PASSING THROUGH – Orca whales swim near the Indian River estuary Thursday night. A pod of more than a half-dozen adult and juvenile orcas spent the late afternoon in Sitka Sound near shore as people along Sawmill Creek Road photographed and video recorded them. NOAA Fisheries recommends staying at least 100 yards away while viewing whales from boats. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

May 5, 2020, Letters to the Editor


Face Mask Contest

Dear Editor: Thank you goes out to the Sitka media: The Daily Sitka Sentinel, KIFW and KCAW radio stations, and the Sitka Soup for helping making the community aware of the Greater Sitka Face Mask Design Contest. 

It is refreshing in these times with left and right, red and blue, and the divisiveness that is so rampant, that Sitka businesses that compete, can also cooperate. Thank you to the media and all those who participated. The intent was: to have some fun, share with others, and encourage the use of face masks.

 Jeff Budd, Sitka 



Diet and Lifestyle

Dear Editor: SARS-CoV-2 is what they call this virus. COVID-19 is the disease that it causes in a susceptible host.

It’s not the virus that determines the course of the disease. It’s the host.

Diet and lifestyle are driving COVID-19 severity!!!

One of the primary drivers for the coronavirus pandemic is that so many people do not have a healthy immune response when they are exposed to the virus. We can all improve the health of our immune systems through diet and lifestyle choices.

Health status is not always visible. There is growing evidence that vitamin D status may be a crucial determinant in the development of the disease. People with healthier vitamin D levels were nearly 20X more likely to exhibit only mild symptoms.

People with pre-existing heart conditions or diabetes are also far more likely to suffer a poor outcome due to COVID-19. Both of these conditions are largely a result of and reversible with diet and lifestyle habits. Blood sugar levels are a contributing factor to the development of COVID-19, and not just in diabetes. We should all avoid sugar to avoid COVID-19.

Don’t wait for a vaccine. A vaccine may offer protection from a virus, but it won’t improve overall immunity. It’s time for us to take care of ourselves as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.

Karen Zamzow, D.C., Sitka


Be of Brave Heart

Dear Editor: Brave Heart Volunteers would like to thank everyone who participated in “Be of Brave Heart Day” on Friday, May 1. Our desire to promote a communitywide message of hope and reconnection with others was met with such enthusiasm and unbridled support, we couldn’t have asked for more.

A huge thank you to all the businesses and organizations that posted the message on their reader boards, social media, in windows, and staff newsletters; we would especially like to thank those who corresponded with us about the event, including Sea Mart, AC Lakeside, Spenard Builders Supply, Venneberg Insurance, Sitka School District, First Baptist Church, and the Sitka Pioneers Home. We also appreciate the kind support of the Daily Sitka Sentinel and KCAW for their promotion of the event.

In addition, we want to thank those who spent part of their day at the roundabout to help share the message: Michele Friedman, Aleeta Bauder, Sherie Mayo, Gloria Pies, Sam Pointer, Shauna Thornton, Anna Roy, Karen Krupa (Henrietta Hippo), and Mindy Barry (Flora Flamingo).

Lastly, a sincere thank you to every citizen who celebrated the day with us by honking, waving, emailing, telephoning, writing letters, creating signs, or making other brave acts of connection with their neighbors. We appreciate your participation and hope all Sitkans will continue to “Yee gu.aa yáx x’wán” or “Be of Brave Heart” as we navigate these uncertain times together.

Angie DelMoral,

Brave Heart Volunteers


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-31-20)

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 12:50 p.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 108

Total statewide – 2,990

Total (cumulative) deaths – 23

Active cases in Sitka – 15 (10 resident; 5 non-resident) *

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 133.

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 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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July 2000

Clinton Buckmaster shot and wounded a large brown bear Tuesday night when it charged him near his Thimbleberry Bay home in the 2100 block of Sawmill Creek Road. As of press time, the bear was still at large.

July 1970

The city council agreed at a special meeting Thursday to consider the request of Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1 for redevelopment planning funds for the Indian Village. Cost has been estimated at $12,000.