EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

2nd Candidate Signs Up For Seat on Assembly

Sentinel Staff Writer

Steve Lee on Monday became the second person to file for Assembly in the October 6 municipal election.

Lee joins Leo Jimmy in the race for Assembly, where two seats are open this fall.

Gary Paxton filed last week to run for a second term as mayor.

The three-year Assembly terms of Richard Wein and Steven Eisenbeisz will expire, and neither had decided about seeking re-election when they last spoke to the Sentinel.

Besides the two open Assembly seats, two School Board terms, formerly held by Elias Erickson and Dionne Brady-Howard, are expiring. Those seats are currently held by Andrew Hames and Blossom Twitchell, who were appointed to serve the remainder of those terms when Erickson and Brady-Howard resigned in June.

Lee, who ran for Assembly last year but was not elected, cited his “common sense” and “big heart” as among his assets as a candidate.

He also talked about testing positive three weeks ago for COVID-19, during SEARHC’s regular testing of its employees. He was and remains asymptomatic, and recently tested negative a few times, he said.

“I understand the COVID-19 experience, being in quarantine, I understand what people are going through,” he said.

Lee said he has followed the Assembly discussions related to racism and hopes he can help close the “gap of understanding” between groups.

“I want to reach out to people and be the bridge,” he said.

Lee, 44, is a hospitality clerk and driver for SEARHC. He is also working with clients at Sitka Counseling, and training to be a counselor.

One of Lee’s goals as an Assembly member is the establishment of a homeless shelter in Sitka. Besides his seven years in Alaska, Lee has lived in California, Hawaii and South Korea, where he lived as Buddhist monk for seven years.

The deadline for filing is 5 p.m. August 7 in the city clerk’s office. Candidates must submit a petition with signatures of 25 registered Sitka voters, among other requirements. Assembly candidates must have one year of residency in Sitka, and School Board candidates must have at least 30 days.

Candidate statements are available on the city webpage. Information about filing is available on the city webpage or from the city clerk’s office at 747-1811.



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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.

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– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 8-7-20)

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 11:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 53

Total statewide – 3,536

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (14 resident; 6 non-resident) *

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 141.

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

High prices for chum salmon, low pink returns, and record numbers of fish in Deep Inlet have turned the Sitka fishing grounds into Route 66 this summer. “Overall it’s been a fantastic season so far,” said Steve Reifenstuhl, operations manager for the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

August 1970

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will head a gathering of Orthodox prelates from North American and abroad in ceremonies canonizing the first American Orthodox saints, Father Herman of Alaska. A group of Sitkans will fly to Kodiak for the event.