HISTORIC MOVE – Harry Greene, maintenance and operations superintendent at the Sitka Public Works Department, uses a backhoe to lift the Baranof statue onto a wooden dolly with the help of co-worker Mike Callahan, this morning in front of Harrigan Centennial Hall. The bronze statue, estimated to weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, was relocated to inside the Sitka History Museum today. The city Assembly passed a resolution, on a 6-1 vote, in July to move the statue from its prominent  outdoor location to inside the museum.  At the July meeting several members of the public said the statue was a symbol of “historical trauma.”  The statue, created by artist Joan Bugbee Jackson, was given to the city in 1989 by Lloyd and Barbara Hames. Hames family members said earlier this year they supported moving the statue into the museum. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Services Held For Elmenda ‘Manda’ Johnson

Elmenda R. “Manda” Johnson

A celebration of the life of Elmenda R. “Manda” Johnson was held 5-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18, upstairs at the Moose Lodge. The gathering was a potluck.

A service was scheduled at St. Michael’s Cathedral at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 18.

Manda passed away from natural causes on May 28, in Juneau. She was 45.

She was born Sept. 25, 1972, in Sitka, and lived here most of her life. Her Tlingit name was Kaaxkwei and she was of the Kaagwaantaan clan. She was the song caller, a drummer and a master beader.

She loved to make and share her salmon spread and fry bread – and, best of all, her banana cream pie.

She also loved to play softball.

She was a member of the American Legion and Moose Lodge, and St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Kaaxkwei is survived by her children, Naomi Miller of Sitka, Jay and Edward Miller of Juneau, and Michael Miller of Michigan; and three beautiful grandchildren, Alina, Mary and Spencer Miller.

She also is survived by her sisters, Isabell Sam of Anchorage, Tanya Ulrich of Juneau and Sharon Sam of Sitka, and her brother, Gilbert Sam Jr., of Juneau.

Her aunties are Cheryl A. Duncan and Josephine M. Johnson, Sitka; and her uncles are Henry K. Johnson and Jacob G. Johnson of Sitka, Joseph C. Johnson Jr. and Everett A. Johnson of Juneau, and Norman W. Johnson and Michael P. Johnson of Seattle.

Kaaxkwei was preceded in death by her mother, Audrey E. Johnson; grandparents Joseph C. and Agnes F. Johnson and Henry Sam Sr. and Kathy Mayberry; and cousins Harry C. Johnson, Alexandra I. Platt, Rachel Johnson and Blake Ricaporte.

Those needing more information may call Josephine at 738-0712.

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 9-29-20)

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 12:20 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 118

Total statewide – 7,721

Total (cumulative) deaths – 56

Active cases in Sitka – 19 (13 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 47 (37 resident; 10 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 288.

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

Gilnettings, By Gil Truitt: The Sitka All-Star Team (Team II) of 1939-1956 is revealed here for the first time.  Fermin “Rocky” Gutierrez, Hugh Pace, “Red” Belinski, Harold “Pretty Boy” Morris, George Kucherak, Dorm McGraw Sr., Herb Didrickson Sr., Gorman Shutt, Vic Adamson, Bill Robinson  and Johnny Vander. ... Other gifted players include Tony Herman, Bunny Donnelly, Hal Taylor, Archie Nielsen, Cecil McClain and Richard (Dick) Eliason.

September 1970

The Alaska Judicial council has selected Sitka as the site of a new branch of the state superior court. The Legislature had created a position for a third Superior Court judge in Southeast, but the city was not specified in the legislation.