CHEER SECTION – Sitka High and Mt. Edgecumbe High School cheerleaders react to a successful free throw Tuesday night at Sitka High during the cross-town boys basketball game. Edgecumbe boys and girls teams each won their games against Sitka High. Stories on the hard-fought games are on page 4 of today’s Sentinel. The region tournament takes place in Sitka in mid-March. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Lady Braves Overcome Wolves in Nailbiter
21 Feb 2024 13:23

Sentinel Sports Editor
    In a closely-fought basketball game that came down to [ ... ]

Edgecumbe Rallies in Fourth, Takes Rivalry Win
21 Feb 2024 13:20

Sentinel Sports Editor
   With only minutes to spare after trailing for most of t [ ... ]

USDA Commits to Buy Lots of Alaska Seafood
21 Feb 2024 13:15

Alaska Beacon
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture will purchase about 50 million [ ... ]

Alaska Charter School Analysis Under Study
21 Feb 2024 13:14

Alaska Beacon
    When Alaska’s charter schools topped the nation in an analys [ ... ]

February 21, 2024, Police Blotter
21 Feb 2024 12:59

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
February 20
At 8:59 a.m. a vehicle was repo [ ... ]

February 21, 2024, Community Happenings
21 Feb 2024 12:56

Emblem Club
Meets Thursday
Sitka Emblem Club 142 will hold a social meeting 7 p.m. Thursday at the Sit [ ... ]

Nonprofits Promote Cost-Saving Home Heating
20 Feb 2024 15:10

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Technical assistance and financial aid are available t [ ... ]

City League Volleyball Continues
20 Feb 2024 15:07

By Sentinel Staff
    Playing Sunday in City League volleyball’s competitive division, Ludvig’ [ ... ]

Lawmakers Studying Carbon Capture Act
20 Feb 2024 15:06

Alaska Beacon
    Alaska legislators are considering a bill proposed by Gov. Mi [ ... ]

Alaska's Top Doctor Leaving Job in April
20 Feb 2024 15:01

Alaska Beacon
    Dr. Anne Zink, who gained prominence during Alaska’s respo [ ... ]

PFD Corp. OKs Plan To Borrow $4 Billion
20 Feb 2024 15:00

Alaska Beacon
The leaders of the $76 billion Alaska Permanent Fund voted unanimously o [ ... ]

PFD Board Warns: Fund In Need of Repair
20 Feb 2024 14:59

Alaska Beacon
    The board in charge of the Alaska Permanent Fund is amplifying it [ ... ]

February 20, 2024, Police Blotter
20 Feb 2024 13:53

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
February 17
At 9:23 a.m. DOT traffic cones  [ ... ]

February 20, 2024, Community Happenings
20 Feb 2024 13:50

Service Sunday
For Sandi Hicks
The family of Sandra Hicks invites all to join them in a celebration of [ ... ]

State Park, Sitka Trail Repairs in Storms’ Wake
16 Feb 2024 14:55

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Damage from trees that fell on the caretaker’s cabin [ ... ]

Sitka's Concerns Told to Cruise Line Chiefs
16 Feb 2024 14:52

Sentinel Staff Writer
    City Administrator John Leach and Mayor Steven Eisenb [ ... ]

Lady Braves Honor Seniors, Beat Malamutes
16 Feb 2024 14:50

Sentinel Sports Editor
    In their second match-up this week against the Lathro [ ... ]

City League Brief
16 Feb 2024 14:47

By Sentinel Staff
    In City League volleyball competition Thursday night at the Blatchley gymnas [ ... ]

Murkowski Sees Hope On Alaska’s Horizon
16 Feb 2024 14:46

Alaska Beacon
    Alaska is behind the rest of the country on housing, education an [ ... ]

Alaska May Lose Funds For Homeless Students
16 Feb 2024 14:44

Alaska Beacon
    More than 3,000 students are known to be experiencing homeless [ ... ]

February 16, 2024, Community Happenings
16 Feb 2024 14:42

Climate Connection -- Fashion Pollution
Annually, the U.S. produces 17 million tons of textile waste, [ ... ]

February 16, 2024, Police Blotter
16 Feb 2024 14:37

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
February 15
Three vehicles left parked at S [ ... ]

Events to Honor Civil Rights Leader Peratrovich
15 Feb 2024 14:38

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Sitkans will gather Friday to honor the legacy of Eliz [ ... ]

SEARHC Announces Higher Base Pay Rate
15 Feb 2024 14:36

By Sentinel Staff In a news release from Juneau today, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consort [ ... ]

Other Articles

Daily Sitka Sentinel

January 20, 2023, Community Happenings

Climate Connection: Is Increasing Tourism Sustainable?

