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)

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.



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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