2020 TOURIST SEASON – The 285-foot super yacht Lonian is tied up at the Old Sitka Dock Friday while its support vessel, the 217-foot Hoder equipped with a helicopter and ROV, is seen anchored in the distance. The 14-passender Lonian, which was launched in 2019, is owned by billionaire Lorenzo Fertitta, former owner of UFC. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

July 6, 2020, Letters to the Editor


Stolen Bike

Dear Editor: I would like to give sincere thanks to the Sitka Police Department. They found my son’s stolen bike within a day. I called on the 4th of July to report the missing bike, I did not expect anyone to work on a stolen bike over a holiday weekend. I was reminded that they are here to serve the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s pretty hard to be a police officer these days. I and my family are grateful for their service and want them to know it. 

Thank you, SITKA PD!!

Lindsay Bird, Sitka


Older Car Parade

Dear Editor: I would like to offer a report on the 4th of July older car “parade.”

First, a big thank you to all the Sitka media: KIFW and KCAW Radio stations, Sitka Soup, the Sitka Chamber of Commerce, and the Daily Sitka Sentinel for their wonderful publicizing of the parade and its route.

A vroom-vroom thanks to the 19 cars who joined the car-a-van. It was a treat to see the variety of what comes out of the garages. Thank you, drivers and family members. A really big hip-hip-hooray for all the Sitkans who met us along the route for your cheerful cheering and support; that was really nice of you.

I am not sure about the next note, but I would venture to say that is a Sitka “world record” for the longest parade Sitka has seen. I will look for it in the Guinness Book of Records. Thank you, one and all, for such a nice ride. Cheers.

Jeff Budd, Sitka


Duck Race

Dear Editor: The Rotary Club of Sitka is excited to announce the winners of this year’s sold out annual duck race!

The winners are: first place, ticket 1415, Ron and Leah Kari, Alaska tickets; second, 2759, Highliner Coffee, $500; third, 0557, Alana Bergh, $250; fourth, 2378, Modesto Campilla, $100 cash random duck; fifth, 1041, Kristina Dorsen, $100; sixth, 3139, Matthew and Laurent Corson, $100; seventh, 957, Roger Rogers, $100; eighth, 328, Emilie Koster, $100; ninth, 2432, Cheryl Vastola, $100;10th, 2393, Sitka Pediatric Dentistry, $100; 11th, 772, Robin Sherman, $100; 12th, 3292, Cassady Toles, $100; 13th, 2352, Chris Rigel, $100; 14th, 1412, Ron and Leah Kari, $100; 15th, 2800, Hardik Patel, $100; 16th, 930, Catherine Sofikitis, $100; 17th, 114, Alan Terrano, $100; 18th, 15, Judy Ross, $100; 19th, 4, victoria Castillo, $100; 20th, 2410, Cliff and Gail Schechter, $100; 21st, 3347, Neuro-Behavioral Consultants, $100; 22nd, 169, Catherine Sofikitis, $100; 23rd, 212, Margaret Gomez-Kersey, $100; 24th, 2347, Aaron Bryan, $100; 25th, Kailyn Simmons, $100 Red Lantern duck.

The Rotary Club of Sitka and our Sitka Duck Race had a very successful year due in large part to our community supporters – 987 generous individuals and businesses purchased tickets this year. Thank you all! We would like to express our gratitude to Alaska Airlines for their generous, continuing donation of 2 round-trip tickets almost anywhere they fly, to Sea Mart Quality Foods – this year’s prize sponsor, and First Bank – this year’s ticket sponsor. 

