HISTORIC MOVE – Harry Greene, maintenance and operations superintendent at the Sitka Public Works Department, uses a backhoe to lift the Baranof statue onto a wooden dolly with the help of co-worker Mike Callahan, this morning in front of Harrigan Centennial Hall. The bronze statue, estimated to weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, was relocated to inside the Sitka History Museum today. The city Assembly passed a resolution, on a 6-1 vote, in July to move the statue from its prominent  outdoor location to inside the museum.  At the July meeting several members of the public said the statue was a symbol of “historical trauma.”  The statue, created by artist Joan Bugbee Jackson, was given to the city in 1989 by Lloyd and Barbara Hames. Hames family members said earlier this year they supported moving the statue into the museum. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

House Gives Senate Aid Plan, Adjourns

The Associated Press

JUNEAU (AP) — The Alaska House abruptly adjourned today after ratifying plans for using more than $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief aid, one day after reconvening to take up the issue. 

The Senate passed its own ratification bill but stayed in session to consider the House version, which aides said is identical.

Senate Rules Chair John Coghill, a North Pole Republican, said he did not see a problem if the bills are the same but said when the House sends a bill to the Senate, it needs a committee hearing. His committee heard the measure Tuesday morning, after the House adjourned.

The Senate scheduled a floor session for Wednesday.

Coghill said he was surprised by the House adjournment. But House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, an independent from Dillingham, said the House adjourned because it was done with its work. He said the House lacked support to take up other measures.

“Once we got the ratification bill through, our work was done. That was our commitment to coming down here in the first place,” he said.

The House had on its calendar bills aimed at updating alcohol laws and raising state motor fuels taxes. Those were not taken up. 

Sen. Lora Reinbold, an Eagle River Republican, was the lone no vote on the Senate ratification bill. She said she worried it was the giving the executive branch too much power over the purse.

The vote on the House side was 38-1, with Rep. David Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, dissenting.

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the spending plans prompted lawmakers to return to Juneau on Monday. It was the first time the full Legislature had reconvened since going into recess in late March amid coronavirus concerns.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy had submitted plans for distributing federal aid to the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee under a process set out in law. That process allows a governor to submit to the committee plans to accept and spend additional federal or other program funds on a budget item. But concerns were raised that some of the items fell outside the scope of what can go through that committee process.

The committee nonetheless agreed to more than $1 billion in spending plans. Legislative attorney Megan Wallace, in a memo to the committee’s chair earlier this month, recommended the Legislature ratify the spending if it supported the actions. 

The ratification bills were intended to approve and ratify the actions by the committee and Dunleavy. 

Attorney Joe Geldhof filed the lawsuit on behalf of resident Eric Forrer, who Geldhof said plans to continue to contest the underlying constitutional issues raised by the case.

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 9-29-20)

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 12:20 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 118

Total statewide – 7,721

Total (cumulative) deaths – 56

Active cases in Sitka – 19 (13 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 47 (37 resident; 10 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 288.

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

Gilnettings, By Gil Truitt: The Sitka All-Star Team (Team II) of 1939-1956 is revealed here for the first time.  Fermin “Rocky” Gutierrez, Hugh Pace, “Red” Belinski, Harold “Pretty Boy” Morris, George Kucherak, Dorm McGraw Sr., Herb Didrickson Sr., Gorman Shutt, Vic Adamson, Bill Robinson  and Johnny Vander. ... Other gifted players include Tony Herman, Bunny Donnelly, Hal Taylor, Archie Nielsen, Cecil McClain and Richard (Dick) Eliason.

September 1970

The Alaska Judicial council has selected Sitka as the site of a new branch of the state superior court. The Legislature had created a position for a third Superior Court judge in Southeast, but the city was not specified in the legislation.