GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

June 29, 2020, Community Happenings

Chamber Has Listed

4th of July Activities

The Sitka Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses and residents to “Share Your Spark” for the 4th of July  by decorating storefronts and homes in red, white and blue.

Groups can also choose to clean up a stretch of road or local beach, the Chamber suggested, and individuals or families could plant a tree or help neighbors.

Prizes will be awarded for decorations in the categories of Best Business, Best Non-Profit, Best House, and Best Condo/Apartment. To participate, submit address and a photo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by the end of today.

The Chamber also has listed the following scheduled activities this week.

Wednesday, July 1

–11 a.m.-8 p.m. Filipino food vendors in the back lot of Sizzling Chow Cuisine. Contact 747-5673.

Thursday, July 2

–11 a.m.-8 p.m., Filipino food vendors in the back lot of Sizzling Chow Cuisine

–11 a.m.-8 p.m. Food booth at the Elks Lodge, 747-3511.

Friday, July 3

–11 a.m.-8 p.m. Filipino food vendors in the back lot of Sizzling Chow Cuisine, 747-5673

–11 a.m.-8 p.m. Food booth at the Elks Lodge

–11:30 p.m. Fireworks display over the Sitka Channel by Hames Corp and other donors. Contact Hames Corp. at 747-3209

Saturday, July 4

–11 a.m.-8 p.m. Filipino food vendors in the back lot of Sizzling Chow Cuisine

–11 a.m.-8 p.m. Food booth at the Elks Lodge

–1 p.m. Old Car Parade starting from Whale Park. Contact Jeff Budd at 738-9417. 

Approximate times are:

1:15 p.m. turning left on Jeff Davis Street; 1:16 turning right on Lincoln Street; 1:19 turning right on Lake Street; 1:23 turning left on Peterson; 1:24 turning right on Edgecumbe; 1:28 driving down Charteris; 1:38 driving out to Starrigavan; 1:48 return to Sitka Long Term Care at the Old Sitka Hospital; 1:53 drive down Katlian Street; and 1:57 p.m. left on Lincoln Street to Centennial Hall parking.

–4 p.m. 36th Annual Sitka Duck Race at Granite Creek, call (818) 207-2993.


Kids Kupboard

To Provide Meals

Sitka Conservation Society is teaming up with program sponsor Kids Kupboard, and local partners Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Youth Advocates of Sitka, to administer a USDA Summer Foods Program to provide free breakfast and lunch to youths 18 years of age and under.

Meal pick up will be at the STA parking lot at 201 Siginaka Way, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Fridays, through the summer.

For those who can’t pick up, delivery service may be provided. Meals will be provided to all children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. There will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Those with questions can contact Jill Hayden at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 623-8309.


SSD Schedules

Listening Sessions

The Sitka School District will hold listening sessions 11 a.m.-1 p.m. July 1 and 2 in the Raven and Sockeye rooms at Centennial Hall.

District employees can attend the July 1 session, and parents and students are invited on July 2.

Interim Superintendent John Holst and five members of the Smart Start Task Force will answer questions, hear  concerns and suggestions, and solicit ideas regarding the opening of schools on Aug. 27.

For further information, contact Ruth Joens at 747-8622.


AC Lakeside BBQ

To Benefit Fortress


AC Lakeside Grocery will host a barbecue station noon July 4 in the parking lot to benefit the Fortress of the Bear. All proceeds will be given to the nonprofit organization.


Climate Connection: Feeling Change: Part Six

By John Lewis

One of the major challenges to addressing a changing climate is the scope of the problem. It’s vast and touches on almost every aspect of our lives. After all, our physical surroundings are woven into the fabric of everyday life.

Often, our initial reaction to a complicated situation is to break it down,  separate the problem into more manageable parts. But some situations call for us to do something else. Instead of breaking things down, we’re asked to look for connections.

In this pandemic we’ve seen an example of how one event can upend our lives in many ways. It’s shown how much our health and belonging, economic needs and sense of self are all woven together – and exposed things about ourselves and society we might not want to see. Climate change also is doing this, especially as it relates to inequality.

Some have called this the climate change and inequality nexus. The basic idea is that those with fewer advantages are more harmed by a changing climate. Health disparities and chronic disinvestment make some more vulnerable. After change, they then have fewer resources to recover. It’s a vicious cycle that worsens inequality. 

Those with more means can shield themselves from the effects of a changing climate. They can strengthen their homes or move more easily. They may change jobs or rely on bigger networks of people who also have resources.

But there is a deeper way that climate change and inequality relate. They both have roots in a mindset that sees the world as a place of resources to exploit. Instead of feeling ourselves part of a connected web of life, we think the world is split into us and them or it. This is a head without a heart. It is what happens when you separate the mind from the body and us from our surroundings. And most importantly, ourselves from each other.

You get a world where some lives have more value than others. And while most are hurting, that hurt is not being felt equally. People of color are dying at much higher rates from COVID-19. The murder of George Floyd shed another brutal light on which lives do and do not matter in our society. And climate change will continue to lay bare these inequalities.

We look away at our own peril. It may be painful to witness. But these feelings can be a source of energy used to create change. After all, none of us here and now created this world. But what we do now will help determine the kind of world we bring into being.


John Lewis is a behavioral health professional and a member of the Sitka Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

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 noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

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. 




Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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