May 18, 2020, Letters to the Editor

Category: Letters to the Editor
Created on Monday, 18 May 2020 15:46
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Dear Editor: We are all hopeful that students will be allowed to return to the classroom in the fall, but this may not be the case. 

It is better for Superintendent Mary Wegner to courageously deal with potentialities than to leave the situation to her successor, who will not have the background of her association and experience in our school system.

Alice Zellhuber Smith, Sitka


International Response

Dear Editor: We are a global community and if we work together we will do better than just get through this pandemic. The House of Representatives did not include any real international response to the coronavirus in their new bill.

Worldwide challenges aren’t solved in isolation – they’re solved in partnership. Yes, the needs in the USA are off-the-chart critical, but we are all connected and need to act globally. We need a strong response from Congress here and around the world. We are calling on our senators to make sure our country does its part in an international response to this global pandemic.


Michele Friedman, Kari Sagel, Cindy Litman, Kim Kirkness, 

Libby Stortz and Debra Brushafer



Dear Editor: The strangest school year in 100 years is coming to a close. As it does I find myself completely full of respect and gratitude for the parents, grandparents, and guardians in our town. Be proud of yourselves. You have been thrust into something unprecedented and extremely challenging. You have done a wonderful job.

I know how difficult it is. I have two schoolchildren of my own. When my kids went to school they were entering a building full of resources and dedicated, experienced staff whose only focus every minute of the school day was educating them and their peers. I have almost 35 years of teaching experience but in my sometimes chaotic home and with my full time job I couldn’t even begin to approximate what they get every day at school. I worried about that for a while but then I let it go and you should too.

 During the 1918 pandemic the schools closed and children went home to a situation far worse than ours. There was no on-line school, there was no home school, and as many as 50% of them had parents who were sick. Those children went on to become part of what many historians refer to as the greatest cultural, industrial, creative, scientific, and academic revolution of modern times. They became the ‘‘greatest generation.’’ They must have learned some things and our children are as well. Our children are learning about science and government first hand. They are learning that sometimes we do things (like stay home and wear masks) because we respect and care for others. They are learning that we are one race and that our fates and fortunes are intertwined. They are learning to adapt in the face of adversity. They are learning that life can be challenging and difficult but that it is still good. My experience tells me they are learning things we don’t even know.

Give yourself a huge pat on the back. You are doing a wonderful job. They have you and they have dedicated educators who are already preparing to offer them what they need when normal returns. They are going to be fine. We will successfully face the fall together and, in the meantime, have a wonderful summer with your kids. You deserve it.

Stephanie Peterson, Sitka


Thank You

Dear Editor: We would like to express our gratitude and a big thanks to the Sentinel, and especially to James, who has been faithful in delivering the daily newspaper every evening to our senior housing complex on Monastery Street in our commons area. He has gone beyond the call of duty. I feel everyone in town has been so thankful for receiving the free paper during this COVID-19 Emergency. 

Thanks, again, to all of your wonderful staff.

 Bill and Carolyn Fredrickson, Sitka


My Latest Idea

Dear Editor: I was remembering today how it was before World War II started, in the depression of the l930s (yes I am an old lady) and remembered how my mother got molasses of a good sort from our local store. We almost never went to a store because my parents grew a huge garden, Mom canned a lot for the winter (especially tomatoes) and we raised hens for eggs and occasional roast and a pig in a fenced place in the back yard. Pig butcher day is a public festival and NOTHING on a pig went to waste. One winter we raised a turkey in the attic (it’s too cold in Boston to have stock outside.)

Mom liked molasses a lot and a local store carried the good kind. They had it in an enormous container which I never saw but it must have been easily useable. She would take a jar that would hold all she wanted and fill it from the big container. 

We are inundated with plastic which seems to be immortal. 

My idea is to ask a local store to buy things in bulk and local folks take their glass jars to the store to fill with whatever we want (don’t we all have lots for canning?)

Grocery folk know what has to be on the shelves for sale and we could quickly learn to bring a jar when certain edibles are on the shopping list.

This came to me when I looked at the large, plastic of course, bottle of soap for the washing machine. It would be so easy to eliminate the clutter of plastic bottles and let me take my own glass container to the store and fill it with liquid soap. 

The store could make labels available to label our jars.

Judy Johnstone, Sitka