CHECKING THE SLOPES – Ski companions Aaron Prussian, Emily Clark and Will Sirokman measure the snow depth and conditions on Mt. Verstovia Saturday. The friends have been tracking conditions this season, looking for weaknesses in the snowpack that could lead to avalanches. They saw signs of stable conditions, some hardpack and compacted layers, but no signs of weakness in that specific area. Dozens of skiers were on the mountain this weekend. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Johnny W. Duncan Sr. Dies in Sitka at Age 77

Johnny Walter Duncan Sr.

Johnny Walter Duncan Sr., a longtime Sitka resident, died unexpectedly December 9, 2020, at the age of 77. He was at home, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

Johnny’s Tlingit name was Kaaldeiwtu Éesh. He was from the Kiks.ádi (Frog) clan, a child of the Killer Whale clan, and a member of the Clay House. He was born May 12, 1943, and raised by his parents, Emma and Peter Duncan, in Excursion Inlet and Hoonah. 

Johnny graduated from Chemawa boarding school in Salem, Oregon, in 1961, and then from Edison Tech in Seattle. He joined the Carpenters Union in 1964, retiring in 2006.

 John helped build the JC Penny building in Anchorage, worked in Adak at the government base, Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau, Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School, and the newer Alaska Native Medical Center. He worked at various other monumental buildings across Alaska.

John is survived by his brother Albert Duncan Sr., children, grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He loved subsistence gathering and teaching his children and grandchildren the lifestyle he himself enjoyed, watching and participating in Southeast basketball.

John was a longtime member of the Sitka Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Sitka Pool League. 

John was an active member of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Moose Lodge, and Sons of American Legion.

He was a vocal advocate for the Sitka Sound herring and subsistence. 

He will be truly missed by friends and family. 

Due to COVID-19 there will be a private funeral, and later on a cultural service and celebration of life. The family understands that this is not traditional at all, but John would not want to put the health and safety of his community at risk. 


Questions concerning donations can be directed to Johnny Duncan Jr. 907-738-1595, or Donovan Duncan 907-738-2619.

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 1-26-21)

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 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 86

Total statewide – 51,778

Total (cumulative) deaths – 258

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,170

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Active cases in Sitka – 1

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 309 (277 resident; 32 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 308

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.




January 2001

Rory Schneeberger of Sitka has been tapped to serve as state Rep. Peggy Wilson’s chief of staff, the District 2 representative announced today. Wilson, of Wrangell, was elected in November to represent Sitka, Wrangell and Ketchikan in the state House.

January 1971

Eleven Sheldon Jackson students will visit churches in the northern half of Southeast Alaska as part of a four-week interim study course called Contemporary Alaska Mission. Their instructor, Rev. William Zeiger, who is college chaplain, has arranged the course.