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)

June 11, 2020, Letters to the Editor

Community Center

Dear Editor: While listening to the Assembly meeting Tuesday night, I was heartened to hear two ‘‘persons to be heard’’ mention the Presbyterian Church as a shelter, the purchase price now lowered, as a potential use for the CARES money.

As a matter of fact, when a community takes care of its most vulnerable residents, the town flourishes. Theft, crime, vandalism diminish when people’s basic needs are met. I would publicly like to thank Dr. Wein for clarifying in the minutes to specify meth, to which I had spoken at the previous meeting, and not just ‘‘drugs.’’ The increasing meth use in our town must not be homogenized with other drugs, alcohol or substances for which there are remedies. So, here is a concept, Sitka, with complete community involvement including the Unified Command, that might be considered as a very real potential to help our fellow citizens, as the fundamental human needs for shelter, food and intervention are becoming more urgent due to the current pandemic.

A Community Center, a landing pad and clearinghouse, with shelter for the homeless, treatment and referrals for the meth addict, food bank and soup kitchen. If the city were to purchase the building with the CARES funds, it would take a nonprofit, or several, to administer the services that it could provide. If the city, SEARHC, Sitka Tribe, SCAPS and the Salvation Army were to partner as funders or staff with the help of the Sitka Homeless Coalition, SOS, all the churches, any other interested entities and volunteer community members to provide a place to empower our youth to care for each other, to have a place to go to seek help, to shelter both men and women, and to provide food and meals to those in need would be a very beautiful endeavor.

The building is large enough to do it all, I realize it is a ‘‘huge’’ undertaking, and that there will be resistance, but I believe it is doable with full community support and assistance. As a secondary benefit, the historic building would be preserved to function in several of its intended purposes. I am willing to work toward this end, and engage in dialog to figure out first steps.

Anyone interested in this concept please call me at 747-7803, leave your number on the message machine, if I’m not home, and I will return the call.

Let’s put our heads and hearts together.


Karen Lucas, Sitka

You have no rights to post comments



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.                                                                          

Login Form

Most recent Sentinels — PDF edition

June 26, 2020

June 29, 2020

June 30, 2020

July 1, 2020

July 2, 2020