ALL IN THE SAME TACO BOAT – Sitkans, many wearing face masks, line up this afternoon at the Sitka Elks Lodge food booth. With the pandemic, most of this year’s Sitka Independence Day events have been modified, but not entirely canceled. The American Legion and Sizzling Chow Cuisine also will have outdoor food booths. While there’s no downtown parade, there is a parade of classic cars that will tour Sitka streets beginning at 1 p.m. at Whale Park. A sing-along and military salute will take place on Totem Square 7 p.m. Friday and a fireworks display will take place 11:30 Friday night over Sitka Channel, with spectators asked to follow social distancing recommendations. The Rotary Club is holding its annual Duck Race on the fourth. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

January 30, 2020, Community Happenings

Alaska Trollers

Set Port Meeting

Alaska Trollers Association will hold a port meeting 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the NSRAA building, 1308 Sawmill Creek Road.

ATA Executive Director Amy Daughtery, ADF&G troll biologists Grant Hagerman and Mike Vaughn, Northern Treaty Rep. Deborah Lyons, ATA President Matt Donohoe and Sitka ATA board members Jim Moore, Matt Lauri and Tad Fujioka will attend.

Topics include the upcoming troll season, Board of Fish suggested proposals, treaty mitigation threatened WFC NOAA lawsuit to stop all S.E. Alaska chinook harvest, proposed killer whale and humpback whale critizl habitats, NSRAA report on regional economic impacts of the 2019 treaty.


Black History

Series at Library

Sitka Public Library will host a series of film screenings in observance of Black History Month throughout February.

The first will be a screening of ‘‘Harriet’’ (PG-13, 2019) 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.

‘‘Selma’’ (PG-13, 2014) will be shown 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Both showings are free and open to the public. Snacks will be served. For more information, call 747-4025.



Foods Group Sets

Meeting, Potluck

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its annual meeting and potluck dinner 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the See House behind St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

Participants are to take a dish featuring local foods and their own utensils. It is a non-alcoholic event. 

Attendees will hear about project updates, and the current board will vote on by-law changes. New board members will be introduced, and election of our officers will be confirmed. The board has openings and volunteers are needed. Those wanting more information should attend, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Sitka Kitch

Benefit Set

A fundraising buffet dinner and silent auction for the Sitka Kitch is 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at Beak Restaurant.

The event will feature a variety of vegetarian Indian dishes cooked by Beak chef/owner Renée Jakaitis Trafton and her crew. A silent auction, door prizes and games are planned. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the silent auction closes at 7:30 p.m.

Seating is limited. The cost is $40 per person, and the registration deadline is 11:30 p.m. March 16. All proceeds benefit the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, which provides cooking and food preservation classes to residents. It also provides kitchen rentals on a limited basis for food businesses.

To register, go to, and click on the event title.


Sitkan Nominated

To Service Academy

Alaska Congressman Don Young announced his official list of Alaskan students nominated for appointment to a United States Service Academy for the Class of 2024.

Malin Marius has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.

Earning a nomination does not guarantee an academy appointment. Final nominations will be made by the respective service academies in the coming months, a press release from Young said.


SOS: Lifeline

Group to Meet

Sitka Outreach and Support (SOS): Lifeline group will meet 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at St. Peter’s See House.

The group addresses the needs of people experiencing poverty and/or homelessness. For information, contact Julia Smith at 738-6336, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Film Series

Continues at

National Park

Sitka National Historical Park will continue its winter film series featuring films from national park units through March. Films run about 30 minutes and are shown at 1 p.m. at the park visitor center.

The schedule for the next few weeks is as follows:  

Feb. 1 – ‘‘Enduring Legacy: Four Generations of the Adams Family’’ from Adams National Historical Park in Massachusetts. Adams NHP preserves the lives and stories of four generations of the (John) Adams family and their contributions to the history and development of the United States. The film includes information about the life and accomplishments a family whose public service included serving as presidents, lawyers, ministers, first ladies, soldiers, writers and historians.

Feb. 8 – ‘‘Never Lose Sight of Freedom’’ (encore presentation). The 25-minute film gives viewers an opportunity to revisit this memorable and inspiring event by watching historic footage and hearing excerpts from oral histories of those who marched. It is the introductory film for Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, an NPS site that preserves the places and stories of the five-day, 54-mile march that is part of the history of efforts by racial and ethnic minorities to gain the right to vote.

A short clip featuring news footage of the march and Martin Luther King’s address given on the steps of the capitol at the conclusion of the march will also be shown. 

Feb. 15 – ‘‘Orientation Film’’ from Roosevelt Campobello International Park. The site preserves the summer home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on the southern tip of Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, across the international border from Lubec, Maine. As one of only a few international sites in the NPS system, it is jointly administered, staffed and funded by the peoples of Canada and the United States. The 4.25-square-mile area includes an indoor museum and an outdoor nature park.

For information about the film series, contact the park visitor center at 747-0110. Learn more about the parks featured in the films at


Noow Tlein

Dancers Meet

Noow Tlein Dancers will meet and hold practice 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Blatchley Middle School in Roby Littlefield’s room.

For information contact Lillian Young at 752-0867.


Girls on the Run

Ready for Signups

The spring season of Girls on the Run is open for registration.

The after-school program for girls in third through fifth grades ‘‘inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running,’’ Sitkans Against Family Violence, organizers of the event, said in a press release.


To register, visit or pick up an application from the front office at Keet Gooshi Heen. Contact Emma at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.


VHF Outages

Update Given

The U.S. Coast Guard has experienced various VHF outages in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska and wants to keep the public notified.

As of Jan. 29, sites that the U.S. Coast Guard is unable to receive VHF communications are: Duke Island, Sukkwan Island, Cape Fanshaw, Duffield, Althorp Peak, Deception Hills, Robert Baron, Pigot Point, Bede Mountain, Raspberry Island and Cape Gull.  

‘‘Extra caution is advised in areas of Northern Shelikof Strait, Southern Cook Inlet, and portions of Southeast Alaska,’’ the Coast Guard said in a press release today. ‘‘Repairs are ongoing, but due to extreme weather and remote locations, intermittent outages are expected to continue in various locations in both Southeast and Southcentral Alaska. Mariners are reminded that due to mountainous terrain, and limited VHF coverage, even with fully operational VHF sites, the USCG cannot hear VHF calls in all areas, and mariners should have secondary means on communications onboard at all times, file a float plan with a trusted person, and carry safety equipment onboard in the event you are in a survival situation.’’

To reach the U.S. Coast Guard in emergencies call Sector Juneau Command Center at 907-463-2980; Sector Anchorage Command Center at 907-428-4100; or the 17th District command center at 907-463-2000.


Charts showing the locations of VHF tower sites in Alaska can be seen at the USCG’s Navigation Center’s website, The Coast Guard said the charts are a little outdated, and thus do not show an additional VHF site at Valdez.  


Sitka Kitch Sets

Benefit Event

Sitka Kitch will host a vegetarian Indian food buffet fundraiser and silent auction 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at Beak Restaurant.


Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the silent auction closes at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited. The cost is $40, with proceeds going to the Sitka Kitch to promote new classes.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-2-20)

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 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Monday: 39

Total statewide – 1,017

Total (cumulative) deaths – 14

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (6 resident; 2 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 10 (7 resident; 3 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 68.

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



Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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