EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

July 6, 2020, Community Happenings

Retreat Saturday

For School Board

The Sitka School Board and Interim Superintendent John Holst will have a retreat in the District Office Board Room noon-5 p.m. Saturday, July 11.

No business will be conducted.




Dance Party Set

On Zoom July 17

Dancers and non-dancers alike can  register for the 8-10 p.m. July 17 Friday Night Dance Party on Zoom.

The dance is free and all ages are welcome. Michelle Putz and Perry Edwards will host the dance and provide different genres of music from several decades. 

The dance and Zoom meeting are sponsored by the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. 

To attend, register by Friday morning, July 17, at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYufuytrzwiGtyrpA5_o8GnD4dikn65dGk0. After registering, individuals will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Contact Michelle at 747-2708 for information.



The Sitka Community Land Trust will hold its next regular meeting Monday, July 13th, 6-8pm, on a Zoom call. The public is encouraged to attend. The SCLT is a non-profit organization that relies on community support and participation. For more information about joining the virtual meeting, contact Mim McConnell at 738-2888.     




City Electric On

Summer Rates

Summer rates for electricity consumption went into effect July 1.

Residents are reminded due to the COVID-19 pandemic the lower winter rates were extended for all bills issued through June 30, the city said. For billings beginning July 1, residential and general service-small rates are $.1918 per kWh through Oct. 31, after which the winter rate of $.1204 will go into effect.


Tax Valuations

Billing Extended

Because of the COVID-19 related extension of the appeal period for property tax valuations in Sitka, the 2020 property tax bills will not be issued in early July as they usually are.

The city said they will likely be issued late July to mid-August. Taxpayers will have 60 days from the day that bills are issued to remit payment. Contact the tax office with any questions at 747-1853.


Health Networking

Lunch on Friday

The Sitka Health Summit Coalition’s monthly Wooch.een (together in Tlingit) health networking and learning meeting will be held virtually noon-1:30 p.m. Friday, July 17, by way of Zoom.

The purpose is to spark partnerships and to promote cross sector collaboration, learning, and networking to improve well-being in Sitka. For information go to sitkahealthsummit.org. To  join the meeting, contact Amanda Roberts at amandar@searhc.org for the Zoom meeting connect information.


Sheldon Jackson 

Museum to Open

The Sheldon Jackson Museum will  move into the next stage of reopening, to full capacity, starting July 8.

Reservations will no longer be necessary. Public hours will remain noon-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Continued guidelines to ensure the safety of the community include:

–Employees will wear face coverings while serving the public

–Cash-less and receipt-less admissions are encouraged.

–Members of the public are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings. When available, face coverings will be provided.

–Social distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained between individuals and household groups.

–Public programs and guided tours, remain cancelled

–No member of the public displaying symptoms of COVID-19 may be present in the museum. Signage reflecting this will be posted at the museum entry. No employee displaying symptoms of COVID-19 may come to work.

–Employees will wash their hands frequently and members of the public are encouraged to do the same. Hand sanitizer will be available for staff and patrons.

–High-touch surfaces will be sanitized at least daily.

–Sneeze guards are installed at the front desk of the museum.

The museum is compliant with state mandates https://covid19.alaska.gov/health-mandates/ pertaining to Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums. 

Admission is: general adult, $5; senior (65 & older), $4; youth (18 years & younger), and Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum and ASM passholders, free.




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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 8-7-20)

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 11:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 53

Total statewide – 3,536

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (14 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 141.

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. 




August 2000

High prices for chum salmon, low pink returns, and record numbers of fish in Deep Inlet have turned the Sitka fishing grounds into Route 66 this summer. “Overall it’s been a fantastic season so far,” said Steve Reifenstuhl, operations manager for the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

August 1970

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will head a gathering of Orthodox prelates from North American and abroad in ceremonies canonizing the first American Orthodox saints, Father Herman of Alaska. A group of Sitkans will fly to Kodiak for the event.