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)

Longtime Sitkan, Nurse Ruth Roth Dies at Age 94

Ruth Roth

Ruth Virginia Roth (nee Ott) has joined the Lord and her husband Franklin in heaven at age 94.
Ruth was born on May 16, 1925, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She was the first member of her family to graduate from high school.  Ruth attended Bible College and then nursing training (at Philadelphia General Hospital), while working as a bookkeeper in a lumber yard.  After graduating from nursing school she became the only member of her family to leave Philadelphia when she moved to Glenallen, Alaska, to become a registered nurse with the Copper River Mission Station. 
In Glenallen she met and married Franklin Roth Jr. (who also was from Pennsylvania) and they moved to Wasilla, Alaska.  In 1964, Ruth, Frank, and their five children moved to Sitka which remained her home until she passed away on August 21, 2019.
In yet another first for her family, Ruth enrolled in college and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1979.  She spent most of her working career at the Sitka Pioneers Home, eventually becoming the director of nursing there. She made many life-time friends in her time there.
In retirement Ruth and Frank hiked and camped around the country, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.  At age 75, Ruth said “no more” to sleeping on the ground, but continued to hike with Frank. They visited family and old friends while not in Sitka.  She volunteered her time as a bookkeeper at the Betty Eliason Child Care Center, as well as for the Sitka First Presbyterian Church.
Ruth was full of grace, good cheer, and compassion, which came from her boundless love of Jesus Christ.  She loved jumping in and helping out. She enjoyed many adventures with her family, including a legendary Chilkoot Trail expedition in 1969.
She got down on the floor and did puzzles with her grandchildren and made toys and blankets for them even as her knees, eyesight and fingers became less and less agile.
  She believed in peace and understanding, family, and community and did all she could to keep them together. She made it apparent how much she appreciated people and what each individual brought to the world.
She was adamantly opposed to war and went to Washington, D.C., to add her own piece to the peace ribbon that was wrapped around the Pentagon in 1985. She composed weekly missives to each out-of-town family member beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing into her last year of life.  `
Ruth was principled and nonjudgmental.  She lived a life where everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord and she battled hard to preserve the Sitka Presbyterian Church, where she served during her lifetime as both an elder and a deacon.
She is survived by her children Christian Anne Williams (Stanley Schoening) of Sitka, Franklin G. Roth, III (Susan Roth) of Powell, Wyoming, Joseph H.O. Roth (Brenda Taylor) of Juneau, Gwendolyn E. Roth of Anchorage, and Jessica S. Roth of Sitka, as well as her grandchildren, Peter P. K. Williams, Benjamin Roth, Trevor Schoening, Abigail Taylor-Roth, and Clem Taylor-Roth.  She also left behind several nieces and nephews and one cousin.
“She was a truly good person, a great mother, and she made the world a better place.  We will miss her,” her family said. “As she was fond of saying, ‘Good night and little fishes!’”
A memorial service will be held at Sitka Presbyterian Church from 2 to 5 p.m. on December 29, 2019.

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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.

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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

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

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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