FOOD LINE – A long line of cars on Lincoln Street, which at times stretched to the Harbor Drive intersection, wait to pick up free boxes of food on the SJ campus this morning. Sitka Conservation Society and Sysco Corporation administered the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program today, handing out 12,000 pounds of fresh produce, precooked meats and other items. So many people turned out for the distribution that supplies ran out about an hour before the advertised end. Organizer Chandler O’Connell with SCS said that next week’s distribution will be at a different time and location in order to avoid traffic congestion. Information on time and location will be posted on the Sitka Mutual Aid Facebook page. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

July 8, 2020, Community Happenings

GoFundMe Set Up For

Maytorena Sisters

A GoFundMe account has been  set up for Karen and Michelle Maytorena, sisters who were badly injured watching the Sitka fireworks on July 3. As of this morning, $8,975 had been donated to the account.

Karen was medevacked to Seattle for medical treatment.

‘‘At this time, the full extent of the financial impacts of this accident is unknown, but we do know assistance will be needed,’’ organizers of the account said. ‘‘At this time, the best way to help is to donate miles towards their travel or any dollar amount you are able to contribute towards medical expenses.’’

To contribute to the account go to:

To donate Alaska Airlines miles go to: Donors will need to enter the following information: First Name: Michelle; Last Name: Maytorena; Mileage Plan Number: 145749030; Email: marvelous The family asks individuals not to email to this address for any other matter.




Local Author Explores New

Direction in Mystery Series

“What is Time to a Pig?” a Cold Storage Novel, by John Straley. (Soho Crime, 264 pages, hardcover.

If Sitka was a fictional town, it would need a town author, and that author would need to be John Straley. He is so local and taken for granted that he, and his main character Cecil Younger, are now part of the local ecosystem, mostly terrestrial, sometimes not. We’ve become accustomed to Cecil Younger novels in which thinly veiled locals stumble along Katlian Street after the bars close, all in the familiar November rain.

In 2008 with his masterful “The Big Both Ways,” John Straley took his writing in a whole new direction, through Depression-era history and to the fictional town of Cold Storage, a place loosely reminiscent of Pelican, Tenakee, and Hoonah. Cold Storage is where John Straley located his new novels, post Cecil Younger. “What is Time to a Pig?” is the third in this “Cold Storage” series, and it’s a big, bold, new departure. 

Here Straley writes a true mystery yarn but also explores the limits of the genre. He wanders into Michael Chabon territory with a bit of alt-historical chaos, takes a detour to the edge of dystopian sci-fi, and goes right back to a realism that is more real than the grittiest of noir writing. Now it’s not just the cliché dive bar but intimate vignettes that highlight the essential humanity of the characters.

We briefly contemplate the universe through the eyes of the gaunt elderly man who wets his diaper, and of the woman who cleans him up before her shift is over. We get a feel for the traumas of detention. We experience the strange way that evening hangs around through sunrise on a casino floor. Then Straley brings us back to the fantastical again, to a maximum-security prison on the edge of Southeast Alaska. A revival cult, a repressive government, and foreign agents all converge on Yacobi Island as they search for a lost thermonuclear weapon. The characters all think they are deadly serious, and they are deadly indeed, but their deadliness is that of a Marx Brothers syndicate intent on recreating a Quentin Tarantino movie in the fog. As in all Straley novels, a raven performs his antics just offstage – perhaps he is the only one who knows the answer to the title / joke / Zen riddle: “What is Time to a Pig?”

“What is Time to a Pig?” is a fitting book for these stranger-than-fiction times. Enjoy the poetry. Ride along with the plot. Laugh and cry. Turn the page. Do it again.


–Paul Norwood, Sitka


Climate Meeting

Set for July 11

Sitka Citizens Climate Lobby will meet virtually on Zoom 9 a.m. Saturday, July 11. 

The national meeting speaker is Dr. Renee Lertzman, an environmental psychologist who will talk about climate stress and creating a powerful approach to engagement and social change for climate solutions. 

The local Sitka meeting starts at 9:45 a.m. To get directions to both Zoom meetings, email by Friday evening.

The agenda includes June lobbying experience, planning for leader endorsements of the Energy Innovation  and Carbon Dividend Act, other bipartisan climate legislation in both Senate and House, and racial injustice.

All can participate and find out what to do during social distancing about global warming. 


Emblem Club

Officers to Meet

Sitka Emblem Club 142 invites officers to meet 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9, via Zoom.

Officers should check their email for the Zoom meeting link.

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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 10-27-20)

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 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 378

Total statewide – 13,742

Total (cumulative) deaths – 70

Active cases in Sitka – 13 (10 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 62 (49 resident; 13 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 400.

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. 




October 2000

Photo caption: Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 4 cookbook committee members Helena Wolff, Marta Ryman, Jean Frank and Margaret Gross-Hope stand behind a shipment of cookbooks, “Best Ever Recipes.” Proceeds from sales will go to the ANS and ANB scholarship funds.

October 1970

Alaska Day weather was cold – in the 30s and 40s – but spirits were high. ... At the Baranof Ball Mr. and Mrs. Pete Karras won first prize in Native costumes. Period costume winners  were Mr. and Mrs.  Bob Marlow, Suzie French and Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Korthals. Jim Johnson, Alaska Airlines, presented the trip prize to Mr. and Mrs. Lewie Rucka.