:





May 2001

Richard Nelson, Alaska writer and cultural anthropologist, will be speaker at the University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus, commencement exercises at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School

May 1971

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game announced today that the 100-ton herring quota in District 13, outside of the Sitka Sound area, has been harvested. The 750-ton quota for Sitka Sound was taken by April 7.