EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (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.

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 8-6-20)

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 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 40

Total statewide – 3,484

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 19 (14 resident; 5 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 141.

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. 




August 2000

The city’s solid waste incinerator closed Wednesday, two days after the contract with Sheldon Jackson College for its operation ended. ... The city will ship all municipal waste except biosolids off-island to a landfill in Washington. The biosolids will be buried in the Kimsham landfill, Public Works Director Hugh Bevan said.

August 1970

Ernest Robertson, a Sitka resident most of his life, has moved back here with his family after a five-year sojourn in Anchorage. “Anchorage was just too big,” Ernie said. “It wasn’t like Sitka, where every time you go out on the street you meet your friends.”