ON THE ROAD AGAIN – One of The RIDE buses goes down Katlian Street past the city boat grid this morning. After four months of being shut down because of antivirus precautions, the public transportation service resumed operations today. All routes remain the same except the Blue Line bus route, which now turns around at Whale Park instead of the Gary Paxton Industrial Park. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Howard Gilbert Ulrich Sr.

Services have been scheduled for Howard Gilbert Ulrich Sr., a commercial fisherman who survived the largest recorded tsunami July 9, 1958, in Lituya Bay, Alaska.
    A graveside service will be 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Sitka National Cemetery. A celebration of his life will follow, at 3 p.m., at the Elks Lodge.
    Howard died Jan. 29 at his home here, with family present. He was 87.
    He was born May 12, 1926, in Santa Rosa, Calif., the son of Howard R. and Elsie P. (Otto) Ulrich. He grew up in San Francisco, and served in the U.S. Army from August 1944 to Oct. 1946, in Okinawa and Korea.
    He came to Alaska afterward, and married Agnes Lyda Mork in 1948 in Sitka. It was while fishing with his 9-year-old son in Lituya Bay in July 1958 aboard his boat the F/V Edrie that he survived a tsunami 1,720 feet tall. (The story of that is on this page.)
    Howard also was the skipper of the U.S. Forest Service boat, the Ranger, from 1972 until his retirement in the last half of the 1990s.
    His hobbies included photography, and Alaska history, and he was a member of the Sitka Elks Lodge 1662.
     “Howard, our father and grandfather, was supportive of his children and their efforts in life,” his family said. “He was always there for us to keep going. He cared for our well-being. He is loved and will be sincerely missed by friends, family, his children and grandchildren.”
    He was preceded in death by his wife Agnes, in 2009, and sons Robert and Kurt.
    Survivors include sons Howard G. Ulrich Jr. and Bruce R. Ulrich of Sitka; daughter Edrie Vardeman of Sitka; grandchildren Chelsey Ulrich, Stephen Ulrich and Christopher Vardeman of Sitka, Anthony Vardeman of Auburn, Wash., Mathew Vardeman of Renton, Wash., Jennifer Frame of Anchorage, and Rachel Ulrich Of Durango, Colo.; and a sister, Nadine Howey, of Beaverton, Ore.
    In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Salvation Army.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-13-20)

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 10:30 a.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 60

Total statewide – 1,539

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 4 (2 resident; 2 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 14 (11 resident; 3 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 87.

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. 




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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