PERFECT WEATHER – Surfers assess the waves at Sandy Beach this morning. Waves were between 14- and 20-feet today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

2nd Member Resigns From School Board

Sentinel Staff Writer

After four years on the Sitka School Board, the last one as president, Elias Erickson has submitted his resignation.

“These past four years have not been easy, but I am encouraged by the work we have done together advocating for students, and ensuring fair and effective governance,” Erickson said in a statement.

Erickson was a senior at Sitka High when he was elected to the board in 2017, following his year-long honorary membership on the board as the non-voting Sitka High representative.

After last year’s election, when board president Jennifer McNichol’s term expired, he succeeded her as board president.

“I am thankful to have been given the chance to give back to my community in this way, and I will always smile when I reflect on this time,” Erickson said in his statement.

The board accepted the resignation of member Dionne Brady-Howard earlier this month, kicking off a search for a replacement for that vacancy until this year’s city election in October. The board terms of both Erickson and Brady-Howard were expiring this year.

The other three members of the board, a bare quorum, are scheduled to make interim appointments to the two open positions at Wednesday’s board meeting. The board had advertised for applicants to fill the vacancy created by Dionne-Brady’s resignation, and received responses from Blossom Twitchell, Mitch Mork, Mary Suminski, Andrew Hames and Cathleen Pook.

For the first time since the beginning of the global pandemic, the meeting will be held in person. Those interested in viewing from a distance can do so over Zoom. School Board meetings held over Zoom became standard after the pandemic started.

The information needed to join the meeting on Zoom can be found on the school district website,

The board will convene in the Sitka High School commons at 5 p.m. for the board candidate interviews, and the regular meeting will follow at 6 p.m. 

In addition, the board meets again this Thursday to discuss plans for the coming school year. Interim Superintendent John Holst said that the board will vote on whether to push the school start date from August 20 to August 27. Holst added that the Thursday meeting will be the first for the two new members who will be picked Wednesday.


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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.

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– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 11-24-20)

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 12:25 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 578

Total statewide – 27,669

Total (cumulative) deaths – 115

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 619

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. Monday.

Active cases in Sitka – 29

Hospitalizations in Sitka – 3

Cumulative Sitka cases – 176 (155 resident; 21 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 147 cumulative

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




November 2000

Photo caption: A painting by the late Dr. Walt Massey hangs on the wall of the Pioneers Home dining room,. bringing smiles from home administrator Julie Smith and Massey’s son Brian and daughter-in-law Amy, the home’s dietary manager. The painting of early-day Sitka was done in 1971, the year Dr. Massey, an optometrist and artist, died. It originally hung in the Canoe Club and was given by the restaurant’s owner, Frank Richards, to local historian Joe Ashby, who gave it to the Pioneers Home.

November 1970

Photo  caption: Sitka High School band director James Hope receives a check for $2,000 from American Legion Post 13 Commander Carroll Kohler. The Legion had voted to contribute $1,000 for uniforms and the Auxiliary voted to match that amount. The check was presented at the Legion’s Veterans Day banquet.