GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Local Foods Network In Running for Grant


The Sitka Local Foods Network  has been selected as the Alaska representative in the fifth annual “50 States for Good” contest.
    The contest, sponsored by Tom’s of Maine, allows one representative nonprofit organization from each state and the District of Columbia to compete for a chance to win $10,000. Tom’s of Maine, a manufacturer of toiletries and toothpaste, is making 15 awards of $10,000 from a total of $150,000 in grants.
    Winners are chosen by an online vote, with instructions for voting available at
    People can vote once per day for one nonprofit finalist until the close  Tuesday, Oct. 15. A free Facebook account is required for voting, and people who don’t already have an account can go to to create one.
    A news release from the Sitka Local Foods Network said “50 States for Good” was created to help uncover local nonprofit groups that address a variety of community needs and engage volunteers to get the work done.
The Sitka Local Foods Network created the Sitka Farmers Market, which sells produce grown at the organization’s St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and from family backyard gardens. It is also trying to build the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center, which will be a commercial greenhouse providing local produce and bedding plants for residents, and an education center teaching local students about gardening.             The organization also sponsors the “Let’s Grow Sitka” garden exhibition in March and brings nationally known speakers to town to teach about gardening, seeds and greenhouses.
“We are honored to be chosen to represent Alaska in the 50 States for Good competition,” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. “If we are successful, we hope to further food production in Sitka using a host of strategies, such as creating an additional community garden, offering seed money to the community greenhouse and education center working group, or helping the school district jump start a school-based garden program. An award of $10,000 from Tom’s of Maine can really help Sitka make strides in improving its local food system.”
The 51 finalists in the national contest were selected from a pool of about 1,100 nominations by an independent panel of judges that included Huffington Post columnist Lisa M. Dietlin; Cool People Care president Sam Davidson; Matt Petronzio, assistant features editor covering social good for, and Ian Somerhalder, star of “The Vampire Diaries.”
“A desire to do more for a favorite can often be hindered by a lack of time to volunteer or the financial means to make a donation,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. “The 50 States for Good program makes it easy for anyone to have an impact and directly help organizations that are bringing goodness to communities in a variety of creative and inspiring ways.”
Tom’s of Maine says that for several decades it has donated 10 percent of its profits to community betterment and encourages its employees to use 5 percent (12 days) of their paid time off to volunteer every year.
 Information about The Sitka Local Foods Network can be found at or on its Facebook page at



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

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 noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

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

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




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.                                                                          

Login Form

Most recent Sentinels — PDF edition

July 6, 2020

July 7, 2020

July 8, 2020

July 9, 2020

July 10, 2020