GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

June 19, 2020, Letters to the Editor


Fisheries Enhancement

Dear Editor: Last week the Sitka Assembly awarded Fisheries Enhancement Funds to the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association to support our COVID-19 outreach to fishermen and our young fishermen programs. We will leverage this support, as we have in the past, to bring outside dollars into Sitka and to reassure fishermen that the City of Sitka recognizes the value of the commercial fishing fleet. ALFA staff and members deeply appreciate this investment in our work.

The FEF support ensures that ALFA will continue to keep local fishermen up-to-date and well informed of COVID-related federal and state mandates, relief programs and emerging legislation relevant to commercial fisheries. Our website COVID page: is updated weekly, if not more often, as requirements and opportunities shift. Our goal is to keep our essential industry working through this pandemic and to assist fishermen in accessing relief and stimulus funds so our fisheries emerge stronger than ever. 

Through our Community Supported Fisheries Program Alaskans Own, we are also working with project partners to provide seafood to both local and non-local families in need and we have distributed over 1,000 pounds of seafood to Sitka households and food banks since March. If you or someone you know would like to be added to the seafood distribution list, please make that request through Sitka Mutual Aid. We are making weekly deliveries and happy to add households at any time. 

Finally, with our partners at the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, ALFA continues to support next-generation fishermen with entry-level loans, jobs and training. There are crew openings in the Sitka fleet this summer with skippers willing to hire both experienced and “green” crew. If you are interested, please call the ALFA office at 747-3400. 

In sum, we are grateful to the City of Sitka for the support and we will continue to enhance Sitka’s fisheries through programs that address both short- and long-term challenges and create new opportunities. 

We are fortunate to be part of a community that pulls together when the going gets tough! 

Linda Behnken,

Willow Moore-Olbrych, 

Dan Falvey, Allison Martin,

Paul Olson, Hahlen Barkhau,

Alaska Longline


 Fishermen’s Association

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

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 noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

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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