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)

Hoonah Seeks to Form New Southeast Borough

    JUNEAU (AP) — An Alaska city wants to legally join an area of land to form what would be the biggest borough in the southeast region of the state, officials said.
    The city of Hoonah filed a petition earlier this month for a technical review by the Local Boundary Commission of its proposed Xunaa Borough, The Juneau Empire reported Tuesday.
    The community of about 800 residents located 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of Juneau wants to join an area of more than 35,000 square miles (90,650 square kilometers).
    “We’re reasserting our territorial claim to the Icy Strait area,” said Hoonah City Administrator Dennis Gray Jr.
    The Xunaa Borough would include Icy Strait, Glacier Bay, a portion of the Chatham Strait, parts of Chichagof Island, and Excursion Inlet. The boundaries also include portions of the Haines and Sitka boroughs.
    The proposed borough excludes the cities of Gustavus, Tenakee Springs and Pelican. The exclusion is due to unsuccessful attempts to create new boroughs in 1999 and 2007 involving other cities, Gray said.
    “With our borough boundary drawn the way it is, they can join at a later date if they want to, or join someone else if they want to,” Gray said.
    Hoonah is pursuing a borough to capture more revenue for its school district, Gray said.
    “We believe based on our forecast it would be about $900,000 extra for the school district,” he said, noting that the current budget is about $3.3 million.
    Haines and Sitka officials said they were aware of the proposal but did not comment in more detail.



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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