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)

Assembly to Address Virus Funds, Masks

By Sentinel Staff

The Assembly at tonight’s regular meeting will consider the budget for CARES Act funds to be given out to Sitka businesses and nonprofits, and a resolution “encouraging” people to wear face masks.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Remote access also is provided on the city website and YouTube channel.

The application form for CARES funds; a presentation by new electric utility director Scott Elder; an appointment to the Local Emergency Planning Commission; a marijuana license renewal; and approval of a new position in the finance department are among the other items on the agenda.

The Assembly has already approved the CARES Act Working Group plan for distributing the city’s $14 million in CARES Act funds. Applications are already being received for $4.5 million in utility and moorage subsidies. At tonight’s meeting, the Assembly will have final votes on $9.5 million to the following through five separate ordinances.

They relate to funds for:

- businesses and nonprofits, $5 million.

- new city-funded programs, $2.5 million (e.g. food security, mental health support).

- city impact and mitigation, $1 million (IT, protection of employees and public).

- Sitka School District, $430,000 (AmeriCorps and computers).

- contingency ($627,653).

The city also will take up applications for the “CARES Act Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Recovery grant application” and accompanying FAQ.

A resolution encouraging face masks and face coverings indoors in public settings or communal spaces also will be brought up. It’s basically the same resolution that narrowly failed at the July 14 Assembly meeting. The main difference is the resolution tonight uses such language as “encourages” and “should wear” instead of “orders” and “shall wear.” Both resolutions note that they are unenforceable.

Examples are given for places where individuals “should wear masks and face coverings over the noses and mouths when they are indoors,” in such places as  restaurants, bars and grocery stores. There are a number of exceptions (e.g. children under 2, children in daycares, those with trouble breathing, and individuals who are exercising.

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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.

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 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.