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)

A Celebration of Life Set For Martha June Howard

Martha June Howard


Martha June Howard, who lived most of her life in Sitka, passed away July 17 at the Sitka Pioneers Home. She was 82.

A celebration of her life will be held   4 p.m. Sept. 10 at the American Legion. Family and friends are invited to share main dishes, salads and desserts.

Martha was born August 28, 1938, in Beaver, Alaska, the daughter of Maggie (Allashuk) and Arthur Henry Sr. She attended Mt. Edgecumbe High School.

She married George R. Howard Sr. on Nov. 2, 1956, in the Littlefield family home on Katlian Street.

Over the years she worked at Shee Atika hotel in housekeeping, and was a waitress at both the SAFE Harbor Inn on Japonski Island and the Harbor Inn, on Katlian Street.

In 2017 she was named the Sitka Elks Lodge Mother of the Year, and a celebration was held at the lodge in her honor.

Among her favorite pastimes were playing Bingo and pool.

Martha is survived by her daughter Velma and son-in-law Robert Somerville of Junction City, Oregon; and daughter Anna Howard and sons George Howard Jr. and Ray Howard, all of Sitka; and grandchildren Shayne and Caroline Thomas, Georgina Kennedy, Ann and Matt Taylor, Helen Kennedy, Scott Kennedy, Jacob Kennedy, Bob Hendrix, David Blore, Gary Blore, Michael Blore, and George and Rachel Wathen.

She also is survived by her sisters and brothers: Elsie Pitka of Fairbanks, Annie John of Fairbanks, Art Henry Jr. of Beaver, Roy Henry of Beaver, Jerry Henry of Anchorage, and William Henry of Wasilla.

Her sisters-in-law are Shirley Howard of Sitka, Diane Howard of Auburn, Washington, and Gina Lundy of Bremerton, Washington.

She also is survived by many nephews and nieces.

Donations may be made to the family through Anna M. Howard, P.O. Box 1931, Sitka, AK 99835.

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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.