COLD CASE SOLVED – About 1,500 people turned out on May 12, 1996, for a walk through Sitka National Historical Park in memory of Jessica Baggen. The tragedy raised fears about violence in Sitka, but also revealed the community's capacity for providing sympathy and support, and sticking together in a time of crisis. Police announced today they solved the cold case. (Sentinel File Photo)

The Election

The emergence of a popular TV showman as a viable, though unprincipled, candidate for U.S. president refutes our long-standing belief that democracy as practiced in this country has built-in protections against the election of a demagogue as commander-in-chief.

As it turns out, there are no such protections. By tapping into the deepest fears, insecurities and prejudices harbored by masses of Americans Donald J. Trump stands a chance of becoming president.

We find the alarming part of the situation is that he would not stand a chance of being elected without the assistance of voters who, despite this candidate’s vile utterances and demonstrated unfitness for high office, will fall in line behind him in the name of party solidarity.

The irony is that the party that these voters are defending stands to suffer even greater damage than Donald Trump has already recklessly inflicted during this year’s seemingly endless campaign.

The three members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation, all Republicans, have tacitly recognized this fact and have already bailed on supporting their party’s nominee. Nevertheless, Alaska is forecast as a “red” state in the upcoming election. If borne out in the results, this will do harm, in our opinion, to the image and reputation of a state whose people by and large, we feel, do not support what Donald Trump believes in.

A close examination of the trope about “two equally unpopular and unfit candidates” for president serves to demonstrate the falsity of the comparison.

Donald Trump is damned by his disdain for the rights and dignity of others, demonstrated by his conduct in business as well as by campaign statements that fly in the face of the values that most Americans hold dear.

The unpopularity of Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, can be attributed in large part to an unremitting 30-year campaign of vilification by such well-financed right-wing ideologues as Roger Ailes, and his cable news network that is the antithesis of “fair and balanced.”

We don’t need to compare Hillary Clinton with Donald Trump to reach our own conclusion that she is highly qualified to be president, and has earned her right to be elected. Any personal failings she may have, in our opinion, are insignificant considering the many fine qualities she has demonstrated over years of accomplishments while under the hostile scrutiny of her political enemies.

Other issues in this election:

We’ll give Lisa Murkowski and Don Young a bye, failing any showing that their continued service representing Alaska will cause undue harm to the state.

For Legislature, we point to the dedicated service of Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins the past four years, and his emergence as an influential player in the organization of the House as reasons he should be elected for a third term.

Bert Stedman has no opponent, but deserves our support for his willingness to make the hard judgments that so many of his fellow Republicans are failing to do in the Senate.

There are two Constitutional amendments on the ballot. They are uncontroversial, in our opinion, and both deserve to pass because they will make voting more accessible to more people and will take at least a small step to make college more affordable to more students.






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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 8-11-20)

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 11:25 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 45

Total statewide – 3,821

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 161.

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

Photo caption: Park Ranger Harvey Brandt and Russian Bishop’s House volunteer gardener Donna Grota present a program featuring the house’s garden. The current garden is an historical representation of the first one planted at the house, in 1844. ... Master gardener Kitty LaBounty also took part in the program.

August 1970

Sitka Yesterday, August 1950: Arriving yesterday by plane from Bend, Ore., Fred Baughn will manage the Moose Bowling Alley here. ... To celebrate the 11th birthday of Marina Panamarkoff, a party was given at the home of Mrs. Jack Schaefer. After gifts were presented, Mrs. T. J. Cole took all the guests to the matinee at the show.