HISTORIC MOVE – Harry Greene, maintenance and operations superintendent at the Sitka Public Works Department, uses a backhoe to lift the Baranof statue onto a wooden dolly with the help of co-worker Mike Callahan, this morning in front of Harrigan Centennial Hall. The bronze statue, estimated to weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, was relocated to inside the Sitka History Museum today. The city Assembly passed a resolution, on a 6-1 vote, in July to move the statue from its prominent  outdoor location to inside the museum.  At the July meeting several members of the public said the statue was a symbol of “historical trauma.”  The statue, created by artist Joan Bugbee Jackson, was given to the city in 1989 by Lloyd and Barbara Hames. Hames family members said earlier this year they supported moving the statue into the museum. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

March 6, 2020, Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
I am writing to you in my capacity as SEARHC’s Chief Medical Officer, as well as a long-time Sitka resident.
At SEARHC, we are closely monitoring COVID-19, formerly called the novel coronavirus. We are preparing our staff and facilities to ensure that our patients, communities and staff have the best, quality care possible. Presently, there are no known COVID-19 cases in Alaska.
I assure you that SEARHC has a comprehensive response plan. This includes working directly with our EMS squad and their leadership, as well as communicating regularly with our State Department of Health and state emergency operations center. We have established a unified command structure for emergency situations and have established careful protocols for screening and caring for patients in our facilities, in line with recommendations from scientists and doctors at the Centers for Disease Control. We have inventoried our supplies which are adequate if we are careful and judicious in use. We also recently established covid19.searhc.org, a webpage with news and resources for you, our community members, as well as a “hot line” to provide answers to specific questions during regular business hours: 907-966-8799.
You can support the health of our community by staying calm and committing to healthy practices within your homes and businesses. Please remember that the most significant health threat we are facing at this time is influenza, which has already killed over 18,000 people in the U.S. this flu season. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, (if you are sick you should stay home). Cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze. Wash your hands with soap frequently, and especially before you eat. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes because this is how we often contract a virus. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, and school.
If you begin to feel ill, and you don’t have any underlying health conditions, please don’t panic. Stay home and get better by resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and staying away from smoke or alcohol. Please do not come directly to the hospital and request or demand a test for COVID-19. In spite of what you may hear in the media, there are very limited supplies of tests available in Alaska (and elsewhere) and those tests will be used in high-risk cases. Everyone should also understand that a test is not a treatment or a cure for this virus.
If you begin to feel ill and you do have underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer or lung disease, please call your provider’s office. By calling ahead to make an appointment before arriving, you will help our SEARHC staff take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed. When you call, make sure you tell the provider if you think you may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
More information on prevention and treatment of COVID-19 can be found at covid19.searhc.org. During regular business hours, questions can be answered at our COVID-19 “Hot Line” for SEARHC communities and patients: 907-988-8799.
Dr. Elliot Bruhl MD

Dear Editor:
At the Assembly meeting last Tuesday, it was so uplifting to see so much thoughtful discussion and engagement. I am grateful to everyone who took their time to share their experiences and knowledge and to the Assembly for their willingness to consider joining with AFN and the local Sitka Advisory Committee to the Alaska Dept of Fish & Game in declaring a climate emergency.
I have lived in Sitka my whole life and I plan to move back after college. In my 18-year lifetime, I have already seen the climate change more than I ever thought was possible, and I am dreading the future changes if we don’t take action. Although the resolution didn’t pass, the discussion was encouraging. Additionally, it did accomplish one of its goals: it got the conversation started.
We understand that this is a process that takes time, but it is also an issue that requires urgency.
Now, the group Youth for Sustainable Futures is working with Assembly members to draft a new resolution. This process has been such a valuable experience for our group and we’re so grateful to the Assembly members, especially Gary Paxton and Kevin Mosher, for their willingness to meet with youths, and for taking the time to explain their perspectives while also helping us find common ground and a path forward together.
After those conversations, our group and some Assembly members started discussing the possibility of reinstating a climate action leadership task force. This idea sounds really promising, especially if the task force includes youth. Youth for Sustainable Futures is made up of students from all three high schools, and we think it would be amazing if the task force included a seat for a representative from each of the high schools as well.
Even if the Assembly reinstates a task force, it is still important to pass the resolution declaring a climate change emergency. Local action is important, but state and national action is even more valuable. If the Assembly passes an emergency declaration, it gives our group leverage to lobby our senators for action.
We are looking forward to working with our community leaders to plan for our futures.
Cora Dow

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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 9-29-20)

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 12:20 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 118

Total statewide – 7,721

Total (cumulative) deaths – 56

Active cases in Sitka – 19 (13 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 47 (37 resident; 10 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 288.

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. 




September 2000

Gilnettings, By Gil Truitt: The Sitka All-Star Team (Team II) of 1939-1956 is revealed here for the first time.  Fermin “Rocky” Gutierrez, Hugh Pace, “Red” Belinski, Harold “Pretty Boy” Morris, George Kucherak, Dorm McGraw Sr., Herb Didrickson Sr., Gorman Shutt, Vic Adamson, Bill Robinson  and Johnny Vander. ... Other gifted players include Tony Herman, Bunny Donnelly, Hal Taylor, Archie Nielsen, Cecil McClain and Richard (Dick) Eliason.

September 1970

The Alaska Judicial council has selected Sitka as the site of a new branch of the state superior court. The Legislature had created a position for a third Superior Court judge in Southeast, but the city was not specified in the legislation.