October 11, 2019, Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor: For those who voted on Oct. 1, thank you.

For those who did not vote, please get out and vote next municipal election.

Ben Miyasato, Sitka


In Response

Dear Editor: I am responding to Nancy Yaw Davis’ letter in Tuesday’s Sentinel.

She was asking who are the ones on the Health Advisory Council; and what are their qualifications?

I am a retired medical technologist with more than 30 years of medical experience in hospitals and clinics.

I have trained at the largest research center in the world for communicable diseases at the Center for Disease Control in Emory, near Atlanta. I have diagnosed diphtheria, TB, meningitis and other medical afflictions.

My last medical experience was with the Center for Disease Control in Anchorage. I served six years on the Sitka Community Hospital Board.

I have also received a diploma in X-ray.

It is a privilege to be sitting on the Health Advisory Council with Drs. Richard Wein and David Lam.

Mary Ann Hall, Sitka


Thanks, Sitka Rotary

Dear Editor: The Sitka Babies and Books Board would like to thank the Sitka Rotary board and members for their most recent annual contribution to our non-profit organization. The Sitka Rotary Club has been a strong supporter of Sitka Babies and Books for the past 28 years! Rotary’s continuing commitment to our program helps us continue our mission to support literacy by offering books, programs and education to the families of Sitka’s young children.

Sitka Babies and Books

Board Members



Dear Editor: I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had with a fellow Sitkan last Oct. 18 during the Alaska Day parade. We were discussing the reenactment that happens at the top of Castle Hill, and the mourning ceremony that has been happening at the bottom of the hill the last several years. One of his arguments for why the reenactment ceremony is important was the old saying that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. I had a simple response; those that repeat history are doomed to repeat that same history.

The transfer ceremony is a reenactment of a crime, the defrauding of generations of Alaska Natives, and a colonial debt that was not erased with ANCSA, but that needs our continued reconciliation. That much is clear. The Russians never owned Alaska. The Americans bought a lie. The kindest thing you could say is that the U.S. bought Alaska without a clear title. We as settlers, including myself, still haven’t addressed the trauma and inequity caused by the colonization of Alaska. But if we want to learn from our history there are valuable lessons to be found. 

What the state plaques call Castle Hill is named in Tlingit “Noow Tlein”, which is where the original Kiksadi clan houses were located. After the Battle of 1804, Lord Baranof burned them down and built his “castle” there, and Russia transferred the rights to colonize Alaska to America on that same site. When Baranof’s Castle eventually burnt down, the state had to decide what to do with the land. Instead of returning Noow Tlein to its rightful Kiksadi owners, the state paved it over with concrete, put a couple of symbolic cannons down to remind everyone how colonization works, and now sanctions a reenactment of the theft of Alaska atop the ashes of those same clan houses. Is this the history Sitka wants to choose to repeat over and over again? Because as long as we reenact trauma, we’ll be doomed to repeat it.

We are not alone in trying to figure out how to reconcile the past rather than continue to reenact it. Both New Zealand and Canada have launched national reconciliation processes with different levels of success. Look them up and learn about them. The important thing about reconciliation is that it is a process. It’s not a box that we check but a journey that we go on. Tlingit Aani has been under American rule for 150 years, and it may well take generations of reconciliation to unwind generations of trauma. The exciting thing about reconciliation to me is that it allows us to recreate a new vision for what the future could look like. Why would we want to keep reenacting the same crimes and traumas for another 150 years? 

Sitka is a creative and passionate community, surely we could come up with something better, something the heals rather the reenacts trauma, something that expands our future possibilities rather than repeats our past mistakes. I encourage all Sitkans to think about it, and to listen to the perspectives of your Tlingit and Alaska Native neighbors with an open heart. Together we can do better.

Matthew Jackson, Sitka


Blood Drive

Dear Editor: Thank you to Sitka for hosting a blood drive with the Blood Bank of Alaska. The blood drives are being held on Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Centennial Hall Meeting Room #1. 

To schedule an appointment, please call the Blood Bank of Alaska (907)222-5630 or schedule online at bloodbankofalaska.org. About 2% of Alaska’s population are donating blood. There is no substitute for human blood and that is why your participation will be a huge help on maintaining a heathy blood supply. One blood donation can save three lives. We are inviting you to join us and encourage everyone to be a hero and help the Blood Bank of Alaska’s mission to save lives.

Here are some of the eligibility requirements to donate blood:

–Must be healthy and feeling well and at least 16 years of age. Those 16- and 17-year-old donors will need a signed parental consent form which can be downloaded at our website www.bloodbankofalaska.org.

–Donors over the age of 74 must bring a written approval from their physician.

–Donors over the age of 80 must bring a written approval from physician and approval from our medical director.

–Weigh at least 113 pounds.

–Photo identification (state ID, driver’s license, military ID, etc.)

For questions about medical conditions, medications, tattoos, piercings, and out-of-the-country travels, feel free to call (907)222-5630 and a screener will be able to check your eligibility.

Here are some tips to have a successful donation:

–Bring a photo idenfication.

–Bring required forms on the day of donation (parent consent form for 16- to 17-year-old donors and written approval of the physician for donors over the age of 74.

–Eat a complete meal before the donation.

–Drink plenty of fluids days prior and the day of donation.

–Schedule an appointment. Donors with appointments have priority over walk-in donors.

The blood donation process takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. This includes registration, medical history questionnaire, and mini-physical (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, hematocrit, etc.). After passing all the requirements to donate, then the blood draw will take place. After the blood donation, you are advised to stay for about 10-15 minutes to have snacks and drinks before leaving to avoid negative reactions. You are also advised to not perform any strenuous activities for the next 24 hours, not smoke for at least half an hour, avoid alcoholic beverages for the next couple hours, hydrate well, and avoid skipping any meals.

For those who are unable to donate blood, we encourage you to help with providing snacks and drinks to those who donated blood. We do appreciate all your help.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to call the Blood Bank of Alaska at (907) 222-5630.


Blood Bank of Alaska

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At a Glance

(updated 3-14-2023)

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 12:15 pm Tuesday, March 14.

New cases as of Tuesday: 448

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 294,791

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,449

Case Rate per 100,000 – 61.60

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 46.90

Cases in last 7 days – 4

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,293

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






March 2003

Photo caption: Members of the newly formed Sitka Retail in Action Board have formed to promote  local businesses. The first event will be a street fair, “Spring Fever.” From left are Teri Egan, Kay McCarty,  Raphaelle Grangeon-Peters, Cathy Hanson, Bonnie Brenner, Joyce  Robertson and Tammy Thom.



March 1973

By calling Zenith 6000, Southeast Alaska residents now are able to contact Western Airlines reservations without charge to book flights anywhere in Western’s system. The service will continue until such time as the court case involving Southeast Alaska air service is settled.