UNLOADING – From left, Kent Barkhau, Linda Behnken and Terry Perensovich unload fish at the Seafood Producers Co-op dock from the F/V Woodstock recently. Behnken, executive director of Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, talked to the Sentinel about an ALFA program to distribute 49,000 pounds of salmon to villages affected by poor subsistence fish returns. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Legislators Push Against Labor Regulation Change

    ANCHORAGE (AP) — Some Alaska lawmakers want the state to drop a proposed regulatory change they believe undermines plumber and electrician workforce development.
    A group of 18 legislators sent a letter Monday opposing a state Department of Labor proposal to end a requirement for 8,000 apprenticeship hours toward a journeyman certificate of fitness, KTVA-TV reported.
    The department would allow prospective plumbers and electricians to pursue the certification outside the federally registered apprenticeship program, but would also require 12,000 hours.
    The letter to Labor Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter that was signed by Democrats, Republicans and independents called the proposal a “nebulous ‘trainee’ standard.”
    The change would restore a standard that was eliminated in 2006, Deputy Labor Commissioner Cathy Munoz said.
    “What we’re saying now is that going forward we propose to keep the federally required apprenticeship in place but to allow an additional pathway for Alaskans who are not able, for whatever reason, to participate in an apprenticeship program through the electrician or the plumbing union,” Munoz said.
    The proposed regulation undercuts the system currently in place and fixes something that is not broken, Democratic Rep. Zack Fields said.
    “What’s so crazy about is that this is a system that is privately funded training by the industry. It’s nationally recognized. It has national oversight through the federal Department of Labor office of apprenticeship. Why would we mess it up,” said Fields, who worked at the Department of Labor for three years under former Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas.
    A public comment period for the proposal has expired, but Munoz said there are about 200 comments to review before a final decision is made.

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 9-18-20)

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 10:30 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 108

Total statewide – 6,658

Total (cumulative) deaths – 45

Active cases in Sitka – 30 (20 resident; 10 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 26 (22 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 257.

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. 




September 2000

Photo caption: First-grader Megan Polasky happily holds a large turnip as she and other first-graders from Baranof Elementary School harvest some of the vegetables they planted last spring as kindergartners behind the Russian Bishop’s House. Park Service Ranger Harvey Brandt, center, watches over the gardening project.

September 1970

The Sentinel adds its congratulations to the following persons listed on the Woman’s Club community calender: Earl E. Smith, Wallis George, Frank Williams, Robert Blankenship, and Frank O. Williams Sr., whose birthdays are today, and Ed and Monte Littlefield, whose anniversary is today.