ALL PAWS ON DECK – Cletus, a yellow lab, looks out from the deck of the F/V Jackpine this morning as ANB Harbor empties out. Today is the opening of the summer troll season and with good weather much of the Sitka fleet is now out on the fishing grounds. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Students on Election

Dear Editor: I have two Pacific High School students who composed thoughtful essays for our government class. The prompt was: Who I would vote for and why. One students supports Obama and one student is undecided.
 Hillary Seeland

By Veronica Nelson
The Bigger The Better:

 Obama Has My Vote
The 2012 election has been the most expensive election in history. With the ongoing battle between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney there have been some serious uprisings throughout our country. Romney and Obama have very different views on most of the main issues in our country such as: jobs and economy, education, energy and the environment, immigration, and the tax policy. In this election I would vote for Obama.
Barack Obama, a Democrat, is pushing towards having our government more involved. His goal is to target young people, Army families, and the middle class for votes in this election. His plans for continuing his time as president consists of growing the economy from the middle class out. He wants to raise classroom standards and reform student loans, making school more affordable. He wants to use renewable energy more consistently, such as windmills and solar power. He wants to create fair policies for immigrants. He has a plan for immigrants, especially those who are minors. Obama would like to reform the tax codes so that they are fair to the middle class. In contrast to Obama, Romney plans on less government.
Mitt Romney, a Republican, wants to reduce government involvement. He spends most of his time in this campaign trying to cut down anything Obama puts forth. His goal is to target the people who voted for Obama in 2008 to vote for him because Obama has “broken promises” made in 2008. Romney’s plan to help grow the economy is through free enterprise, hard work and innovation. He wants to reduce taxes, spending, regulation, and government programs. He plans to increase trade, energy production, human capital and labor flexibility. Romney wants to bring in the interest of the parents and students and have higher standards for teachers to make education better for students. He also wants to make education more affordable. Romney plans to partner with Canada and Mexico to achieve energy independence on this continent. According to Romney’s official campaign website, Romney has a “national immigration strategy that bolsters the U.S. economy, ensures security and keeps nuclear families together.” I wouldn’t vote for Romney because he gives no details for his plans in these issues.
I would vote for Obama because if the Republican side of our government would get out of the way, I think his plan could take this country far. Many of Romney’s ideas sound great, but there is no background information or detail in how he plans to do these things. In most of his interviews and debates he had very “beat-around-the-bush” answers to the questions brought forth to him. Obama, who has already gotten started on his plans to take this country forward over the past four years, will have a better chance at continuing doing so. Why stop this process to start over and let Romney go a completely different way and have just the same amount if not less done in the next four years?
Overall both candidates have been very persuasive in this year’s election. Each side has their own skeletons and their own strengths. I think that more government involvement is what we need. The less government involvement we have the more crazy things can get. Fewer people will have health care and small businesses will fail, creating less jobs. Obama wants to prevent these things from happening and make sure as many people as possible are taken care of. This is why my vote goes to Obama. I appreciate him for staying positive and fighting to continue taking us to better places.
(My sources: and

By Jake Kranz
The United States of Debt:

Why Neither Candidate
 Has Won My Vote
The United States national debt is now at $16 trillion and rising. I would like to know more specifics from both Gov. Romney and President Obama about their plans for lowering the deficit. The debt we are in right now is astonishing. I really don’t think that America can just keep borrowing and raising our deficit and expect nothing to happen. Both candidates have major strengths and weaknesses to address the debt issue. They both have wonderful accomplishments that make them great politicians. What we need is someone who will vigorously take over and avoid acrimonious tensions if elected president. The question is, will whoever becomes elected start acting toward lowering the debt?
I have noticed how both Romney and Obama have potential to reduce the debt, but both have plans with missing pieces. These missing pieces would make me want to avoid voting for either candidate.
Former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, a member of the GOP, has proven his understanding of lowering debt. Romney has the best jobs record of any Massachusetts governor in the last decade. He brought the state from a $3 billion debt to $0 and then accumulated a $2 billion fund in extra. He balanced the state’s budget without raising tax rates. At the same time he dropped the state’s unemployment rate from 5.6% to 4.7% in his term, adding tens of thousands of jobs. He has also helped rebuild over 100 companies like Staples and Sports Authority. A major accomplishment was when he helped save the Olympics from crashing, and raised $100 million for all upcoming Olympic events.
Romney also plans to use his success in Massachusetts to lower the national debt in part by cutting ObamaCare, which costs $100 billion a year. He wants to cut taxes for the wealthy to inspire them to invest in our economy, and change the middle class tax plan. He wants to have no tax cut that will add to our deficit. He says his main focus is on energy, trade, the right budget and training programs to focus on new jobs for the economy.
Obama, the incumbent, has had some up and downs throughout his term. The debt for instance, which has been rising tremendously since 2008 from $10 trillion to $16 trillion, is an acknowledged downfall of the Obama administration. On the up side, Obama’s major priority when he came into office was to knock out the Taliban’s leader, Osama Bin Laden, which was accomplished. His second priority was to cut taxes on the middle class and get ObamaCare started so people had something to look up to. In fact he actually lowered 98% of families’ taxes 18 times and 97% of small businesses won’t get taxed more. Some of his big plans have been moving toward energy independence ideas such as windmill production, which saves hundreds of thousands of dollars on energy per year. He also wants to double exports to create one million new manufacturing jobs. Though the debt has been rising in his term, these plans are key factors to lowering it in the long run.
Obama has been working on recruiting math and science teachers so America can move towards having the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020. Student loan reform and tax credits will help college students graduate and also will help invest in education and training programs for American workers. If we have more teachers to teach people quality education, jobs will rise in quantity.
Each candidate uses a lot of rhetoric to convince people to vote for him. I still have yet to see a plan laid out that puts the pieces together by either candidate on how to reduce the deficit. Although I have all this information of what they would do as president and have done in the past, I have not been able to find anything pertinent to fixing the national debt crisis we are in. I’m also curious about how are either candidates going to fix this economical crisis? Why are we still at war with another country when it costs about $2 trillion a year and all the money is borrowed and will have to be paid back? We need a president who can keep us out of wars and we need one who can also add more jobs to the workforce. This country is beginning to slide violently towards an even deeper mess at this rate.
Though both candidates have vastly differing visions for the way America should go, I still have seen no defined strategy from either candidate that would help him win my vote. I know they each have a plan, but neither of them has actually told us how his plan will be accomplished. America’s debt is supposed to hit its debt ceiling which is $16.5 trillion by the end of the year. The debt ceiling will have to be increased again at this rate. I would like to see a president indefinitely eliminate our national debt.

(Sources: Barack Obama’s official campaign website -- and Mitt Romney’s official campaign website --

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-1-20)

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 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Monday: 38

Total statewide – 978

Total (cumulative) deaths – 14

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (5 resident; 3 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 11 (8 resident; 3 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 68.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.



Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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