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)

Thomas Lawrence Conley Jan. 27, 1944 – April 18, 2018

Thomas Lawrence Conley

Thomas Lawrence Conley
Jan. 27, 1944 – April 18, 2018

Thomas Lawrence Conley was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 27, 1944, and raised there.
A child of an Irish-American family, he attended Duquesne University. He considered becoming a historian, but eventually decided to attend medical school at the University of Chicago. There he met his future wife, Marylyn, purportedly when providing a urine sample, and they were married on June 8, 1968.
He was drafted by the U.S. Navy upon graduation from the university, and served out the Vietnam War in Subic Bay, Philippines. After the war, he lived in Seattle and Albuquerque before moving to Ketchikan in 1975, originally to work with Alaska Native Health.
He and his family stayed in Ketchikan until 1992, then lived in Caldwell, Idaho, and Sheridan, Wyoming, before finding his way back to Southeast Alaska by joining SEARHC in 1996. He was Alaska Doctor of the Year, and served on the state medical licensing board for many years.
His hobbies included working, skiing, avidly consuming thousand-page history books alongside junk science fiction, fishing, and losing fights with his computer. He traveled extensively, performing medical service work in Africa and Haiti, and recreationally, including trips to Australia, Scotland, Ireland, France, New Zealand, the USSR, and Russia.
He served on school boards for nearly 30 years, often as president. One of his proudest moments was granting his daughter Anya her high-school diploma in 2003.  He was famed for going the extra mile for patient care, but loved for his complex sense of humor, fondness for tall tales, and his elaborate practical jokes. He died on April 18, 2018, at the Sitka Pioneer home of Parkinson’s-related complications.

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 8-6-20)

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. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 40

Total statewide – 3,484

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 19 (14 resident; 5 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

The city’s solid waste incinerator closed Wednesday, two days after the contract with Sheldon Jackson College for its operation ended. ... The city will ship all municipal waste except biosolids off-island to a landfill in Washington. The biosolids will be buried in the Kimsham landfill, Public Works Director Hugh Bevan said.

August 1970

Ernest Robertson, a Sitka resident most of his life, has moved back here with his family after a five-year sojourn in Anchorage. “Anchorage was just too big,” Ernie said. “It wasn’t like Sitka, where every time you go out on the street you meet your friends.”