SMILE! – The Pacific High School graduating class poses outside Harrigan Centennial Hall Saturday afternoon prior to their commencement ceremony. Because of COVID-19 concerns the ceremony was not open to the public. Pictured are Eric Alvarado,Chelsea Taylor, Madison Roy-Mercer, Lindsey Bartolaba, Melissa Gibson, Douglas Johnson, Korbin Tugmon, George Stevenson, Jayvan Iya-Kowchee and Elizabeth Newell. Sitka High School will hold its graduation ceremony Monday, May 24. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Chamber Honors Community Supporters

By Sentinel Staff

Sitka Chamber of Commerce presented service awards to state Sen. Bert Stedman and Baranof Realty and, in a surprise move, honored a group of “Community Heroes” at its annual banquet Saturday night.


Past Cossack Cap recipient Jeff Budd, left, stands with Sen. Bert Stedman, after Stedman received this year’s award. (Photo by Tim Shobe) 

The heroes were the responders to the Kramer Avenue landslide last August in which three men lost their lives.

Keith Perkins, who presented the award, said the Chamber wanted to “honor the rescue efforts, and the rescuers,” and described the intensive search and recovery efforts by scores of volunteer and professional responders.

The banquet audience stood and applauded while Fire Chief Dave Miller and several other firefighters and volunteers came forward to accept the award, and continued to stand while Miller spoke briefly.

Stedman, who has represented Sitka in the Senate since 2003, received the Chamber’s Cossack Cap award, and was cited for his “unselfish and extraordinary public service to the citizens of Sitka.”

Stedman has served as co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee and currently is chair of the Health and Social Services Committee. He is a member of the Education Committee and the Labor and Commerce Committee. He was thanked for his work getting funding for such Sitka projects as the Performing Arts Center, the Sitka Library expansion, road upgrades and the Moller Park ballfield.

Last year’s winner, Jeff Budd, presented Stedman with the Cossack Cap.

Travis Vaughan, real estate agent and property manager, collected the Business of the Year Award for Baranof Realty.


Baranof Realty owner Travis Vaughan, left, receives the Business of the Year Award from last year’s recipient Silver Bay Seafoods CEO Rich Riggs.  Riggs is also Chamber Board President. (Photo by Tim Shobe)

Now in its 30th year as a Sitka business, Baranof Realty supports Chamber activities, collaborating in the holiday lights contest, facilitating new businesses, helping develop a youth flag football league and marketing Sitka at a trade show.

Rich Riggs, CEO of Silver Bay Seafoods which received the award last year, made the presentation to Vaughan.


Keith Perkins, left, and Chamber of Commerce board member Ptarmica McConnell, right,  present Sitka Fire Department Chief Dave Miller with the Community Heroes Award.  (Photo by Tim Shobe)

The banquet, with a Brazilian Carnival theme, was held at the Alaska Raptor Center.


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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 5-17-21)

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 12:45 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 50

Total statewide – 66,814

Total (cumulative) deaths – 358

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,542

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. Friday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 372 (325 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 364

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 4,978 (71.64%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,612 (66.37%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,245 (84.24%) 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:





May 2001

Sitka High boys track team ran to a 2nd-place finish in Juneau while the girls finished fourth. Sitka long-jumper Derek Hirai leapt 19’9.5” for the 2nd highest jump in the state this year. ... Others doing well were Thor Hartwig, Matt Mangini, Damien LaMar, Jeff Loiselle, Logan Wild, Elgin Hollins, Brian Friske, Brian Mork, Mike Bagley, Cody Campbell ....

May 1971

New Loyal Order of Moose officers, installed Saturday, are Earl Arnold, Grant Laiblin Jr., James Gardner, William Wakefield Jr., Eddielee Hodnett, Basil Riley, Lloyd Van Doren, James Firestone Sr. and Lynden Kincaid.