DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS – Harbor Point and No Name Mountain are pictured this afternoon from the Old Sitka Cruise Ship Dock. A draft master plan for the Granite Creek to No Name Mountain area was discussed at a joint Assembly and Planning Commission meeting Wednesday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Virginia Lutz

Virginia (Ginny) Lutz

Virginia (Ginny) Lutz quietly passed away on January 24 at her home in Sitka. She was 58.

Ginny was born on October 13, 1958, in Marshall, Minn., to Charles H. Lutz Jr. and Lonita (Reding) Lutz. Following formative years at Holy Redeemer Elementary school, she graduated from Marshall High School and earned a BA in biology from Southwest Minnesota State University.

In the fall of 1986 she came to Sitka to study fisheries at Sheldon Jackson College. In July 1989 Ginny began her career at the USDA Forest Service as a cartographer using GIS to make maps of the Tongass National Forest. She performed that job until her retirement in May 2012. During her tenure with the Forest Service, she enjoyed and valued many coworkers from all over Southeast Alaska. She was a dedicated employee, conscientious and always a team player.

Ginny was unfailingly polite and self-effacing in her interactions, her family said. She had a smile for everyone and genuinely liked people. She entertained one and all with her humor. She was very private with her own life, but an attentive listener and cared deeply about other people. She was a kind and generous friend to many.

Ginny provided a wonderful example of how to live life to the fullest. She had always loved to travel and continued to do so in her retirement. Following her cancer diagnosis, she took advantage of medical trips to Seattle to explore the city and often added other destinations. She spent time in Interior Alaska, Arizona and Hawaii, and toured in China.

Ginny had a life-long love affair with bacon, ice cream, chocolate, and books. Computers … not so much. She disliked phoniness, TV commercials, fishy tasting fish, and politics.

She is survived by her father Charles of Marshall, Minn.; sister Maria Yablonka and husband Mike of Santa Ana, Calif.; niece Amanda Kor of Santa Ana; sister Margaret (Peggy) Granger and husband Chris, niece Grace Granger and nephew Caden Granger of Orange, Calif.; and companion, Margaret Andrews of Sitka.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Lonnie, and a nephew, Andrew.

Ginny was a life-long conservationist. She took every opportunity to be on the water. She hiked, picked up rocks and shells everywhere, watched birds, and photographed plants, wildlife, water and mountains in all the places she traveled. She suggested memorial donations to the Sitka Sound Science Center, 834 Lincoln Street, Suite 200, Sitka, AK 99835, or to the Ocean Conservancy, 1300 19th Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20036.


In keeping with Ginny’s wish for privacy, no formal services have been planned.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-4-20)

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 11:00 a.m. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 8

Total statewide – 513

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 48, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.



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 sitkasentinel.com. 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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