GREEN LIGHT – Karen Lucas works in her Katlian Street garden this afternoon. Warm sunny weather this spring has been a boon for local gardeners. The Farmers' Almanac is predicting this summer will be warmer than normal, with the hottest period in early July. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

John Washburn

 John E. Washburn, of Newport, Vt., who once served as pastor at Sitka’s United Methodist Church, died Feb. 11, 2013, in Burlington, Vt. He was 71.
A service celebrating John’s life will be held on Sunday, July 21, at 4 p.m. at St. Brendan’s Episcopal Church, Juneau.
John was born Dec. 12, 1941, in San Luis Obispo Calif., the son of John J. and P. Aline Washburn.
John received several science fair awards during his high school years and had dreams of a career in aeronautics or nuclear chemistry. But his career path changed during junior college after a life-changing conversion experience.  Consequently, he completed his undergraduate studies at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash.,  and went on to graduate from the San Francisco Theological Seminary  in 1970 with a doctor of ministry degree.                                                                               
John was associate professor of Christian Education at Scarritt College in Nashville, Tenn., and later was on staff at churches in Oklahoma City, Stillwater, Okla., and Shreveport, La.
His sense of adventure led him to Fairbanks and, while on church staff there, he was ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church in 1987.  He subsequently served as pastor at Anchor Park United Methodist in Anchorage and at Sitka United Methodist.
In 1988 he left the ministry and  founded Software Sharing Ministries and spent many years developing computer software for churches and church schools.
Everyone who knew John experienced his disarming wit and sense of humor. He challenged the status quo and had a huge heart for the underdog.  
John met Sheryl (Reinke) Johnson in Sitka, and they were married on July 22, 1988. They also lived in Tacoma, Wash., Sterling, Colo., Juneau, Moscow, Idaho, and Newport.
John is survived by his wife Sheryl of Newport; sister Jeane (Chris) Avilla, of Union City, Calif.; and nephews, Jim and John Harrison, also of California.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Brendan’s, 4207 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau (for their Christian education building fund or Galley ministry), or to the charity of your choice.
Condolences may be sent through the funeral home website at www.curtis-britch.com or to 395 Memphremagog Views, Newport, VT 05855.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 5-28-20)

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 10:55 a.m. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 13

Total statewide – 425

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 46, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

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



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



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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