READY TO HANG – Instructor Franco Zacha, a Brooklyn based artist/illustrator, looks over the work of Sitka Fine Arts Camp students putting the final touches on their gauche paintings this morning. Students will show their work at an opening in Yaw Art Center on the SJ campus Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Students pictured in foreground are Kai Thomas, 17, from Anchorage and Audrey Mack, 17, of Seattle, far right. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson) 

Students Showcase Projects of 2 Weeks at Camp
12 Jul 2024 15:42

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer Sitka Fine Arts Camp’s high school session is winding  [ ... ]

Sitkans Invited to Taste Cups of World Coffees
12 Jul 2024 15:40

By ARIADNE WILL Sentinel Staff Writer For Andrew Kagerer, coffee can bring people together.   Th [ ... ]

Church Repair Story of Sand, Greywacke
12 Jul 2024 15:38

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer     Stonework repairs at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church [ ... ]

July 12, 2024, Police Blotter
12 Jul 2024 14:27

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
July 11
At 1:58 p.m. a caller reported a ci [ ... ]

July 12, 2024, Community Happenings
12 Jul 2024 14:27

Climate Connection: Climate Attribution
Attributing weather events to climate change has matured enor [ ... ]

Airport Manager Says Remodel on Schedule
11 Jul 2024 15:39

By ARIADNE WILL Sentinel Staff Writer In an update to the Assembly Tuesday night, airport manager  [ ... ]

Visiting Cellists to Play Mixed Music Concert
11 Jul 2024 15:38

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer The audience at Saturday’s International Cello Seminar [ ... ]

Softball All Stars Throw No-Hitter, Win Title
11 Jul 2024 15:37

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Sports Editor     Sitka’s Little League Majors All Stars softball  [ ... ]

Sitka Music Teachers’ Life To be Noted at Arts Cam...
11 Jul 2024 15:34

By Sentinel Staff The “life and legacy of Ginny Packer,” who taught music at Blatchley Middle S [ ... ]

Body Found Near Trailhead
11 Jul 2024 15:32

By Sentinel Staff A man’s body was found about 8 a.m. today in the Indian River subdivision near  [ ... ]

July 11, 2024, Police Blotter
11 Jul 2024 12:39

Police Blotter
Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
July 10
A dog reported runnin [ ... ]

July 11, 2024, Community Happenings
11 Jul 2024 12:38

Michelle Barker
Dies at Age 52
Michelle Loretta Barker, a longtime Sitka resident, died Sunday at her  [ ... ]

Assembly Assigns Tourism Positions
10 Jul 2024 16:18

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer Assembly members and city staff at Tuesday’s meeting t [ ... ]

Two Miles of Katlian Bay Road Now Open
10 Jul 2024 16:17

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer     Five years after construction began on the northern [ ... ]

New Zoning Advances For Mobile Home Park
10 Jul 2024 16:00

By ARIADNE WILL Sentinel Staff Writer The Assembly Tuesday night unanimously passed an ordinance r [ ... ]

Coast Guard Logs Air Time
10 Jul 2024 12:54

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka had a full evening in the air Tuesday, respondi [ ... ]

July 10, 2024, Community Happenings
10 Jul 2024 12:47

Salvation Army
Officers Installed
The Salvation Army Sitka Corps will hold its installation of officer [ ... ]

July 10, 2024, Police Blotter
10 Jul 2024 12:44

Police Blotter
Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
July 9
At 1:34 a.m. three men [ ... ]

Assembly to Consider Police, Harbor Grants
09 Jul 2024 15:09

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer The Assembly will consider two resolutions at tonight’ [ ... ]

Camp for Kids Teaches Sustainable Energy
09 Jul 2024 15:08

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer     Renewable electricity generation and sustainable ho [ ... ]

Couple Finds Nuptial Assist in Sitka
09 Jul 2024 15:07

By ARIADNE WILL Sentinel Staff Writer After deciding to elope to Sitka from Carbondale, Illinois,  [ ... ]

July 9, 2024, Police Blotter
09 Jul 2024 13:30

Police Blotter
Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
July 8
A black Lab was report [ ... ]

July 9, 2024, Community Happenings
09 Jul 2024 13:29

Movie Trailer
Challenge Films
Shown Wednesday
Sitka Film Society and The Coliseum Theater will present  [ ... ]

Grants, ‘Visit Sitka’ On Assembly Agenda
08 Jul 2024 15:02

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer An update on the airport improvement project, a tourism  [ ... ]

Other Articles

Daily Sitka Sentinel

June 2, 2023, Community Happenings

Climate Connection: Electric School Buses

Last year, the Sitka School District submitted a proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program to replace seven diesel school buses and three smaller diesel buses with wheelchair lifts with electric vehicles. As a result of the overwhelming nationwide response, the program doubled the amount of funding awarded. However, in Alaska only Wrangell was awarded one electric school bus. The Sitka School District was wait-listed. EPA funding is designed to continue for four more years. The 2023 program has been divided into two parts: a grant program and a rebate program. Unfortunately, the Sitka School District does not meet the 2023 grant requirements, but may be able to apply to the rebate program when the program details are released in the fall. 