We continued our business sponsor initiative introduced two years ago and grew that part of this year’s race to 80 business sponsors. They were all very generous to our event: Interiorworks & Mudry Construction LLC; Jessie’s Reindeer Redhots; Sitka Checkered Tours; Sitka Studio of Dance; Youth Advocates of Sitka; Stedman Insurance Agency; Waddell & Reed; Wells Fargo Bank; Pioneer Bar; First National Bank of Alaska; Russell’s; Coastal Collision Repair and Towing; Harry Race’s Pharmacy and Photo; Old Harbor Books; The Back Door Café; A Little Something; KCAW- Raven Radio; Beak Restaurant; Dumags Roofing Company; Keith Custom Construction; Sitka Animal Hospital; Munchie Mart; Baranof Realty LLC Sitka Alaska; Tongass Threads Consignment Store; Bare Skin Boudoir; AC Lakeside; Sitka Soup; Precision Boatworks; True Value Sitka; Halibut Point Marine Services; Sea Mountain Golf Course; Foreign Automotive; Sitka Sound Seafoods; Highliner Coffee Co.; Cooper Marine Services; LaBrea Precision LLC; The Sitka Lighthouse; Davis Realty; Napa Auto Parts; Samson Tug & Barge; Haunted Sitka; Sitka Bulk Goods; Sitka Tours; Goldsmith Gallery; Sea Level Consulting; Sitka Gymnastics Academy; Head Quarters; Sitka Bottling Company; Aspen Suites Hotels; Sitka Pediatric Dentistry; Sitka Hotel & Restaurant; Sitka Shredding; Pizza Express; Red Bear Construction LLC; Neurobehavioral Consultants LLC; Alaska Raptor Center; Garden Ventures; Diehl Landscaping; Alaska Seaplanes; The Alaskan Sailing Company LLC; Alaska Computer Center; Jeff Budd Production Company; Sitka Pel’Meni; Northrim Bank; Cook Inlet Dental; Sitka Pregnancy Center; North Star TV Network; Old Tyme Barber Totem Square; Alaska Coach Tours; Sweet Sisters Caramels; Eaton Solar; The Uncommon Music Festival; Buckland Equipment; Laurel Wenkert, CRPC – Financial Advisor at Waddell & Reed; Mary Ann Johnson’s VIP Pampered Chef Group; Rising Tide Bakery; Pacific Services; Stereo North Furniture & Appliance; Element Agency AK; and Jerrod Galinin – Artist.

This year, thanks to the efforts of many and the generosity of our supporters, we sold out our entire flock of 3,500 ducks at 9:32 a.m. June 14, 2020. Look for an additional 500 ducks in 2021!

While we were busy selling ducks for 2020, the proceeds we received from the 2019 Sitka Duck Race were distributed from July 2019 through June 27, 2020. The funds were distributed as follows: $500 to Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum; $800 to the Sitka Cycling Group; $300 to the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust; $370 to the Dictionary Project; $300 to Sitka Babies and Books; $750 to Brave Heart Volunteers; $1,000 to Outer Coast College; $472.50 to Youth Advocates of Sitka; $150 to the Sitka Exchange Student Event; $500 to Veterans for Peace; $750 to Sitka Tribe of Alaska; $1,000 to the Salvation Army-Sitka; $500 to the Alaska Raptor Center; $1,000 to Blatchley Middle School; $1,000 to KCAW Raven Radio; $799.99 to the Sitka Tribe of Alaska; $500 to the Catholic Community Services; $700 to the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce; $889 to Sitkans Against Family Violence; $1,000 to Salvation Army-Sitka; $1,000 to Brave Heart Volunteers; $1,000 to Goddard Hot Springs Annual Maintenance and Repairs; $500 to the Friends of Sitka Circus Arts; $3,227.50 to Youth Advocates of Sitka; $5,000 to Sitka Trail Works, Inc.; and $6,675 to Student Exchange support.

Thank all of you in Sitka and beyond, who through your purchase of Sitka duck tickets continue to allow the Sitka Rotary Club, now celebrating its 79th anniversary, to continue to fund local projects which help make Sitka the most wonderful place in the world! See you next year!

John Weitkamp and 

Cynthia Gibson, Co-Chairs,

Sitka Duck Race Committee,


Sitka Rotary Club

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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 8-10-20)

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 1;45 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 69

Total statewide – 3,775

Total (cumulative) deaths – 26

Active cases in Sitka – 21 (15 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 16 (12 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 154.

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. 




August 2000

Bring your wand if you’re coming, leave your disbelief at the door (no Muggles allowed), because room 220 at Blatchley is a place where the decorations, outfits and conversations are all very, very Harry Potter. “If you want to levitate, go ahead,” said Lacy Simons addressing the young wizards of the Harry Potter Reading and Writing Club. Simons, a VISTA volunteer, formed the club ....

August 1970

Photo caption: Youngsters who participated in the summer reading program at Kettleson Memorial Library include, from left, Lari Cook, Nancy Erickson, Yumiko Hayashi, Kyoko Ikenoue, Lu Ann Beidel, Tiffany Rose, Jessica Roth, Gwendolyn Roth, Rhonda Audette, Heather Owen, Susan Kohler, Glenn Oen, David Oen, Eric Oen, Stephen Weddell, Robert Weddell, Randy Turner, Takahiko Hosei, Douglas Henie, Lance Robards and Timothy Von Clasen.