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)

Celebration of the Life Of Matt Konoske Held Today

Matthew John Konoske


Matthew John Konoske left this world August 21, 2021, following a lengthy illness. 

A celebration of his life was scheduled at 130 Patterson Way today, his 57th birthday, with a bonfire and potluck starting at 4 p.m. to give him a proper send-off, with many stories to be told.

Matt was born September 7, 1964, in Enumclaw, Washington, to Bill and Jeannette (Johnnie) Konoske. The family moved to Sitka when Matt was a month old.

Matt was very athletic, participating in baseball, basketball, wrestling, track and field, and was a member of the Baranof Barracudas swim club.

He graduated from Sitka High in 1982.

He met Lori Freeman, the love of his life, when she worked at the National Bank of Alaska, now Wells Fargo. They were married October 28, 1995, in Mt. Carroll, Illinois.

During his career, Matt was a powder man, construction worker, trapper, and commercial fisherman.

He was known for his smile, his sense of humor and the frequent pranks he pulled. He enjoyed all types of music, traveling, cooking, camping, fishing and hunting, and he loved kids and dogs. Although he and Lori had no children of their own he will be remembered by many as Uncle Matt.

Matt was preceded in death by his grandparents, Jack and Sally McLeod; parents Bill and Johnnie Konoske; sister Tammee Hansen; his wife Lori Konoske; his dogs Turk, Gunner and Coogan; and many dear friends.

He is survived by his brother Bill (Susee) Konoske of Carson, Washington;  his sister Jullee (Larry) Wright of Sitka; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; his fishing buddies; and many dear friends who miss him, including Bev Brill.

His stories and pranks will live on.

Family and friends expressed sincere thanks to Dr. Robert Hunter and his staff; Home Health Care; SAIL; SEARHC; and the Sitka Fire Department for the amazing care they provided him throughout his journey.

Matt’s ashes will be spread later at his favorite shrimping hole in Hoonah Sound, per his wishes.

Matt, until we meet again.

Login Form



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.