NEW ROUND – Sitka Fire Chief Craig Warren chats with Patrick and Catharine Weaver this afternoon at the fire hall during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The Weavers were waiting fifteen minutes after receiving the Moderna version of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 100 Sitkans were scheduled to receive their first dose today. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for full efficacy. Sitkans can sign up to receive vaccinations at (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

May 13, 2020, Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor: At Sitka Conservation Society we are committed to protecting the Tongass and building socially, ecologically and economically sustainable communities. This work looks different depending on the opportunities and pressures facing our region, but it always means valuing our relationships with people and place. It is with this mindset that on March 18 we launched the Sitka Mutual Aid Network, a new initiative meant to build Sitka’s resilience and culture of health in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through this network, we match requests for assistance with offers of support, connecting Sitkans who can be of service to one another. Our primary activities are doing errands for those with health risks or who are self-isolating and working to improve food security by providing grocery assistance. We know that many folks are experiencing economic hardships and uncertainty due to the pandemic, and we are committed to showing up for one another as best we can.

We wanted to share some of the outcomes that we – local individuals, organizations and businesses – have achieved together so far. In the two months since we started the Network, 80 volunteers and over 100 households have signed up; we have fulfilled 148 requests for assistance, including 71 grocery gift cards, 68 custom grocery deliveries and five requests for information or other needs; and we have completed eight special bulk distributions and facilitated a few others, getting the following goods out to folks via no-contact, doorstep deliveries: 320 bags of groceries;190 wild salmon dinners; 60 loaves of fresh baked bread; 18 bags of coffee; 12 packages of sweet treats; 6 custom family dinners; and 6 children’s books.

All told, the network has provided over $15,000 in grocery assistance. The majority of this aid benefited both the households who received the goods and the businesses who supplied them. We are happy for this opportunity to support the local economy.

Thank you to the 82 individuals who have made a financial contribution. Thank you to the many businesses that have donated money or goods, including AC Lakeside, Sitka Salmon Shares, Trinity Business Services, Sitka Food Coop, Southeast Dough Co., Highliner Coffee Co., Old Harbor Books, Mean Queen, Graceful Pastries, Woven in the Waves, Hook, Line and Bobbin, and Alaska Tokens. Your generosity is appreciated.

Our sincere gratitude to local artist Jerrod Galanin who ran a benefit raffle on our behalf and donated a gorgeous killer whale cuff, two sets of earrings and two gratitude bracelets. This effort raised $8,000 for our grocery assistance fund.

Thank you to all of the Sitka Mutual Aid volunteers, Our Town Catering, Sea Mart Quality Foods, Backdoor Cafe, Sitka Youth Advocates and Sitka Bulk Goods for your support and collaboration.

Thank you to the households who have reached out for assistance and openly communicated with us. We are grateful to be in community with you.

Special thanks to the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association for creating a seafood donation program that has already delivered more than 500 pounds of local seafood to folks experiencing food insecurity. Sixty-eight mutual aid households and counting have been enrolled in this program.

In short, thank you Sitka for making this network come alive. It has been an honor seeing neighbors stand in solidarity with one another. To get involved or to learn more, please visit, text 907-738-0357 or check out @SitkaMutualAid on Facebook.

Chandler O’Connell and 

Sitka Conservation Society


Assembly Vote

Dear Editor: I’m saddened that a super majority of the Assembly doesn’t think enough residents are dying.

Pete Roddy, Sitka


SSD Principals

Dear Editor: “Children and teens may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis” ( 

And, change always comes with a cost. 

The entire world is dealing with these two truths. Our community here is dealing with these two truths.

Our children, pre-kindergarten to grade 12, and the entire staff of the school district, as well as all parents and families, are experiencing varying levels of stress right now, as they deal with learning and teaching online, something very new for the vast majority of them. Classrooms that are often seen as havens to children of all ages are empty now, but it is hoped that they will be open this fall, yet it is certain that our students and staff will still be suffering some form of stress because of this world pandemic. 

So why would Sitka’s lame-duck superintendent choose now to throw names of school principals and vice-principals into a blender, and let it spit out new assignments/schools for those administrators, for a school year she will not be part of? This is supposed to raise achievement levels on standardized tests? And now is the best time to do this? I am not buying it.

Common sense tells us that our children and staff will need stability and familiarity upon their return to the schools this fall. This latest move by our current superintendent makes no educational nor professional sense. 

Please share your concerns with members of the School Board. And allow Mr. Holst, incoming superintendent, and our administrators, teachers, staff, and children a chance at some form of familiarity to have a good start to a school year that already will have enough pitfalls and challenges to keep them very busy for the entire year. 

G. L. Hammons, Sitka

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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 1-15-21)

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 10:55 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 296

Total statewide – 49,835

Total (cumulative) deaths – 228

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,126

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. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 17

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 301 (274 resident; 27 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 281

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




January 2001

Photo caption: Sarah and Jeremy Pickard and Dr. James Brooks show off Lauren Marie Pickard, the first baby born in Sitka this year. She arrived at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital at 10:05 a.m., Jan. 4, weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 20 inches. She’s the first child for the Pickards,who moved here in May with the U.S. Coast Guard.

January 1971

Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Foster and daughter Marchele have ended a two-week vacation trip to Idaho. They bought a new Mustang in Seattle, drove it to Sandpoint, Idaho, to visit relatives and stopped in Everett, Wash., to visit Mrs. Foster’s cousin, whom she hadn’t seen in 13 years. Mrs. Foster and Marchele returned by plane and Foster is following with the car, on the ferry.