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)

Filing Date Nears For City Election

Sentinel Staff Writer

The filing period for candidates in the Oct. 6 municipal election will open next Monday.

The voters will elect a mayor, two Assembly members and two School Board members.

The filing period is July 20 through 5 p.m. Friday, August 7. Information packets for candidates will be available at the city clerk’s office at City Hall starting July 20, City Clerk Sara Peterson said.

Assembly members whose terms are expiring are Richard Wein, Steven Eisenbeisz and Mayor Gary Paxton.

The election will fill the seats on the School Board now held by appointees Andrew Hames and Blossom Twitchell. The two were appointed to replace Dionne Brady-Howard and Elias Erickson, who resigned from the board, and whose terms were ending this year.

Those filing for mayor and Assembly must have been a resident for a year before the election, and submit signatures of 25 registered Sitka voters. The residency required for the School Board is 30 days prior to the election, and 25 signatures of registered voters also are needed.

Paxton said he believes he will seek another two-year term as mayor. He is a former Sitka city administrator.

“First of all, presumptuously I think it’s a bad time to change leadership,” he said. “I know the details of issues, from the haulout to CARES to the budget.”

Paxton said he also has a good relationship with U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and state Sen. Bert Stedman.

“I also have a good relationship with city staff at a time when they are challenged with shortages,” he said. “I also think I still have enough energy and wit to help out.”

Wein said he is still considering seeking re-election to the Assembly but has ruled out another run for state House.

Eisenbeisz, who has served two consecutive terms on the Assembly, was not available today.

Andrew Hames said he hasn’t decided whether he will run for election to a full term on the School Board. Twitchell said she plans to run for a three-year term this October.

“The current board has been welcoming, and I have a strong belief that they have a great foundation,” Twitchell said today. “I’m happy to be part of the team.”

The deadline has passed for citizen-initiated ballot questions, but the Assembly has until July 28 to put issues on the ballot, Peterson said. At Tuesday’s regular meeting the Assembly will consider an ordinance to place an advisory question on the ballot relating to the Baranof statue.

Peterson said it’s too early to gauge the interest in this year’s city election, but she has received some queries from residents interested in running.


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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.