SUPPLY CHAIN WOES – James Pelletier, Yellow Jersey bicycle mechanic, is surrounded by cycles waiting to be repaired as he points to empty display racks at the Harbor Drive store. The main showroom rack, which can hold two dozen new bicycles, now holds only three bicycles (including an unclaimed special-order $5,000 electric mountain bike) for sale. A nationwide supply chain disruption of bicycles and parts is not expected to be alleviated any time soon. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Senate Rejects Limit On Military Gear for Police

By Sentinel Staff

The U.S. Senate Tuesday voted down a bipartisan amendment to a defense authorization bill co-sponsored by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski that would limit the transfer of surplus military-grade equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country.

The amendment failed on a 51-49 vote, nine votes shy of the 60 votes needed to pass under Senate rules.

The amendment would have placed limitations on the Department of Defense 1033 program, which authorizes the federal transfer of military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. Murkowski and one other Republican senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, joined Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California as co-sponsors of the bill.

The amendment would have prohibited the transfer of military equipment – including tear gas, armor-piercing firearms and ammunition, bayonets, grenade launchers and grenades, combat tracked vehicles, and drones – to law enforcement agencies. It would have applied to offensive equipment and wouldn’t have prohibited the transfer of defensive equipment, such as body armor.

“One of the policies I examined closely while the Senate was discussing police reform legislation was the ‘1033’ program, which permits the Department of Defense to sell certain items to local law enforcement,” Murkowski said in a news release the day before the vote. “Nobody I spoke with thought a police department needed things like grenade launchers, armored drones, or bayonets. Police should be there to serve the community, and there is no need for military-grade combat equipment to be on the streets of our cities in order to do that. This policy change will restrict some sales, while continuing to allow the ones that make sense.”

By coincidence the vote came at a time of national debate about the deployment of combat-uniformed federal employees at civilian protests protests in U.S. cities.

Alaska’s other senator, Dan Sullivan, was among the 49 Republicans voting against the measure. Besides Murkowski and Paul, only Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado broke ranks with the Senate’s Republican majority to vote for the amendment.

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 9-21-20)

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 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 46

Total statewide – 6,950

Total (cumulative) deaths – 45

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (7 resident; 10 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 41 (37 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 266.

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

Enrollment is down by more than 100 students from last year, a decline four times greater than anticipated in the budget, Sitka School District Superintendent John Holst said today. The budget was based on an enrollment down by only 25 students.

September 1970

The borough assembly approved unanimously an ordinance authorizing expenditure of $12,000 for a redevelopment plan for the Sitka Indian Village. ... Judy Christianson, a member of the Sitka Community Action Group board of directors, has suggested that the planning be handled by a private social service organization called Habitats West.