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)

Robert Allen James Dies; Navy Veteran was Age 81

Robert Allen James

    Robert Allen “Ballard Bob” James passed away on Jan. 9, 2020, at the Sitka Pioneers Home. He was 81.
He was born at St. Ann’s Hospital in Juneau on Aug. 30, 1938, to John and Mary “Amy” Takesado James. He attended school in Juneau until September 1952 when his family moved to Seattle.
He attended Ballard High School in Seattle, and in 1959 enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served for four years.
Afterward, he returned to Washington state where he worked for many years as an electrician. After his father died he and his mother came to Sitka, in 1995. His mother died at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital on Nov. 17, 2015, at age 97.
He is survived by his brothers, Gerald James of Seattle and Ronald James of Sitka; nephews Brian James, Donald James, Seattle; niece Berta David of Sitka; aunts Maggie Verney and Helen Mercado, both of Sitka; and uncle Ed Mercado of Seattle.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Mary “Amy” and John R. James; his beloved grandmother Jennie Mercado, grandfather Mack Mercado, sister-in-law Esther James, and nephew Douglas James.
Those wishing to communicate with  the family can contact Ronald James, 447 Verstovia St., Sitka, AK 99835.
The family thanked the Sitka Pioneers Home; Prewitt Funeral Home “for everything”; and those who attended the celebration of his life.
Per his wishes, Bob’s ashes will be spread in Seattle.

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.