UNLOADING – From left, Kent Barkhau, Linda Behnken and Terry Perensovich unload fish at the Seafood Producers Co-op dock from the F/V Woodstock recently. Behnken, executive director of Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, talked to the Sentinel about an ALFA program to distribute 49,000 pounds of salmon to villages affected by poor subsistence fish returns. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Jim Parker Dies at 87; 60-Year Sitka Resident

James Wallace (Jim) Parker

James Wallace (Jim) Parker

James Wallace (Jim) Parker, 87, died Jan. 9, 2020, at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe in Sitka, and went to be with his Heavenly Father.
Jim was born to James Frontinus and Leona Parker on June 1, 1932, in Warroad, Minnesota. The youngest of seven children, he was raised in the northernmost frontier regions of Minnesota near the Lake of the Woods, working hard on the family farm and ranch,  hunting, fishing and trapping.
After graduating from high school, the spirit of adventure called him to enlist in the U..S. Army during the Korean War. He served overseas in Germany, and it was during this time he met “Peggy” Waltraud Hergesell. They married on January 21, 1955, in Eschwege, Germany.
Jim attended college with his GI Bill and received a bachelor of Science in Forestry degree from the University of Idaho, with interests that turned toward fisheries management.  He went to work for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in 1958 and in 1960 moved his young family to Sitka, where he and Peggy raised their five children.
As a biologist, he was one of the few resource managers in the field for many years. Anything that was commercially caught or harvested, he managed. He monitored the herring fishery in Sitka for some 20 years and is credited with bringing the resource back to a healthy,  viable population.
Upon retirement he and Peggy resumed an interest in fisheries as commercial fishermen. They were a team. They longlined for halibut, hand trolled for salmon, fished for Dungeness crab and harvested herring roe on kelp. But the pursuit Jim really had a passion for was trapping, a pursuit that was lifelong.
In his later years he enjoyed wood work, collecting and cataloguing the many different types of wood he found, shaping and forming them into something new, useful and beautiful. Jim’s evenings were filled with reading the newspaper, spiritual books and literature, playing cribbage, watching a good movie.
Jim was very self-reliant, heating the family home from neatly stacked firewood, constantly fixing anything and everything around the home, his vehicles, equipment, and on his boat.
Jim was a man of conviction and had a strong faith in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He was an elder and deacon of the Presbyterian Church.  He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge,  Pioneers of Alaska, and served as a member on the Board of Fisheries.
Jim loved Sitka’s beauty, the outdoors, and all it had to offer. He and his wife enjoyed traveling throughout Alaska, Canada and the lower 48 with their truck and camper. They particularly loved the Alcan Highway especially during the fall, and visiting family near and far.
Jim is survived by his wife Peggy of 65 years; an elder sister, Moonyeen; his three sons, James “Fronty” (Barbara) of Delta Junction, Eric (Catherine) of Sitka, and Peter (Laura) of Eagle River;  two daughters, Meta Weaver (Victor) of Sitka and Lindy Batten (Randy) of Dutch Harbor; nine grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Jim was always inspired to improving the lives of children and their families.  The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, any memorial donations be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital(s).
Shriners Hospitals for Children/ 2900 Rocky Point Drive/ Tampa, FL 33607.  (855) 401-4897.
Family members will hold a private memorial service at a later date.

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 9-18-20)

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 10:30 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 108

Total statewide – 6,658

Total (cumulative) deaths – 45

Active cases in Sitka – 30 (20 resident; 10 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 26 (22 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 257.

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. 




September 2000

Photo caption: First-grader Megan Polasky happily holds a large turnip as she and other first-graders from Baranof Elementary School harvest some of the vegetables they planted last spring as kindergartners behind the Russian Bishop’s House. Park Service Ranger Harvey Brandt, center, watches over the gardening project.

September 1970

The Sentinel adds its congratulations to the following persons listed on the Woman’s Club community calender: Earl E. Smith, Wallis George, Frank Williams, Robert Blankenship, and Frank O. Williams Sr., whose birthdays are today, and Ed and Monte Littlefield, whose anniversary is today.