CATCH OF THE DAY – Mason Allery, age 6, holds the first fish caught during the 2021 Kids Fishing Day Saturday on Swan Lake. Mason was given a prize and afterward successfully released his catch. The Sitka Rotary Club, U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game hosted the event, which had to be canceled in 2020. To avoid gathering large groups of people together, this year prizes were handed out throughout the three-hour event. More than a hundred young fishers and their crew members turned out. (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.

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30, 2020, 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 6-16-21)

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 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 26

Total statewide – 67,936

Total (cumulative) deaths – 366

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,595

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. Tuesday.

Active cases in Sitka – 1

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 387 (339 resident; 48 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 386

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Tuesday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 5,304 (72%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,904 (66%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 77 percent of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at:





June 2001

Photo caption: Luke Nisbet holds up a “2005” sign at a rites of passage ceremony at Blatchley Middle School for the school’s 120 eighth-graders. It was the first ceremony to mark the “graduation” of eighth-graders from middle school.

June 1971

Two of the most controversial subjects to come before the city council in months are on tonight’s agenda. One would extend bar operating hours inside the city limits from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.; and the other would permit operation of coin amusement machines by persons under 18.