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Old 06-26-2011, 02:23 AM
 
34 posts, read 72,562 times
Reputation: 20

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Hey everyone. I am flying to Sitka next month for a job interview with the city. I used to live in Bethel, was there for about 9 months & then I returned to the lower 48 for a bit. Now I'm looking at Sitka (BIG difference) & would like everyones input if they can spare it. I'm familiar with the whole isolation thing, considering Bethel was only accessible by plane. I understand that Sitka is like a tourist spot with the cruise ships coming in during the peak summer months and then if I heard correctly, it would slowly die out for the fall/winter months. But what I'm looking to learn is a few things.

Housing/Apartment prices?

Furniture prices?

Food/shopping prices?

Dining out prices? (& suggestions where to eat)

Crime stats?

Travel around town? (safe to walk around at night)

Overall friendliness of people to newcomers?

How are the local police in their interactions/response with the public?

etc etc. Please feel free to throw out anything that you may feel is helpful & that you wished you'd known but found out afterwards. Somethings I've found online are somewhat old & outdated or not touching on what I'd like to know. So please everyone partake in this. I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:26 AM
 
Location: "Out there" in Alaska.
305 posts, read 548,621 times
Reputation: 481
Check out Sitka Alaska Live Webcam and Welcome to Sitka Alaska and Daily Sitka Sentinel - Home

Housing/Apartment prices?
Rent or purchase, housing is expensive and limited. Plenty of mobile home living, plenty of upscale living, but be prepared to pay for whatyou like.

Furniture prices?
You can buy new and used, consider paying $100 for a garage sale dresser.

Food/shopping prices?
Likely much less expensive than Bethel. It's not so much the price of food, but the quality. Two fine grocery stores to choose from; one I consider the better due to quality of produce, the other is superior in selection and variety.

Dining out prices? (& suggestions where to eat)
Ecclectic, out-of-the way places and dinner restaurants and eateries that fall in the middle. There's some good food in Sitka, and others you learn to avoid.

Crime stats?
Not like the villages, not like the large cities. There is, but it's typical of small towns.

Travel around town? (safe to walk around at night)
It is absolutely safe to walk around town at night. Depending on the neighborhood, I'd watch out for bears and the occasional cranky rooster...

Overall friendliness of people to newcomers?
Folks are friendly. Sitka is one of the friendliest places, but that can be said about most of the communities in this state.

How are the local police in their interactions/response with the public?
THIS IS AN ODD QUESTION. The Public Safety/Trooper Academy is located in Sitka. There's a paid city force with chief and officers, modern jail, new patrols vehicles. As with most law enforcement, if you're a responsible citizen interacting civilly with your fellow, you'll find them helpful. I've been out of there as a resident for at least ten years, but return very frequently and maintain a familiar relationship with the community. There are those who will complain about the ineptness of their local police force, and others who praise their professionalism and community involvement. Sitka's force changes with the time and the community, and responds accordingly.

Beautiful place on a beautiful day. You can walk anywhere, taxi or bus is available. It's THE place to have a boat - kayak, skiff, cruiser - you definitely don't want to be beachbound. There are hundreds of little islands to explore and combe; lots of camping, lots of great hiking. There's community theatre, plenty of volunteer opportunities, cultural offerings with art and craft work, a museum, Summer Music Festival, Fine Arts Camp for young folks, a college, two hospitals, dentists, physicians, movie theater, a brewery, an artisian well, a golf course....you'll lack for little that you need. Juneau is a ferry ride and weekend get-away if you must get your fix of Fred Meyer or Walmart, or government access, skiing, and a very wonderful state library with much to offer. It's a wonderful choice, a beautiful place, and most folks don't regret being there if they have decent employment and don't mind the rain to sunshine ratio.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,905 posts, read 11,690,350 times
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Actually very few cruise ships stop in Sitka. Only a few of the cruise lines offer Sitka as a stop. Mainly because it's a tender only port and the city leaders don't want more ships to stop there.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:57 AM
 
Location: "Out there" in Alaska.
305 posts, read 548,621 times
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Eh....?? Cruise ship schedule is first link at top. Sitka offers much to visitor and resident alike.

Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce (http://www.sitkachamber.com/events.html - broken link)
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:05 AM
 
Location: on top of a mountain
6,992 posts, read 10,381,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tidelines View Post
Eh....?? Cruise ship schedule is first link at top. Sitka offers much to visitor and resident alike.

Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce (http://www.sitkachamber.com/events.html - broken link)
yikes seems to be a lot of cruise ships according to that schedule!
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:44 AM
 
20,419 posts, read 26,539,344 times
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Yes, it looks like a lot of ships....until you take a look at the cruise ship schedules for the other port cities. Stiff is right.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: on top of a mountain
6,992 posts, read 10,381,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Yes, it looks like a lot of ships....until you take a look at the cruise ship schedules for the other port cities. Stiff is right.
wow...had no idea the amount of cruise ships that went into AK ports! interesting.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: "Out there" in Alaska.
305 posts, read 548,621 times
Reputation: 481
Sitka is a lightering port. There's been talk of using the old mill site for a deep water port, but lightering is still going on. It's a small downtown and when 1,000+ pedestrians are disgorged from a single ship onto the docks and sidewalks, the congestion is remarkable. Those days when 2-3 ships are at anchor, downtown is not the place to be if you're a local. Sitka gets its share of tourists and the influx definitely has its impact, regardless of how often the ships call. Swarming ants wouldn't be too far off the mark if one had to describe ship days succinctly.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:00 PM
 
34 posts, read 72,562 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks all for the input.

What about the population? Is it predominantly white, native, mixed? Bethel was about 60% native & the the rest was a mix of others. Do they have a strong native culture there like some parts of the state? i.e. the festivals every year, the dancing, music playing, etc.

While I'm there next month, anyone suggest some places to go to? to NOT go to?

What about shipping stuff in? Say I wanna buy a TV while I'm living there. A big 40+ style LCD. Could I buy it in Ketchikan or Juneau & have it shipped, flown down for a reasonable price? Or does Sitka have a electronic store such as this?
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:13 PM
 
34 posts, read 72,562 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tidelines View Post
How are the local police in their interactions/response with the public?
THIS IS AN ODD QUESTION. The Public Safety/Trooper Academy is located in Sitka. There's a paid city force with chief and officers, modern jail, new patrols vehicles. As with most law enforcement, if you're a responsible citizen interacting civilly with your fellow, you'll find them helpful. I've been out of there as a resident for at least ten years, but return very frequently and maintain a familiar relationship with the community. There are those who will complain about the ineptness of their local police force, and others who praise their professionalism and community involvement. Sitka's force changes with the time and the community, and responds accordingly.
I know it sounds weird & I assure you I'm not a perp or anything. I'm actually an LEO. I just have been to a few places where Cops aren't approached by the general public as they are scene as kinda intimidating & then I've been to other places where I'm walking to my car & people yell out morning ____(my name) from across the street & wave. I wave back of course & yell "hey, what's up?" or something similar to have a little chit chat. So I was just seeing which type of attitude the citizens have towards the cops here in Town.
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