VOCAL EXERCISES - Artist in the Schools instructor Sarah Branton of Cherry Creek, Colorado, leads an exercise in the Sitka High School band room this morning as she teaches students how to improve their volume. Branton will be here all week working with choirs at Blatchley Middle School and Sitka High. Her instruction is part of the effort to rebuild school  choir programs and numbers following the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

SE Conference Opens Way for Cruise Plan
26 Sep 2023 14:48

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer City Administrator John Leach says Southeast Conference  [ ... ]

Early Voting Under Way in Oct. 3 City Election
26 Sep 2023 14:40

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer Voting has been slow in the seven days since early votin [ ... ]

Choir Master Leads Off Artists in Schools Season
26 Sep 2023 14:38

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer The Sitka School District welcomed an Artist in the Scho [ ... ]

Careers in Fishing Face Host of Obstacles
26 Sep 2023 14:35

By JOSHUA A. BICKEL  The Associated Press KODIAK (AP) — Lane Bolich first came to work in Alask [ ... ]

September 26, 2023, Police Blotter
26 Sep 2023 14:31

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today: September 25 At 7:07 a.m. a bear was re [ ... ]

September 26, 2023, Community Happenings
26 Sep 2023 14:30

BMS Podcast Club to Register Sixth- through eighth-grade students can register for the Blatchley P [ ... ]

Assembly to Award $45,000 to Nonprofits
25 Sep 2023 15:36

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer The Assembly will conduct its annual distribution of cit [ ... ]

St. Michael's Icon Helps Raise Funds for Priests
25 Sep 2023 15:33

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer As part of fundraising aimed at increasing the stipend re [ ... ]

Alaska Relaxes Rules On Marijuana Ads, Samples
25 Sep 2023 15:29

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By JAMES BROOKS Alaska Beacon The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is asking a U.S. D [ ... ]

September 25, 2023, Community Happenings
25 Sep 2023 15:22

Natural Resources Discussed at Meet Sitka Tribe’s Natural Resource Committee will meet 6:30 p.m. [ ... ]

September 25, 2023, Police Blotter
25 Sep 2023 15:20

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Heating Grant Expands Uses of SFAC Building
22 Sep 2023 15:13

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Sullivan Tells of Plans to Protect Fisheries
22 Sep 2023 15:12

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Sitka's Keet Named a National Blue Ribbon School
22 Sep 2023 15:11

By Sentinel Staff Sitka’s Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbo [ ... ]

Permanent Fund Payout Set at $1,312 This Year
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By JAMES BROOKS Alaska Beacon Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has picked a nine-member pa [ ... ]

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22 Sep 2023 14:27

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SE Conference Told of $1M Housing Grant
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Legislators to Skip Fall Special Session
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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Sitka Photographer Puts Whales in the Forefront

    Sitka photographer Tim Shobe would like to be known as more than the guy who expertly photoshopped the picture of a kayaker paddling through the open mouth of a whale.
    But the manipulated image did have at least one good result – it captured the attention of a nonprofit organization which is now displaying Shobe’s real humpback whale images on billboards in Panama, a project to raise awareness of the need to protect and preserve whales around the world.
    Shobe said the sponsors of the exhibit “Ruta de Gigantes, Ballenas en la Cuidad (Journey of Giants: Whales in the City)” plan to put up similar displays on major city streets around Central and South America.
    Shobe is one of several photographers whose pictures appear in the billboard display of humpback whales from around the world. The display will be up for two months at Panama Canal’s Miraflores Locks Visitors Center.
    Shobe said he researched the exhibit’s sponsor, the Panama-based Albatros Media Foundation, and its educational mission before loaning his images for the project.
    “I realized it was a reality when I saw the (images) on the billboards,” he said, referring to the e-mailed pictures he received showing the billboards on a busy Panama street.
    “I’m proud of the fact that it happened and got that sort of exposure,” Shobe said. “Little old Sitka does get a few tidbits (of publicity) – and it comes back to us somewhere.”
    The whale photos are ones Shobe took around Sitka over the past few years. He submitted a selection of them to the Albatros Media Foundation, and the company chose 12.
    Originally from Spokane, Wash., Shobe came to Sitka in 2003 to work on a six-month remodel job on a lodge on one of the Apple Islands. He is caretaker at the lodge during the winter, and works there during the busy summer months.
     He always takes his camera with him on his numerous trips to and from town.
    “There are opportunities that present themselves when you don’t have your camera with you, and you miss them,” he said.
    Shobe shoots with a Canon 5D Mark III camera with professional-grade lenses, including zoom lenses that make it appear he is closer to the whales than he actually is.
    “I can get the shot that would be considered too close to the whales,” he said. Shobe said he respects and follows the laws related to the required distances from whales for their own safety. He said he believes that Albatros had the same idea in mind, since the images the organization selected for the exhibit captured the “peacefulness” of the whales.
    “There’s not a lot of drama in them,” he said.
    Some of the pictures are from the 600 or so that he took from his skiff in Nakwasina Sound in March 2010, when he took the photo he later combined with another picture to make the digital image of a kayak going through the open mouth of a whale.
    “I was having a hard day,” he recalled. He had his camera along, but “I had no expectation of seeing anything.” It turned out to be a day with the best conditions for photographing whales.
    “That day has not been replicated since,” he said.
    He created the picture of the fake whale-kayak encounter as a joke and emailed it to a friend. It spread from there – Shobe said a Google search showed it had been used on some 100,000 websites, including advertisements for businesses, all without his permission.
    So when he received the call from Albatros Media Foundation asking about his whale pictures, he was a little wary that they would want that image. But they were only interested in his real humpback whale pictures.
    “They said, ‘We’ve seen your other stuff, so we’re interested,’” Shobe said.
    Shobe, who also paints in oils, is just starting to build his photography business through his website at shobestudios.com.

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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

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 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






September 2003

Sitka Tribe of Alaska is “upset and disturbed” about the Senate appropriations bill that cuts spending for Alaska tribal courts, STA Vice Chairman Gil Truitt said today. He was referring to Sen. Ted Stevens’ move to divert Department of Justice grants from tribal courts and tribal police officers to fund the Village Public Safety Officer program.



September 1973

Photo caption: Receiving service pins at a Carpenters Union Local 466 dinner meeting at the Kiksadi Club were, from left, Arthur Littlefield, Alvin Helm, Harley Finch, Dave Gibson, Gerald Hughes, Fred Nelson, Walter Moy, Edward Nelson, William Sutton and Don Stromme.


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