ALL IN THE SAME TACO BOAT – Sitkans, many wearing face masks, line up this afternoon at the Sitka Elks Lodge food booth. With the pandemic, most of this year’s Sitka Independence Day events have been modified, but not entirely canceled. The American Legion and Sizzling Chow Cuisine also will have outdoor food booths. While there’s no downtown parade, there is a parade of classic cars that will tour Sitka streets beginning at 1 p.m. at Whale Park. A sing-along and military salute will take place on Totem Square 7 p.m. Friday and a fireworks display will take place 11:30 Friday night over Sitka Channel, with spectators asked to follow social distancing recommendations. The Rotary Club is holding its annual Duck Race on the fourth. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Ruth Elizabeth DeArmond

Lifelong Alaska resident Ruth Elizabeth DeArmond Estelle died Dec. 8 at the Palmer Veterans & Pioneer Home, surrounded by family members. She was in her 102nd year.
Ruth was raised in Sitka, the daughter of R. W. and Elizabeth DeArmond. She attended Oregon State College, earning a degree in home economics and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the scholastic honor society. She did graduate study in dietetics at the University of Michigan.
In 1936 she was hired by the Extension Service to serve as Home Demonstration Agent in the Matanuska Valley, assisting homesteaders, settlers and colony families in improving their domestic lives. She helped organize valley women into Homemakers Clubs and instructed them in ways to preserve wild and home-grown foods; demonstrated sewing, cooking and balanced meal preparation; and provided guidance to children’s 4-H clubs.
Ruth helped construct the United Protestant “Church of a thousand trees” and served it faithfully throughout her life. She also served as the first secretary of the Matanuska Valley Agricultural & Industrial Fair Association Inc., now the Alaska State Fair.
In 1938 she married Howard Estelle and in 1941 they began farming in Spenard. In 1949 they moved to the Bailey family Colony farm north of Palmer where they operated a dairy, raised vegetables and seven children.
Over many years Ruth served as Cub Scout Den Mother, 4-H Leader and Sunday school teacher, and was active in her Homemakers Club and Ladies Aid society.
She also operated a flower and gift shop in downtown Palmer.
Ruth’s volunteer activities were recognized when the Pioneers of Alaska crowned her Queen of Pioneer Igloo No. 13 and Auxiliary No. 11 in 1980; the State of Alaska bestowed the Governor’s Award for Friends of Families in 1984; and the State Fair board recognized her in 1996 for her years of active contribution to the fair.
Among those who preceded her in death were her older brother, Robert N. DeArmond, and her younger sister, Harriet DeArmond Ellis.
Ruth is survived by six children; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Her family thanked the Palmer Veterans & Pioneer Home staff for the excellent care Ruth received during her stay there. A memorial service is planned, the date to be announced.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-2-20)

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 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Monday: 39

Total statewide – 1,017

Total (cumulative) deaths – 14

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (6 resident; 2 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 10 (7 resident; 3 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 68.

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 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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