ALL IN THE SAME TACO BOAT – Sitkans, many wearing face masks, line up this afternoon at the Sitka Elks Lodge food booth. With the pandemic, most of this year’s Sitka Independence Day events have been modified, but not entirely canceled. The American Legion and Sizzling Chow Cuisine also will have outdoor food booths. While there’s no downtown parade, there is a parade of classic cars that will tour Sitka streets beginning at 1 p.m. at Whale Park. A sing-along and military salute will take place on Totem Square 7 p.m. Friday and a fireworks display will take place 11:30 Friday night over Sitka Channel, with spectators asked to follow social distancing recommendations. The Rotary Club is holding its annual Duck Race on the fourth. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Virginia (Ginny) Wood

Virginia (Ginny) Wood


Virginia (Ginny) Wood passed peacefully from this life on Feb. 27, at her home. She was 79.

She was born March 3, 1938, in Sparrows Point, Maryland. She moved to Sitka as a teenager in 1952 with her foster family, the VanDykes.

She married Norman Wood on July 18, 1956, in her hometown after Norman drove across the country to profess his love to his high school sweetheart. They shared 61 years of marriage together.

After Norman’s service in the Air Force, they returned to Sitka in the early 1960s with their two young children, and soon added three more children to their family.

Ginny was best known for her baking skills, starting early in her life making cakes for birthdays, holidays and weddings. What she was especially  remembered for was her pumpkin roll that she baked for her restaurant, the Dip ’n’ Sip, located in the Franklin Building. Even after the Dip ’n’ Sip was long gone, people still talked about wanting one more pumpkin roll.

She was able to meld her love for animals with her restaurant. She was often seen handing an ice cream cone through the takeout window at the Dip ’n’ Sip for a dog to enjoy.

Her passion for animals moved her to help stray dogs or cats find homes. She maintained a bulletin board in the restaurant with notices or articles about animal care or animals needing homes. She once put a kitten, that had been abandoned on the street, in a box and set it in the lobby outside the Dip ’n’ Sip with a sign ‘‘today’s special.’’ That kitten soon had a home.

The Dip ’n’ Sip was later changed to Ginny’s Kitchen; and she also owned the Coffee Express.

After retiring, Ginny’s tremendous energy and drive led her to her next passion, volunteering. She volunteered at the Sitka Pioneers Home, the White Elephant Shop and the See House at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

She enjoyed working and staying busy, so if she wasn’t volunteering she could be found in her garden, a lifelong interest that brought her great joy.

Ginny was a quiet woman with a kind and gentle soul. All who knew her will miss her greatly.

Surviving are: her husband Norman Wood; her children, Dave Wood and Mike (Evelyn) Wood, both of Oregon, Stephen Wood and Jack (Katy) Wood, both of Sitka; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and her beloved dog Opal.

Ginny was preceded in death by her daughter Deborah Wood.

A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sitka Animal Shelter.




Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-2-20)

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 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Monday: 39

Total statewide – 1,017

Total (cumulative) deaths – 14

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (6 resident; 2 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 10 (7 resident; 3 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 68.

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 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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