SMOOTH SAILING – A troller cruises across Sitka Sound during a hazy sunset Friday evening. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Judge Orders State to Pay Lawyer in School Dispute

JUNEAU (AP) — A judge has ordered the state to pay about $96,000 in attorneys’ fees in a school funding dispute.

Superior Court Judge Daniel Schally last week ordered the state pay $31,556.25 in attorneys’ fees for the Legislative Council and $64,443.50 in fees for the Coalition for Education Equity, an intervenor in the case.

Maria Bahr, a Department of Law spokeswoman, said Thursday the department is reviewing the decision.

The Legislative Council, composed of House and Senate leaders, last year sued Gov. Mike Dunleavy and members of his administration in a dispute over a practice known as forward funding. The dispute stemmed from Attorney General Kevin Clarkson’s interpretation that the practice was improper.

Forward funding refers to funding a year in advance. Lawmakers in 2018 approved school funding for the current fiscal year. The measure wasn’t vetoed by Bill Walker, who was governor when it passed.

Clarkson argued the Legislature’s action had the effect of improperly binding a future legislature and governor, and violated a constitutional prohibition against dedicating state revenues. Schally ruled the appropriations were valid.

Bahr said the department appealed the underlying decision.

Clarkson previously said an agreement was reached to allow disbursement of school funds while the litigation was underway.

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. Route delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

    Four months later, the virus is still with us and these precautions remain in effect.

    In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to receive their daily paper at designated drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers.

    As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions. The present method of having subscribers pick up their copy at designated sites will continue.

    The expiration date of all subscriptions is being extended, without charge, for an additional four months.

    We do this to say thank you for our readers’ support in these uncertain times. And special thanks to those readers who have insisted on paying for those four months.

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 8-4-20)

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 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 59

Total statewide – 3,394

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (12 resident; 5 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 136.

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. 




August 2000

The School Board Tuesday discussed district policy on head lice. At present, students found to have head lice are kept from school until all lice are removed. The revised policy allows students who have nits to remain in school, with information on treatment and a nit-removing comb to be sent home with them.

August 1970

Legal notice: Sealed bids will be received ... for furnishing and installation of siding on the City
Garage, located on Halibut Point Road. ... City of Sitka, Alaska Fermin Gutierrez, Director of Public Works.