As our community embarks on a sustainability journey with a new Sustainability Commission and Coordinator, we think about what sustainability means. To some, it may mean preserving our current way of life going forward. To others, it means surviving climate catastrophes and accompanying economic chaos, mass migration, and decreased food production. Others may be more focused on preserving health and equitable wellbeing while lessening consumption and our dependence on fossil fuels as we try to mitigate global temperature increases to protect the earth for future generations. Despite differing views of what sustainability means, we likely agree that we are in unprecedented times of change.

Our community is facing choices with respect to a major economic driver in Sitka – tourism. In the pre-pandemic decade, Sitka had 152,000 average annual cruise ship visitors, with only three years topping 200,000. Citizens voted twice to not develop a public deep-water dock in town for cruise ships. The 2022 cruise ship passengers numbered 383,000 and are estimated at 510,000 or more on 220 ship calls in 2023. On the one hand, increased sales tax and head tax revenues, increased seasonal employment, and income for businesses catering to tourists are advantages. On the other hand, community desirability in 2022 suffered with pedestrian and traffic congestion, telecommunication insufficiency, diesel air pollution, housing shortages, and local access to businesses and recreation. Many see urgency in “right-sizing” cruise ship numbers before our economy is dependent on tourism, with possible replacement of local business by outside commercial entities better able to bid up downtown real estate prices. Three major cruise ship corporations visiting Sitka each lost more than half of their 2018 stock value, with two losing three-quarters or more, despite the return of bookings post-pandemic. With current inflation and recession worries looming, is pinning our community’s future on increasing cruise tourism wise? 

The three pillars of sustainability are economy (profit), society (people), and environment (planet). In Sitka’s situation, money (profit) seems opposed to quality of life (people) and pollution (environment). Pollution stems from tourist land and marine transport and biofouling of hulls from the cruise liners which travel the world before docking in Sitka. Three of the cruise ships visiting Sitka this summer have been denied docking in Australia and New Zealand this winter because of biofouling. Equitable distribution of tourism profit and advantages is far from assured for Sitka residents.  

Unlimited economic growth is not sustainable at a time when we need to strengthen our local circular economy and decrease our community contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The wellbeing of people and planet must be weighed against money interests in our changing world. We can limit tourist numbers downtown and on our waters. In Bar Harbor, Maine, citizens overcame their city assembly’s reluctance to limit tourist numbers in the last election. What do we want for a sustainable Sitka, and how do we best use our voices to get there?

Kay Kreiss, Transition Sitka


Ocean Wave

Quilters Meet

Ocean Wave Quilters will meet 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, at United Methodist Church.

Monthly meetings, September through June, are open to all, members or not. Those wishing to pay the $25 dues receive a monthly newsletter, discounts on classes and other benefits.

For more information call President Sarah Jordan at 907-738-7272.


Open Sewing

Session Feb. 11

Ocean Wave Quilters will sponsor an open sewing session 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at United Methodist Church.

All are invited to attend. Irons, ironing boards, tables and chairs are provided. Lunch is a potluck. For information call Linda Swanson at 907-747-3471.


Service, Meeting

At St. Peter’s

St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church will hold one service, at 10 a.m., on Jan. 22, in person and with a Zoom option.

The annual meeting and a potluck will be held in the See House after the service. All are welcome. For more info,  send an email to or call (907) 747-3977 and leave a message for a call back. The church is located at 611 Lincoln Street, and is open every day to stop in for a time of quiet, prayer and rest.

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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

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 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

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 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






February 2004

Photo caption: White Elephant Shop treasurer Ginny Cushing presents a $1,300 check to Monica Bettis, Sitka Community  Hospital long-term care activities director, and Kathy Inman, long-term care manager at the hospital. The donation is to be used to buy a wide-screen TV for the long-term unit.


February 1974

Photo caption: Gov. William Egan presents trophies to the all-tourney team in the Sitka American Legion Invitational Basketball Tournament. From left are Brad Sele, Klukwan; Gene Short, Ketchikan; David Harnum, Sitka Arrowhead Truckers; Terry Friske, Klukwan; and Jay Levan, Sitka American Legion.


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