ALL IN THE SAME TACO BOAT – Sitkans, many wearing face masks, line up this afternoon at the Sitka Elks Lodge food booth. With the pandemic, most of this year’s Sitka Independence Day events have been modified, but not entirely canceled. The American Legion and Sizzling Chow Cuisine also will have outdoor food booths. While there’s no downtown parade, there is a parade of classic cars that will tour Sitka streets beginning at 1 p.m. at Whale Park. A sing-along and military salute will take place on Totem Square 7 p.m. Friday and a fireworks display will take place 11:30 Friday night over Sitka Channel, with spectators asked to follow social distancing recommendations. The Rotary Club is holding its annual Duck Race on the fourth. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

May 26, 2020, Letters to the Editor

New Bike Trail

Dear Editor: We would like to say THANK YOU to every person and group who helped build a great new single-track bike trail for Sitkans to ride and enjoy. The Sitka Cycling Club voted to name the new trail “907” for its exact length in feet.

 The trail is a very fun one-direction section off the Cross Trail, near Sitka High. It is designed for beginners, but experienced mountain bikers will also find it enjoyable to ride.

 This happened, ahead of schedule, because so many people and organizations supported the effort. Thanks to our trail maestro/designer, Laurent Deviche, who put in countless hours making a rough game trail into a rideable wonder. Hydrologist KK Prussian (along with her family) made huge contributions throughout. Roland Wirth got us started with some excellent map-making and Alex Bayne rounded out the core group by taking the lead on materials/supplies. Also, a special thanks to Max Kritzer who was the initial project lead in 2019 and Lee House who designed the entrance and exit signs. 

From start to finish we had over 50 volunteers safely lay fabric, haul gravel, and use their muscles to bring Laurent’s vision to life. Thanks to all of them and a special shout out to the many the young people who participated.  Students from SEARHC’s Raven’s Way program spent three days as volunteers which brought us over the finish line so we could meet our June 1st goal. Sitka High School students Asa Dow, Kobi Weiland, Razie Guillory and Alex Bayne played a major role and took initiative on the berm building. The efforts were rounded out by James Pelletier, Eric Estrada, Reynaldo Rivera, Jarrod Yelton, Bill Spivey, Karl Wolfe, Brant Brantman, Ryan Priest, Joe Best and Matt Lawrie. (Apologies if we missed anyone!)

This first, of hopefully many, single-track trails was initially supported by the Parks and Recreation Commission and then the city Assembly, who gave it final approval. Sitka Trail Works has also been a wonderful ally and partner.  A big and essential supply of rock was donated by Troy Bayne; the Hames Center also donated materials; and the project got financial support from Chris and Charles Horan. 

All in all, a great team effort! Watch for more on a celebration to honor all the work accomplished. And, to keep up with biking in Sitka and get our monthly e-newsletter, join the club for free at

Gunalcheech, salamat, gracias and thanks.

Doug Osborne and Amy Volz,

Sitka Cycling Club



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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-2-20)

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 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Monday: 39

Total statewide – 1,017

Total (cumulative) deaths – 14

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (6 resident; 2 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 10 (7 resident; 3 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 68.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.



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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