HISTORIC MOVE – Harry Greene, maintenance and operations superintendent at the Sitka Public Works Department, uses a backhoe to lift the Baranof statue onto a wooden dolly with the help of co-worker Mike Callahan, this morning in front of Harrigan Centennial Hall. The bronze statue, estimated to weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, was relocated to inside the Sitka History Museum today. The city Assembly passed a resolution, on a 6-1 vote, in July to move the statue from its prominent  outdoor location to inside the museum.  At the July meeting several members of the public said the statue was a symbol of “historical trauma.”  The statue, created by artist Joan Bugbee Jackson, was given to the city in 1989 by Lloyd and Barbara Hames. Hames family members said earlier this year they supported moving the statue into the museum. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

March 23, 2020, Community Happenings

Park Restrooms

Currently Closed

The restroom facilities within Sitka National Historical Park are closed.

The park is taking this action in support of the recommendation from the Sitka Emergency Unified Command to close non-essential businesses.  The notice will be updated when circumstances change, the park service said today in a press release.

The closure includes the public restrooms at the visitor center, as well as the outdoor restroom located east of the footbridge within the park.

‘‘We apologize for the inconvenience, but take this action to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19,’’ the park said.  


AA Groups


Until further notice, AA groups meeting at noon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Sitka Lutheran Church are temporarily suspended, due to concerns about COVID-19 and social distancing.

Also, AA Rectory groups meeting Thursday and Sunday evenings have been postponed. 


BIHA Board

Meets Wednesday

Baranof Island Housing Authority board of commissioners will meet 5 p.m. March 25 at 245 Katlian Street.

The meeting is closed to the public.


SSD Offers Meal

Distribution Plans 

The Sitka School District is offering free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch daily during the school closure.

Students may pick up their meals 8 a.m.-noon at Sitka High School. All families with an economic need are being encouraged to participate.

All SSD students, and any additional youth under the age of 19 in the same household, can get meals. This includes children too young to be enrolled in school or who are enrolled in private school or another district, as long as an SSD student lives in the same household, the school district said in a press release. 

Meals will be served drive-up style. More sites may be added as needed, and limited delivery will be available to households which are under quarantine or who lack transportation. 

Families can sign up for meals by completing a short survey online (https://tinyurl.com/SSDCovidNeeds) or by calling the district office at 747-8622, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Those who have indicated an inability to pick meals up will be contacted regarding delivery. 

The survey also asks for information about access to technology and school supplies, in case there is an extended closure. 

The district thanked the staff of NANA Management Services and Prewitt’s Bus Company for their efforts in making this program possible at such short notice. 

For information about the meal program, email: lunch@sitkaschools.org.



Closure Listed

The UAS-Sitka Campus is closed until further notice.

Campus employees are still checking emails and answering phone calls, and are available to help individuals.

‘‘Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns,’’ UAS said in a press release.


Public Library

Updates Info

The Sitka Public Library building is closed until further notice. No late fees will be charged and no items are due during the closure.

Patrons can return items in the book drop if they choose. Online services are available to all cardholders.

 Call 747-4020 or 747-4021 with questions. 


Alaska Scholarship,


Waived by State

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development have waived the ACT and SAT requirement for Alaska Performance Scholarship eligibility for Alaska high school graduates from the spring 2020 class.

The decision to waive the ACT and SAT requirement for APS eligibility was made as a result of detailed analysis and to support students and schools in response to the nationwide cancellation of ACT and SAT test administrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release said today.

Additional information regarding APS eligibility requirements, in light of this decision, is forthcoming and will be posted at aps.alaska.gov, and (acpe.alaska.gov) and provided to school districts and postsecondary institutions across Alaska as it becomes available,  ACPE said in a press release today.


Soup Kitchens

Get Updated

Sitka Soup Kitchens locations and hours have been updated as of today:

–11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Salvation Army, 405 Sawmill Creek Road;

–11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, St. Gregory’s Catholic Church, 605 Lincoln Street.

–12:30-1:30 p.m. Sundays, Sitka Lutheran Church, 224 Lincoln Street.

All meals are being offered to go.

Soup kitchens are a shared ministry of Sitka Lutheran Church, St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Sitka Seventh-day Adventist Church, Sitka United Methodist Church and St. Gregory’s Catholic Church.


The RIDE Bus

Service Stopped

The RIDE bus service today suspended service in Sitka.

It was suspended in compliance with both the City of Sitka and the governor of Alaska’s joint recommendation under the ‘‘state of emergency to shelter in place’’ until the emergency is lifted.




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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 9-29-20)

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 12:20 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 118

Total statewide – 7,721

Total (cumulative) deaths – 56

Active cases in Sitka – 19 (13 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 47 (37 resident; 10 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 288.

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

Gilnettings, By Gil Truitt: The Sitka All-Star Team (Team II) of 1939-1956 is revealed here for the first time.  Fermin “Rocky” Gutierrez, Hugh Pace, “Red” Belinski, Harold “Pretty Boy” Morris, George Kucherak, Dorm McGraw Sr., Herb Didrickson Sr., Gorman Shutt, Vic Adamson, Bill Robinson  and Johnny Vander. ... Other gifted players include Tony Herman, Bunny Donnelly, Hal Taylor, Archie Nielsen, Cecil McClain and Richard (Dick) Eliason.

September 1970

The Alaska Judicial council has selected Sitka as the site of a new branch of the state superior court. The Legislature had created a position for a third Superior Court judge in Southeast, but the city was not specified in the legislation.