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

June 26, 2020, Community Happenings

Public Library

Set to Reopen

Sitka Public Library will reopen to the public on July 1. New operating hours will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

The building will be closed Sunday through Tuesday to allow for cleaning, but walk-up window service will be available. 

‘‘You can help keep the library open by wearing a face covering, maintaining a 6-foot distance from staff and other patrons, and keeping your visit short,’’ the library said in a press release.

For information about library services check online or call 747-4020. 


Ham Radio

Field Day Set

Sitka Ham Amateur Radio Klub will participate in this year’s Field Day event 11 a.m. June 27 through 11 a.m. June 28 at the Mt. Edgecumbe High School parking lots. 

Field day is amateur radio’s open house where for 24 hours hams publicly showcase the science, skill and service that radio can bring to a community. Amateur radio operators across North America, the world and even outer space will be busy with this year’s ARRL Field Day event. 

‘‘Ham radio is fun and it’s for everyone, including you,’’ event organizers said.


All are invited to attend the  SHARKs Field Day event. For more information call Darryl at 738-4539.


Community Center

Work Group Meets

The Sitka Community Center working group will hold a Zoom meeting 6:30 p.m. June 29 to discuss the proposed center intended to provide food, shelter and services to those affected by the pandemic.


All are welcome to attend and should email for a link to the meeting. 



Hours Given

The Mt. Edgecumbe High School pool is open with limited access and is following social distancing guidelines.

Patrons will be screened at the door with a questionnaire and their temperature taken.

Other rules will apply, including: no more than 30 patrons in facility at a time; no locker room access; staying 6 feet apart on deck and in the water (families are exempt); and no goggles, caps, towels or floaties loaned.

Monday through Friday pool hours are: 6-7 a.m. lap; 1-2 p.m. lap and parent/tot; and 5-6 p.m. lap and therapy.


More information also can be found on the MEHS website under athletics and activities.



Are Available

For Sitkans

Applications for the CARES Act Funding Utility and Moorage Relief Programs are available in Sitka through the city website,

Paper copies of the applications are available at city hall or the harbor office. Applications received after the deadline, 4 p.m. Friday, July 31, will be considered late and will not be accepted.

The city is encouraging submission of applications through the website; however, applicants may submit by email to or to the utility office. Utility subsidy questions can be directed to the accounting clerk at 747-1859; moorage subsidy questions to the harbor office at 747-3439.


‘Science Bites’

To Spark Ideas

Sitka Sound Science Center is offering a library of “Science Bites” on its webite.

“Bites” are updated with new offerings each week.

‘‘Science Bites are science activities based on events at the science center – in the aquarium and hatchery or with current citizen science and research projects,’’ the science center said. ‘‘Families can use the bites as quick glimpses into new ideas or as a basis for extended projects.’’ 


They can be found at


White Receives

Pharmacy Degree

Oregon College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, conferred 78 doctor of pharmacy degrees on June 7 in a virtual graduation ceremony.

Four of the graduates – including Soren White of Sitka – also received their master of business administration from the OSU College of Business.

White, Sitka high class of 2012, said he is spending the next year in Michigan ‘‘working on some different pharmacy challenges in the current climate.’’


He is the son of Trish and Dirk White of Sitka. 


Riggs Earns

Master’s Degree

Sidney Riggs has earned a master of business administration degree from Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington.

Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

The Sitka High School graduate is the daughter of Rich and Nicole Riggs.


Bekeris Earns

Bachelor’s Degree

Misha Bekeris of Sitka graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, on April 30.

Bekeris, whose major is chemical engineering, was among the 8,628 graduates who were honored during the university’s first-ever virtual commencement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He is a 2016 Sitka High School graduate and the son of Mikolas Bekeris and Karoline Vargas.



On Dean’s List

Jessica Davis, a sophomore exploratory studies major, and Joanna Davis, a senior English with a teaching license major, were named to the Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas, dean’s list for spring term.




On Dean’s List

Hannah Kimber of Sitka has been named to the Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, dean’s list for spring semester.


The Mt. Edgecumbe High School graduate is the daughter of Mike and Charlotte Kimber of Sitka.

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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 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.