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)





John Abeyta, Sr.

Services were held today for John Manuel Abeyta Sr., a longtime Sitka resident.
The services were held at 11 a.m. at the Salvation Army church, followed by graveside services at Sitka Memorial Park, and a reception at the Salvation Army.
John died Feb. 10, at SEARHC-Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, surrounded by his family and friends.
John Manuel Abeyta Sr. was born  to John and Frances Pacheco-Abeyta on Oct. 8, 1936, in Las Vegas, N.M. In lieu of his diploma, John had worked to earn his GED.
John retired as a substance abuse counselor for Aurora’s Watch.
John married Justina Mae Paul on Feb. 23, 1970, in California. They resided in numerous places, but chose to raise their three children in Sitka.
John had a heart of gold. He was always there for his family, and always had encouragement for his children and grandchildren.
“He had an awesome sense of humor with a quick wit that always kept you on your toes,” his family said.
John had many pastimes, but watching the Denver Broncos was his all-time favorite. Fishing with his wife Tina, and watching his son and grandsons play baseball, were other favorites.
He also spent time in fellowship at The Fortress of The Bear, and later became a lifetime member.
In his golden years, along with Tina, John would often enjoy his time playing bingo or taking short vacations in Las Vegas, Nev.
John was preceded in death by his parents John and Frances Pacheco-Abeyta; brother Robert Joseph Abeyta Sr.; his daughter Jacklyn Abeyta; and nephew Allan Simpson.
John is survived by his loving wife, Justina Abeyta; and his children John (Leadia) Abeyta Jr., Jeanette Abeyta and Oscar Avalos, all of Reseda, Calif.;  and Maryann Nells, Frances (Adam) Baratki and Frank Abeyta, all of Sitka.
His grandchildren are John III, Phillip, and Victor Abeyta, of Reseda; Brandon and Winona Nells, Robert and Anthony Brown, all of Sitka; Linda ‘NiNi’ of Denver, Colo.; Michelle of Reseda; Amelia Abeyta and Joey Abeyta of Sitka; Monica and Valerie Avalos of Reseda; and Patrick and Jackie Lucero of Denver.
Also surviving are great-grandchildren Jayln Leonard of Sitka and many others; his sister Margaret (Wally) Watson of Pueblo, Colo; nephews Buddy, Gary and Jeff Watson of Sitka and Joseph Abeyta Jr. of Denver; nieces Glendora Sanchez of North Dakota and Myrna Robb, Annette Johnson and Ginny Watson, all of Denver; and many other nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
The family suggests memorial donations be made to Fortress of the Bear or the Salvation Army.

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.