2020 TOURIST SEASON – The 285-foot super yacht Lonian is tied up at the Old Sitka Dock Friday while its support vessel, the 217-foot Hoder equipped with a helicopter and ROV, is seen anchored in the distance. The 14-passender Lonian, which was launched in 2019, is owned by billionaire Lorenzo Fertitta, former owner of UFC. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

July 8, 2020, Letters to the Editor

Essential Workers

Dear Editor: In times like these it is important to be grateful to individuals who are putting themselves out there for our community so I would like to say gunalcheesh to our essential workers!

But who are our essential workers? Here’s my list: 1. Sitka Sentinel Team, thank you for reporting daily spread of the coronavirus along with all the other important news of the day. Thank you for immediately making your paper free to everyone!! Thank you for getting it out every day and delivered to collection spots all over Sitka! You have gone over and beyond what would be expected for a small town newspaper. It is a wonderful gift to our community. I am renewing my subscription because frankly, I don’t know how you are managing to keep all your Sitka Sentinel family paid!

2. Healthcare workers, thank you for standing out in the cold testing people who drive up to provide minimal exposure to everyone. Thank you for testing yourselves regularly to keep us safe. Thank you for the safeguards you have built around our elders from the very beginning to keep them safe. Thank you for the caretakers who go in out and are minimizing their movements in town to protect the elders. This takes great commitment to our community.

3. Thank you to our police force, firemen and first responders. You are the backbone of our effort. Your encouragement and support means everything.

4. Thank you to our grocery stores, gas station workers, who have kept the food and fuel available and safe for us to access. We appreciate you requiring mask-wearing AND wearing a mask yourselves so that our families working so hard to provide this service stay safe and so do we.

5. Thank you to Raven Radio! During this pandemic and protest, Raven Radio has been the consistent voice that keeps us informed about local, state and national news. But their gifts of music soothes our troubled soul. Hearing our friends volunteer our favorite shows has made us appreciate all that y’all do to support our community. I listen to you everyday! Thank you so much for being there.

6. Thank you to the folks who run our city and our Sitka Assembly members. We are so thankful that we have honest, hardworking people who ramped up their support and think creatively and listen to citizens. I am grateful every day that somehow we found John Leach, because during this pandemic his military experience and quick thinking have been so valuable to our city. He has the ability to look at the big picture, be decisive while listening and learning along with all of us. His honesty and awareness of the facts makes him a great leader during this time!

7. Thank you to our commercial fishermen and fisherwomen and fish processors. You have managed, in the worst conditions, to figure out a way to safely secure our local food supply at a time when serious threats to the national food supply hovered over our nation. We appreciate how you have worked with our healthcare workers to keep us safe. Along with the fishermen and women we have to thank the hatchery workers and especially Sitka Sound Science Center that has managed to continue the crucial research on climate change effects on our food supply that is so vital for our dependence on our marine ecosystem into the future. 

8. Gunalcheesh to our Sitka teachers and administrators who took immediate measures to protect our children and still provide them with educational opportunities. They were forced to provide some educational order in an extreme situation. Their preparedness for digital support that had not been dreamed of was greatly appreciated. They continue to be innovative and creative to meet the educational challenges as I write this. 

9. Gunalcheesh United States Coast Guard! No matter what, your protection and devotion to our safety has been our port in a storm! Thanks to your families who support all your efforts!

Lastly, but not least, thank you to essential workers cannot be complete without thanking the support of folks in Sitka who stayed home, restricted movement, put in an effort every day to reduce the spread and are still doing so by WEARING MASKS. Aren’t we all essential workers in this effort. I dream when this is over we can have a great “essential workers” celebration! We are truly in this together. We can do this!


Patricia Dick, Sitka

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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 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 8-10-20)

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 1;45 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 69

Total statewide – 3,775

Total (cumulative) deaths – 26

Active cases in Sitka – 21 (15 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 16 (12 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 154.

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

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




August 2000

Bring your wand if you’re coming, leave your disbelief at the door (no Muggles allowed), because room 220 at Blatchley is a place where the decorations, outfits and conversations are all very, very Harry Potter. “If you want to levitate, go ahead,” said Lacy Simons addressing the young wizards of the Harry Potter Reading and Writing Club. Simons, a VISTA volunteer, formed the club ....

August 1970

Photo caption: Youngsters who participated in the summer reading program at Kettleson Memorial Library include, from left, Lari Cook, Nancy Erickson, Yumiko Hayashi, Kyoko Ikenoue, Lu Ann Beidel, Tiffany Rose, Jessica Roth, Gwendolyn Roth, Rhonda Audette, Heather Owen, Susan Kohler, Glenn Oen, David Oen, Eric Oen, Stephen Weddell, Robert Weddell, Randy Turner, Takahiko Hosei, Douglas Henie, Lance Robards and Timothy Von Clasen.