The World Resources Institute (WRI) anticipates that the Total Cost of Ownership of electric and diesel school buses will be comparable by the middle of this decade because of decreases in battery costs and efficiencies of scale in component markets and manufacturing. The Total Cost of Ownership consists of purchase price, price and operating cost of charging infrastructure, incentives to subsidize purchases, fuel expenditures, maintenance and repair costs, and registration fees and insurance. An electric school bus can expect to save over $100,000 in lifetime fuel and maintenance costs, compared to an equivalent diesel bus. Until Total Costs of Ownership are comparable, the EPA rebates and grants are important to lower the lifetime investment in electric buses compared to new diesel buses. WRI has a Total Cost of Ownership Calculator to allow school districts to customize projected costs depending on location, cost of electricity for chargers and diesel fuel, miles traveled on city or highway roads, financing of new buses, and size of school buses. Average annual mileage for our school buses pre-pandemic varied from 2,300 to 11,600 miles (daily mileage per bus was 14-70 miles), which was much less than any of the categories in the calculator. Our low mileage rates may result in longer projected vehicle lifetimes than assumed in the calculator. 

Our School District has contracted for school transportation in past decades. Last year, the current provider had diesel buses dating from 2001 to 2008, with a contract that is typically three years. Long-term planning could assist in determining whether to contract with a vendor with a plan to transition to electric buses, to hire an electric bus service company, or to invest in its own electric fleet with employees or contractors for driving and maintenance. Level 2 charging of buses will require collaboration with our municipal electric department. Now is the time for parents, teachers, school board, and assembly to begin conversations to facilitate federal funding program applications and to meet municipal decarbonization goals. A transition to electric school buses will benefit our children’s respiratory health, lower Sitka’s greenhouse gas emissions, and save money that can be invested in education.

--Kay Kreiss, Transition Sitka


Music Festival

Concert Saturday

Sitka Music Festival’s “Rachmaninov at 150” concert will be staged 7 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at Harrigan Centennial. It will feature works by Turina, Tillis and Rachmaninov. 

Tickets are $22.50 for seniors, military members and youths, and $27.50 for adults, when purchased in advance, or $25 and $30 at the door. Learn more at, or call (907) 747-6774.


SMF to Present

Family Concert,

Ice Cream Social

Sitka Music Festival will present its free outdoor Sea Mart Family Concert  and ice cream social 3 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at Stevenson Hall on the SJ Campus.

It will feature world-class musicians performing string quartets by Mozart and Mendelssohn.

The event will be held rain or shine. Learn more at, or call (907) 747-6774.


Life Celebration

For Galen Insteness

The family of Galen Insteness, who passed away on Nov. 12, 2022, at the Sitka Pioneers Home, will host a celebration of life gathering 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 12, at the Sitka Pioneers Home Chapel.

A short memorial service, story sharing, singing and food will be part of Galen’s remembrance.

Those with questions can call Lori Moles: 907-209-3679.


Boating Safety

Class in Sitka

Alaska Marine Safety Education Association  will offer a recreational boating class 8 a.m.-5 p.m. June 10 at NSRAA, 1308 Sawmill Creek Road.

The cost for the class is $125. Interested boaters may register online at or call (907) 747-3287.

The class will cover trip planning, weather and risk assessment, distress signals and mayday calls, personal flotation devices, cold-water survival skills, man overboard recovery, the seven steps to survival, basic shore survival, and engine breakdowns.

The class is an introduction to skills needed for safe boating for new boaters, and a refresher class for more experienced ones.


 Aloha Hart Returns

To Sitka Lutheran

Aloha Hart will again provide volunteer service this summer at Sitka Lutheran Church.

She is from Coupeville, Washington.   

Proclaiming the Gospel, and explaining Sitka Lutheran’s rich Finnish-Lutheran history to tourists are among the duties Hart will perform.

She will work alongside other volunteers as they serve the tourists and the community.  

Regular Sunday morning worship services are held at 10:30 a.m. in the building and on Zoom. For information call the church office at 747-3338, visit the church’s web site at: or e-mail the office at  


Medvejie Run

Set for June 24

The 17th Medvejie Solstice Run is scheduled 9 a.m. Saturday, June 24, at Herring Cove.

The fundraiser for Sitka High track and cross-country teams includes three distance events – half-marathon, 10K and 5K – and begins and ends at Herring Cove.

Pre-registration is recommended and is available online at – “Medvejie Solstice Run.”

Race day registration begins at 7:45 a.m., and ends promptly at 8:40 a.m. Pre-registration fees are: $30 – 5K, $35 – 10K, $45 – half-marathon. The first 75 registrants will receive an athletic T-shirts. Race-day registration is $10 more. SHS cross-country and track team members can run for free, with T-shirts costing $10.

A virtual run option is available for $30.

Visit the Medvejie Solstice Run page on Facebook for more information, or email:


Rally Sunday to

Support Navalny

Sitka residents are invited to participate in a rally raising awareness in support of Alexei Navalny and other political prisoners and dissenters in Russia at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at the Lake Street roundabout.

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July 2004 

Homes for sale: Stunning view, 4 bdrms., 3 baths, master suite,hardwood-laminate floors, new appliances $369,000; Three-level family home, apt. 3 bdrms., 2 kitchens, 13/4 baths, $232,000.


July 1974

    Lee Salisbury, speech and theater arts professor at the University of Alaska, will be drama instructor for grades 7-12 at the Regional Fine Arts Camp. The camp is sponsored by the Southeast Alaska Regional Arts Council and is held on the Sheldon Jackson College campus. Jim Hope is camp director.


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