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 22, 2020, Letters to the Editor

Statue Removal

Dear Editor: It is wonderful that human beings have been given the gift to evolve and become more thoughtful in our understandings. Our awareness, our empathy, and our ability to connect with other human beings has grown tremendously over the centuries. This gift is continually growing and changing. 

We will never be able to “go back” and change the terrible tragedies which have happened in our history. They are an integral part of our history. They will never, ever be erased. What we can do, though, is re-evaluate whether we want to continue to honor and celebrate those parts of our history and leaders, from that time, which speak of subjugation and annihilation. Or not. This does nothing to erase history. We cannot erase history. Nothing we do will erase our history. 

At this time, we can acknowledge that many of us see other human beings very differently and honor that which we know is important. Removing the statue is the best path for Sitka. We can decide that the Baranof statue should be placed somewhere else (a museum?) to tell that piece of our history in a more comprehensive way. 

We encourage all Sitkans to choose a way to celebrate what is important to ALL of us … a story that includes, honors, and celebrates the richness of culture and diversity, not subjugation of one culture over another.  

Toby and Norm Campbell, Sitka


SUD Survey

Dear Editor: According to the National Institute of Health, one in 10 adults will develop a substance use disorder at some point throughout their lifetime. SUDs are associated with an increased risk for depression (1.3 times), post-traumatic stress disorder (1.6 times) and borderline personality disorder (1.8 times). The likelihood for developing a substance use disorder increases with early age of initiation.

Here in Sitka, we’ve seen an increase in youth alcohol, marijuana and e-cigarette use over the past few years, with nearly 38% of high school respondents reporting alcohol use within the past 30 days in 2017.

The HOPE (Healing our People and Environment) Coalition, understands that prevention education and resources can help foster greater well-being for our youths and community as a whole. The success of our efforts is closely tied to the readiness of the community. Positive change is most likely to occur when our efforts target areas that the community acknowledges as problems and are motivated to change. Therefore, in order for us to gain a better understanding of where to direct our prevention efforts, it is imperative for us to assess where we are as a community in addressing substance misuse.  

To assist us with this mission, Sitka Counseling-HOPE Coalition invites and encourages any and all Sitka residents, 18 years and older, to complete our short, 20-question Community Readiness Survey. Visit our website at and click on the link located on our homepage to be redirected to our survey. The timeframe for taking the survey is very short, so please take it at your earliest convenience. All participants will be entered in a drawing to win one of four $50 gift cards from Sea Mart or AC Lakeside.

If you have any questions, feel free to call Loyd Platson at 747-3636.

Your participation can help us make Sitka a healthier place. Sitka Counseling and the HOPE Coalition thank you for helping us promote wellness in our community.

Missy Mongiovi, Sitka Counseling



Dear Editor: Members of my family tree fought and died along with Abraham Lincoln and hundreds of thousands of other Republicans who fought a war against a neighboring country (Confederate States of America-CSA) to free Black people from slavery.

Slavery was illegal in every northern state before the Democrats in the south broke off and formed their own rogue nation (CSA) so it seems strange now that after hundreds of thousands of white people from these slave free states died in a war to free Black people from slavery I see Black people today standing with the same Democratic party that demanded they remain slaves protesting, looting, and burning in northern states demanding repatriation and that they apologize for slavery.  

I am proud that my forefathers fought and died to free Black people from slavery so stop trying to shame me because I’m a white Republican. 

Clyde Bright, Sitka



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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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