FOOD LINE – A long line of cars on Lincoln Street, which at times stretched to the Harbor Drive intersection, wait to pick up free boxes of food on the SJ campus this morning. Sitka Conservation Society and Sysco Corporation administered the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program today, handing out 12,000 pounds of fresh produce, precooked meats and other items. So many people turned out for the distribution that supplies ran out about an hour before the advertised end. Organizer Chandler O’Connell with SCS said that next week’s distribution will be at a different time and location in order to avoid traffic congestion. Information on time and location will be posted on the Sitka Mutual Aid Facebook page. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

UA Regents Delay Downsizing Decision

Associated Press
    ANCHORAGE (AP) — The University of Alaska Board of Regents on Monday postponed a decision that would have allowed administrators to bypass usual procedures for cutting programs and personnel.
    Regents face a 41% cut in state funding for the university but delayed declaring a “financial exigency” that would allowed rapid downsizing through expedited layoffs of tenured staff.
    “I think the board wanted to give the political process a little more time, and that makes sense,” university President Jim Johnsen said in a phone interview afterward.
    The board will hold an informational meeting next week and will gather again July 30 for a formal consideration of the declaration.
    Gov. Mike Dunleavy last month used line-item vetoes to eliminate $130 million in state funding from the university budget. University administrators say the impact will be greater because fewer students will enroll and pay tuition and researchers will lose grants and contract work with federal agencies.
    Lawmakers failed to reach the three-quarter majority threshold last week to override the vetoes. About one-third of the legislature, including most members of the House minority and a handful of senators, stayed away from the Capitol in a dispute about where a special legislative session called by Dunleavy should have been held.
    Republican Sen. Click Bishop, near tears and with his voice cracking, apologized to regents, who face major institutional decisions and minimal time to make them.
    “I want to say I’m sorry,” Bishop said. “This should never have happened.”
    The House Finance Committee met Monday morning in Anchorage to consider the size of dividends to be paid out from the Alaska Permanent Fund and adopted a bill that would restore money that Dunleavy vetoed. That measure also could be vetoed, but Bishop pledged to find additional support among his colleagues.
    “I’m not done, and we’re going to turn this around,” he said.
    Johnsen said he has been in contact with Dunleavy and that the governor is operating from a position of power after seeing the override vote fail. Johnsen said he’s focusing on the budget in hand rather than how it might be enhanced in the next few weeks.
    At the current level of spending, the university would have to cut $11 million per month through next June to balance its budget. Delaying reductions until October would mean having to cut $15 million monthly.
    “Every day we delay only compounds the cuts we need to take later in the year,” Johnsen said.
    But regents were hesitant to take immediate action while legislators negotiate with Dunleavy.
    Regent Andy Teuber called for waiting until July 30 or the vote on a declaration of exigency, given the monumental scope of the decision and the ongoing discussions.
    Regent Lisa Parker said she was unwilling to waive normal procedures without a plan for reductions. “It scares me terribly,” she said.
    Regent Darroll Hargraves told Johnsen to assure Dunleavy that regents were willing to make cuts but needed a longer “glide path” to do so.
    Maria Williams, chairwoman of the University of Alaska Faculty Alliance, urged regents to hold off on decisions until they had tapped into the expertise and suggestions of faculty.
    Johnsen said regents could take one of three approaches and all have pros and cons.
    Administrators could simply cut every campus by a certain percentage, which would keep the current university structure but would be disabling to every unit, Johnsen said. Administrators could eliminate a major campus and some of the 13 satellite campuses. A third alternative is uniting all three major campuses under one accrediting banner and making strategic reductions, such as limiting fields of study to one campus each, Johnsen said.

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 10-27-20)

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 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 378

Total statewide – 13,742

Total (cumulative) deaths – 70

Active cases in Sitka – 13 (10 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 62 (49 resident; 13 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 400.

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. 




October 2000

Photo caption: Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 4 cookbook committee members Helena Wolff, Marta Ryman, Jean Frank and Margaret Gross-Hope stand behind a shipment of cookbooks, “Best Ever Recipes.” Proceeds from sales will go to the ANS and ANB scholarship funds.

October 1970

Alaska Day weather was cold – in the 30s and 40s – but spirits were high. ... At the Baranof Ball Mr. and Mrs. Pete Karras won first prize in Native costumes. Period costume winners  were Mr. and Mrs.  Bob Marlow, Suzie French and Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Korthals. Jim Johnson, Alaska Airlines, presented the trip prize to Mr. and Mrs. Lewie Rucka.