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NEW AGAIN – Amy Rowe-Danielson arranges a display at the Sitka Sound Science Center's newly opened Mill Building on Lincoln Street this afternoon. The reconstructed 1940 building houses Ludvig's Chowder Cart, which opened today for the first time this season to a steady line of socially distancing customers. It also houses the center's gift shop which, like many businesses in town, offers online ordering and free local delivery. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Trump’s Budget Plan Slashes Denali Fund

    ANCHORAGE (AP) — The federal budget proposal by the Trump administration would cut an Alaska program that has helped improve farms, docks and other rural infrastructure.
    The $4.8 trillion budget plan released Monday called for the shutdown of the Denali Commission and two other agencies like it in the continental U.S.
    The Denali Commission is an independent federal agency that works with tribal, federal, state, and local partners to improve rural infrastructure and economic development. The commission has invested more than $1.2 billion in Alaska communities, according to its website.
    The proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 provided $7 million for the “orderly closure” of the commission, decreasing its funding by $10 million.
    A White House budget document pointed to the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend as evidence the state is wealthy enough that it does not need the federally supported commission.
    The Trump administration said most of the commission’s work duplicates other federal programs, asserting the commission had not proven its effectiveness at boosting overall economic conditions in targeted areas.
    “(The) rationale for a unique and additional federal subsidy to Alaska is difficult to justify given that the state of Alaska’s oil revenues allow it to pay an annual dividend ($1,600 in 2018) to each of its residents,” the budget document said.
    The president’s annual budget proposal is not binding and must be approved by Congress, which is likely to make significant changes.
    The administration proposed eliminating the Denali Commission in previous years and Alaska’s congressional delegation vowed again Monday to protect the Anchorage-based commission.
    Jason Hoke, the commission’s federal co-chair, said the agency is critical to the state and federal government.
    “I hope it does (survive) so I can prove to the president how valuable an asset he has,” Hoke said.   

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 5-29-20)

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 10:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 5

Total statewide – 430

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 47, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

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Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website sitkasentinel.com. Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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