NEW ROUND – Sitka Fire Chief Craig Warren chats with Patrick and Catharine Weaver this afternoon at the fire hall during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The Weavers were waiting fifteen minutes after receiving the Moderna version of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 100 Sitkans were scheduled to receive their first dose today. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for full efficacy. Sitkans can sign up to receive vaccinations at (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Chamber Briefed on Landslide Monitors

Sentinel Staff Writer
    The three new landslide detection units installed around Sitka should increase understanding of patterns that lead to landslides, a Chamber of Commerce audience was told Wednesday.
    Annette Patton, a post-doctoral candidate in earth sciences at the University of Oregon, spoke at the weekly chamber luncheon about Sitka’s new landslide detection system.
    Patton said that, using $2.1 million in grant money from the National Science Foundation, she had helped install the three landslide detection units. She noted that the project “was initiated by the 2015 storm here in Sitka.” That storm was a period of heavy rainfall that triggered a landslide that struck a subdivision lower on the mountainside, killing three men.
    Patton said she hoped that the detectors, which monitor soil moisture levels, would help scientists and Sitkans understand “when landslides will happen, and how much rain is too much.”

Annette Patton speaks at the Sitka Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday at the Westmark Sitka. (Sentinel Photo)

    She added that landslide detection could be problematic, because a system that gives lots of warning time could also issue false alarms, whereas a system tailored to reduce false alarms would reduce warning time.
    The monitoring stations are on Harbor Mountain, Gavan Hill, and Mt. Verstovia, and transmit data every five minutes, thereby providing timely information.
    Patton said that it was also important to study different types of storms. She hoped to find out “what happens when you have a really long, low intensity storm … or what happens when there’s a small storm before a big storm.”
    By gathering data over time, Patton said, it’s hoped experts can gain understanding of patterns that can lead to landslides.
    Information on the landslide grant is available on the RAND Corporation website, and the Sitka Sound Science Center, which is involved with the implementation of the grant, also has information at
    After Patton’s presentation, KCAW Station Manager Becky Meiers spoke about Raven Radio’s upcoming goals and initiatives.
    Meiers said KCAW’s membership drive to raise operational funds for the public radio station will start Monday. She said support is especially needed this year because the station has lost about 12% of its budget as a result of statewide funding cuts.
    Despite this, Meiers affirmed that KCAW’s “number one priority is continuity of service.”
    “People in Southeast Alaska want to hear about each other, they want to hear and be able to communicate with one another through the radio,” she said.
    Meiers said the Sitka station is updating its equipment to meet FCC standards, which greatly matters to “people on the water who are fishing, or on the shore, who are especially vulnerable to emergency weather situations.”
    She compared the role of the station to “a light in the darkness.”
    The Chamber meeting next Wednesday will focus on the upcoming Alaska Day festival and the medevac services provided in Sitka by Guardian Flight.

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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 1-15-21)

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 10:55 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 296

Total statewide – 49,835

Total (cumulative) deaths – 228

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,126

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 17

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 301 (274 resident; 27 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 281

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.




January 2001

Photo caption: Sarah and Jeremy Pickard and Dr. James Brooks show off Lauren Marie Pickard, the first baby born in Sitka this year. She arrived at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital at 10:05 a.m., Jan. 4, weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 20 inches. She’s the first child for the Pickards,who moved here in May with the U.S. Coast Guard.

January 1971

Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Foster and daughter Marchele have ended a two-week vacation trip to Idaho. They bought a new Mustang in Seattle, drove it to Sandpoint, Idaho, to visit relatives and stopped in Everett, Wash., to visit Mrs. Foster’s cousin, whom she hadn’t seen in 13 years. Mrs. Foster and Marchele returned by plane and Foster is following with the car, on the ferry.