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)


    Sitkans will make an important choice Tuesday in selecting our representative in the state House. In Bill Thomas we have a candidate well versed in the intricacies of legislative politics and well positioned to continue a leadership role in the House, where he has served as co-chairman of the powerful Finance Committee.
    Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, the challenger, is a newcomer to elective politics, and of course untried in the legislative arena. If seniority and experience were the only issues in this election, Mr. Thomas would be our choice, hands down.
    As it happens, Mr. Kreiss-Tomkins comes into the contest with a record of accomplishment in public service that would do credit to a candidate twice his age. Add to that his willingness to listen, his ability to work with others and his commitment to hard work in accomplishing his goals, and we have a candidate who we believe will be an influential spokesman for Sitka in the Legislature for years to come. He has our endorsement for election as our representative in House District 34.
    Sen. Bert Stedman has earned our respect for the way he has advocated a middle road on the issue of taxation of the oil industry in Alaska. Call him a policy wonk if you will, but it has been his ability to marshal the figures that has enabled him to head off the forces from within his own party that would grant concessions to the oil industry that clearly would not be in the best interest of the state.
    Sen. Stedman has used his position as co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee for the benefit of Sitka. He has our endorsement for re-election, and we look forward to his continued work on behalf of Sitka as a respected leader in the coming legislative session.
    There is a statewide bond issue on the ballot with money for a Sawmill Cove dock and a Katlian Bay Road. We’ll vote yes on the bonds.
    A little-noticed issue on the ballot is the question that simply asks: Shall there be a constitutional convention?
    The question is there because the Alaska Constitution requires the question to be put before the voters once every 10 years. There are no shortcomings in the constitution that would justify the extreme measure of opening up the whole document for changes. The only reasonable response to this question, we believe, is No.
    Sitkans will vote for a Congressman and for President. President Barack Obama has earned our endorsement for a new term. His accomplishments have been many, not least for putting the United States on the path to economic recovery after the disastrous eight-year administration of George W. Bush.
    We expect Sitka will be an island of Blue in the statewide sea of Red in the presidential vote, but we nonetheless believe it is worth making the effort to say that President Obama, and not Mitt Romney, represents the values most important to us in our daily lives.
    As for our Congressional representative, we are resigned to having Don Young in office another two years, and we wish him well.
    Whatever your views, we urge you to go to the polls and cast a ballot Tuesday.

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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 8-6-20)

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.”