SPLASH – An SUV makes a tremendous splash as it drives through a puddle on Lake Street Sunday morning.  A storm front Sunday and Monday morning brought with it torrential rain, thunder,  lightning and a power outage, but no major damage. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Legislators OK Initial Allocation of Virus Aid

By BECKY BOHRER
 
The Associated Press

JUNEAU (AP) — A legislative committee agreed Friday to the allocation of about $125 million in federal coronavirus relief aid requested by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a fraction of the total request, as lawmakers said work continued in reviewing the remaining requests. 

The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee is expected to meet again Wednesday. Senate President Cathy Giessel said she expects it will hear the administration’s proposal for distributing community assistance and small business relief, two of the biggest-ticket items. 

Giessel, a committee member, said the administration was working with lawmakers to address technical and legal issues that had been raised. At this point, she told reporters she saw “no imminent reason” for the full Legislature to reconvene, “but I never say never.”

The Anchorage Republican said there is a ratification process that would allow the Legislature, when it next meets, to ratify the action taken, “to close the loop on the legislative appropriation process.”

The Legislature recessed in late March amid coronavirus concerns; the clock on the session has not yet run out. 

Committee vice-chair Sen. Click Bishop said Friday’s action comes “during an unprecedented public health disaster” and does not represent an abrogation of the Legislature’s appropriating authority. 

Sen. Bill Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat, expressed concern with the process, particularly related to community assistance. 

“As much as I think many legislators are hesitant or reluctant to go back to Juneau to appropriate the federal dollars, I don’t see how you get around it,” he said, adding later: “The constitution says the Legislature appropriates.”

Dunleavy submitted his funding requests through the committee under a process set out in state law. It allows a governor to submit to the committee plans to accept and spend additional federal or other program funds on a budget item. It delays for 45 days use of the funds unless the committee earlier agrees.

Questions at various points have been raised about the appropriateness of using the process for some of the items. Lauren Giliam, a Dunleavy spokeswoman, said by email the administration believes it is acting within the confines of the process. 

Giessel said revisions made by the administration are improvements over the originals. Items agreed to Friday include funding for schools, transportation and public safety.

Committee chair Rep. Chris Tuck said he looked forward to Wednesday’s meeting and taking up the issues the committee can “legally address.”

 

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 9-28-20)

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 11:50 a.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 115

Total statewide – 7,597

Total (cumulative) deaths – 56

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (11 resident; 9 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 44 (37 resident; 7 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 286.

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. 

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20 YEARS AGO
September 2000

Sitka Open Golf Tournament winners are: Men’s Division – Semisi Funaki, Tom Mattingly and Gregory Martin. Women’s Division – Janet Schwartz, Judy Sudnikovich and Liza Martin. Youth Division – Elaina Mattingly, Matthew Way and Sidney Wyman.

50 YEARS AGO
September 1970

Lions Catch a Bear at Kake. They were on Lions Club business, but Willie Dick and Bill Pasek, Sitka, brought back a bear from Kake. Pasek shot the 6-foot-tall black bear after Lions Club business was ended. He and Dick brought the bear back to Sitka where Larry Ross and Dick Wight helped prepare it for a taxidermist.

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