PERFECT WEATHER – Surfers assess the waves at Sandy Beach this morning. Waves were between 14- and 20-feet today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Paycheck Protections Rule Now Includes Fish Crew

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation are applauding a rule released by the Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration Thursday that will allow commercial fishing businesses to account for crew member payroll when applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Alaska Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, also hailed passage of the new rules, and said he would work with the Alaska delegation to extend the deadline for applications.

Under the new rules, fishing businesses have until June 30 to apply for the PPP loans.

In their joint news release Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young, all Republicans, said they had been pressing the Trump administration for the change and had sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Administrator Jovita Carranza to request the solution that was published Thursday.

“The Paycheck Protection Program has provided direct relief, truly a lifeline, to Alaskan businesses to help weather the storm during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Murkowski said in the news release. “Unfortunately, many of our fisherman, the ultimate small businesses, were unintentionally left out of the mix due to the Treasury Department’s earlier interpretation of eligible payroll costs. I thank the Treasury Department for working with the delegation to ensure that fishermen have the same opportunity to fully take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program that so many American businesses have already benefited from. Enabling fishermen to secure the resources they need through PPP is not only fair, it means that these businesses so critical to Alaska have a fighting chance to stay afloat.”

The news release explained that before today’s fix these businesses were not fully able to take advantage of the PPP because of the Department of Treasury’s previous treatment of fishing crew members as self-employed independent contractors.

“Even though these crew members are functionally employees, the previous rules did not allow commercial fishing businesses to account for their employees’ wages when calculating payroll costs when applying for a PPP loan. This led to reduced loan amounts. Today’s rule allows these businesses to account for their crew member’s wages when applying for a PPP loan,” the delegation said.

In a statement from his office today, Stedman said he will “continue working with lenders and leaders to extend the deadline for those businesses who recently became eligible under this rule.”

“Many folks are currently out on the fishing grounds and will not be able to apply for this relief,” Stedman said. “My office will work with the Congressional delegation to seek an extension” beyond June 30.




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 11-24-20)

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 12:25 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 578

Total statewide – 27,669

Total (cumulative) deaths – 115

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 619

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Active cases in Sitka – 29

Hospitalizations in Sitka – 3

Cumulative Sitka cases – 176 (155 resident; 21 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 147 cumulative

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.




November 2000

Photo caption: A painting by the late Dr. Walt Massey hangs on the wall of the Pioneers Home dining room,. bringing smiles from home administrator Julie Smith and Massey’s son Brian and daughter-in-law Amy, the home’s dietary manager. The painting of early-day Sitka was done in 1971, the year Dr. Massey, an optometrist and artist, died. It originally hung in the Canoe Club and was given by the restaurant’s owner, Frank Richards, to local historian Joe Ashby, who gave it to the Pioneers Home.

November 1970

Photo  caption: Sitka High School band director James Hope receives a check for $2,000 from American Legion Post 13 Commander Carroll Kohler. The Legion had voted to contribute $1,000 for uniforms and the Auxiliary voted to match that amount. The check was presented at the Legion’s Veterans Day banquet.