UNLOADING – From left, Kent Barkhau, Linda Behnken and Terry Perensovich unload fish at the Seafood Producers Co-op dock from the F/V Woodstock recently. Behnken, executive director of Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, talked to the Sentinel about an ALFA program to distribute 49,000 pounds of salmon to villages affected by poor subsistence fish returns. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Sitkans Step Forward To Help During Crisis

Sentinel Staff Writer
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, some Sitkans are volunteering to help those in need, and also seeking offers from others who want to provide assistance.
    The Sitka Conservation Society is coordinating the Facebook page “Sitka Mutual Aid – Covid19” for people needing financial or delivery help, and for others to volunteer. The effort started Tuesday.
    “Our vision is to connect Sitkans who need help with Sitkans who can help,” said Chandler O’Connell, the SCS staffer who is coordinating the Sitka Mutual Aid project.
    “We’re prioritizing no-con tact, doorstep delivery service for folks in isolation and quarantine,” she said. “We’re also able to provide some grocery relief to folks who have financial need due to COVID-19 impacts.”
    There are links on the Facebook page for Sitkans to sign up for help, in the categories of “supplies delivered,” “financial support,” “supplies delivered and financial support,” and “other.”
    Another link allows Sitkans to volunteer to donate time, transportation and/or money. Other questions give residents a chance to provide other services, including dog walking, household assistance and child care.
    “If you’re facing a challenge, there might be a neighbor out there who can help – that’s who we want to connect,” O’Connell said.
    SCS put in $1,000 and is accepting donations, but hopes to be operating mainly as a “matchmaker,” and not a social service organization.
    So far, there have been 25 requests for help, and 23 of them have been fulfilled. About 40 volunteers have signed up to help, and distributed more than $1,200 worth of groceries.
    Generally those needing help are self-isolating because they are in higher risk groups by age or medical condition. Others are in self-quarantine, as recommended by health authorities, because they recently traveled out of state.
    Volunteers pay for the groceries and are reimbursed through Paypal, either by the person making the request or by the Conservation Society.
    As with other organizations, staff members are working from home and following CDC and state mandates, O’Connell said. Volunteers who are making deliveries also are following guidelines.
    “SCS’s mission is to build sustainable communities, and community health is a big part of that,” she said. “We can’t provide health care, but we can help connect neighbors so that’s where we’re starting. As the community response to this crisis evolves we hope to contribute to more systematic long-term initiatives.”

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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.

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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 9-18-20)

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 10:30 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 108

Total statewide – 6,658

Total (cumulative) deaths – 45

Active cases in Sitka – 30 (20 resident; 10 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 26 (22 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 257.

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. 




September 2000

Photo caption: First-grader Megan Polasky happily holds a large turnip as she and other first-graders from Baranof Elementary School harvest some of the vegetables they planted last spring as kindergartners behind the Russian Bishop’s House. Park Service Ranger Harvey Brandt, center, watches over the gardening project.

September 1970

The Sentinel adds its congratulations to the following persons listed on the Woman’s Club community calender: Earl E. Smith, Wallis George, Frank Williams, Robert Blankenship, and Frank O. Williams Sr., whose birthdays are today, and Ed and Monte Littlefield, whose anniversary is today.