SUMMER FLING – Erika Youngberg and one-year-old son Axel enjoy the light surf at Sandy Beach Saturday as temperatures climbed to 68 degrees under clear skies. The Youngbergs were among some 100 people sunbathing, splashing and swimming to deeper water before the weather turned to showers as was forecast for Sunday. (Sentinel Photo by Reber Stein)





Jack Griffith, 74, Dies; Was Longtime Sitkan

Jack Griffith

    Longtime Sitka resident Jack Griffith passed away peacefully Sept. 24, 2019, at his daughter’s home in Montana due to complications from dementia and kidney failure. He was 74.
He was born Nov. 17, 1944, the son of Bob and Marge Griffith, in Denver, Colorado, and spent his childhood there.
Jack was a Vietnam War veteran, having been drafted in 1967 into the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in Japan aboard the USS St. Francis River LSMR-525, and served two tours of duty in the South Vietnam Mekong Delta before being honorably discharged.
In 1976, Jack met the love of  his life, Sandy, and together with Sandy’s daughter Tonya they moved to Libby, Montana, where they got married and Jack started his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a cadastral surveyor.
In 1979 they relocated to Sitka, where Jack continued his career with the USFS until retiring in 2000.
He loved everything about Southeast Alaska, and saw more of it than most brown bears!
After retirement, Jack and Sandy decided to build a house in Maui, Hawaii, and spent many years traveling between Alaska and Hawaii. They also traveled the world together and met countless friends along the way.
Jack was a loving husband, terrific father and good friend to many. His smiling eyes, sense of humor and quick wit will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Sandy, of Sitka; and his beloved daughter, Tonya, of Stevensville, Montana.
No services are planned at this time, but his ashes will be laid to rest at Sitka National Cemetery with full military honors. A celebration of the life for this wonderful man will be announced at a later date.

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 6-21-21)

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 12:21 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 13

Total statewide – 68,112

Total (cumulative) deaths – 366

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,602

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. Sunday.

Active cases in Sitka – 4

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 390 (341 resident; 49 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 386

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 5,340 (72%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,967 (67%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 77 percent 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:





June 2001

Sitka police and federal authorities are investigating a report three counterfeit $100 bills were passed at a Sitka jewelry store. “It’s difficult to solve it, if you don’t get a good description of them, especially if they are transient or tourists.” said SPD Lt. John Bocza.

June 1971

Photo caption: David Bruce, 10, caught this 64-pound king salmon Saturday fishing with his grandfather, Philip “Peewee” James near Olga Strait. The big fish was 46 inches long with a girth of 32 inches. David and his grandparents live at Mt. Edgecumbe.