HONORED – Crew members pose with Rear Adm. Nathan A. Moore, commander, Coast Guard 17th District, after being presented Air Medals at Air Station Sitka, May 7. The aircrew received medals in recognition of the heroic actions taken to save the life of a fisherman adrift at sea Nov. 1, 2020. The Air Medal is awarded to individuals serving with the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves by heroic or meritorious achievement in aerial flight. Pictured are, from left, Brian McLaughlin, Justin Neal, Jon Orthman, Grant Roberts, Jimmy Schwader and Moore (Photo provided by U.S. Coast Guard)

Former Resident of Sitka Hal Taylor Dies at Age 96

 

Hal Taylor

Family patriarch, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather Hal Taylor passed away from natural causes peacefully in his sleep Aug. 5, 2020, in Silverdale, Washington. He was 96.

Hal was born on Aug. 23, 1923, in Mason City, Iowa, the son of E.G. and Lois (Board) Taylor. A product of the Great Depression, Hal grew up and spent his youth playing football and baseball, until his graduation from Mason City High School.

While growing up in Iowa in the 1930s and 1940s, the idea of living in Alaska was as foreign as being a man on the moon. All that changed on Dec. 7, 1941, when the United States was plunged into a war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After graduation from high school, Hal volunteered for duty in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the 1st Marine Division as a hospital corpsman during some of the most vicious and bloody wartime campaigns in the Marine Corps battle history. These epic struggles included OP STALEMATE II at Peleliu and OP ICEBERG at Okinawa that yielded 12 Medal of Honor recipients and more than 19,000 American casualties, nearly one-third of all U.S. participants.

Following the war, Hal returned to Iowa and quietly resumed civilian life as a brakeman for the Milwaukee Railroad. He also married his high school sweetheart, Mae Jean Severson, on Feb. 18, 1946, destined to start family life in the Midwest farmland until Mae Jean’s brother Curt started working in Sitka on the Cathedral Apartments project. Lured by the irresistible attraction of life in Alaska, Hal brought Mae Jean and their three small children to Sitka in the U.S. Territory of Alaska.

As one of the few heavy equipment operators in Sitka, Hal quickly busied himself on major upgrades to Sitka’s infrastructure including construction on the new Sitka Airport, relocation of Coast Guard housing from Annette Island to Japonski Island, bridge abutments for the O’Connell Bridge, and urban renewal of Sitka’s downtown.

In later years, Hal and Mae Jean started the Sitka Shopper and also did job printing, later to become the House of Printing. They ran this for years out of their 1603 Davidoff Street address.

Hal lived life to the fullest, his perpetual smile, laughter, and sunny disposition always made others feel like part of his extended family. Generous to a fault, Hal regularly helped financially and emotionally prop up folks down on their luck due to illness, bad fortune, or unforeseen family emergencies.

Hal was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Mae Jean Taylor who died Feb. 18, 2008.

Surviving family members include three children, Craig Taylor and Sylvia (Theno) Taylor of Oregon City, Oregon, Sammy Lou Swaim of Sultan, Washington, and Ned Taylor and Judy (Strid) Taylor of Seabeck, Washington; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

 

 

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:

 

On March 30, 2020, 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 5-11-21)

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. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 58

Total statewide – 66,407

Total (cumulative) deaths – 345

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,519

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Active cases in Sitka – 6

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 369 (323 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 362

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

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Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Tuesday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 4,894 (70.43%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,502 (64.79%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,243 (84.1%) of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at: https://bit.ly/3apStpb

 

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20 YEARS AGO
May 2001

Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking volunteers to staff its information desks. Those interested in meeting thousands of visitors from all over the world are invited to contact Sandy or Michelle at SCVB.

50 YEARS AGO
May 1971

Sitka Police: Lorna Ann Sollars was cited for passing a stop sign. Gary Kuhnle was cited for passing a stop sign. Thomas Allen Sanford was cited for having an out-of-state license for more than 90 days.

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