CATCH OF THE DAY – Mason Allery, age 6, holds the first fish caught during the 2021 Kids Fishing Day Saturday on Swan Lake. Mason was given a prize and afterward successfully released his catch. The Sitka Rotary Club, U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game hosted the event, which had to be canceled in 2020. To avoid gathering large groups of people together, this year prizes were handed out throughout the three-hour event. More than a hundred young fishers and their crew members turned out. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson) 



Dunleavy: Will Try For Smoother Budget Effort

Associated Press
    JUNEAU (AP) — Republican Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy outlined plans aimed at improving public safety in rural Alaska during a speech Thursday to a major gathering of Alaska Natives that was interrupted by protests.
    The speech during a televised meeting of the Alaska Federation of Natives in Fairbanks touched on plans to address a backlog of sexual assault kits, hire 35 Alaska State Troopers with a focus on serving rural communities and work with tribes on education issues.
    It came during a politically turbulent year for Dunleavy, marked by drawn-out legislative sessions with fights over spending cuts and the size of the check residents should receive from the earnings of Alaska’s oil-wealth fund. Less than a year after taking office, Dunleavy faces a recall effort.
    His speech was interrupted by protesting voices, prompting Will Mayo, co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives board, to urge those gathered to be respectful.
    “I respect your right to protest in this way, but I want to ask you, with respect, to please express your views at the voting booth, express your beliefs in a constructive way and don’t come into our house and disrespect our guest,” Mayo said to applause.
    Dunleavy then resumed his speech.
    The conference theme is “Good Government, Alaskan Driven.” The agenda explained that good government refers to how well the state is meeting the needs of Alaskans and said the Dunleavy administration “tested the bounds of this principle in 2019,” with his budget proposal and vetoes.
    Divided lawmakers couldn’t muster support to overturn Dunleavy’s initial vetoes but passed another spending package for him to consider, which required a lower threshold of votes.
    Dunleavy moderated his position on University of Alaska system cuts and accepted restored funding for areas including certain early childhood learning and senior citizen programs.
    He cut money for Medicaid, public broadcasting and other areas.
    Dunleavy has credited his vetoes with forcing Alaskans to talk about what they value. He has said he listened to comments he received.
    In July, Dunleavy announced he was replacing Tuckerman Babcock, a former Republican party chair, as his chief of staff with Ben Stevens, a former state legislator and a son of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.
    The administration last month said Donna Arduin would be replaced as Dunleavy’s budget office director, but said it was working on terms to have her work on contract as an adviser.
    Babcock and Arduin were lightning rods for criticism.
    In his speech Thursday, Dunleavy said he takes responsibility for his part in this year’s contentious budget process and would work to ensure it is smoother in the coming year. He said he will make “every effort” to incorporate the perspective of “all Alaskans.”
    In a statement, Dunleavy spokesman Jeff Turner said there was limited time for Dunleavy to write his budget after taking office last December and for discussions to occur with lawmakers and feedback to be gathered from the public.
    Dunleavy faces a mid-December deadline for his next budget proposal, which Turner said has allowed additional time to gather input “on ways to maintain core state services and programs while determining a path that leads to fiscal stability.”

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30, 2020, 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 6-16-21)

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 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 26

Total statewide – 67,936

Total (cumulative) deaths – 366

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,595

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Active cases in Sitka – 1

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 387 (339 resident; 48 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 386

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Tuesday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 5,304 (72%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,904 (66%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 77 percent of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at:





June 2001

Photo caption: Luke Nisbet holds up a “2005” sign at a rites of passage ceremony at Blatchley Middle School for the school’s 120 eighth-graders. It was the first ceremony to mark the “graduation” of eighth-graders from middle school.

June 1971

Two of the most controversial subjects to come before the city council in months are on tonight’s agenda. One would extend bar operating hours inside the city limits from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.; and the other would permit operation of coin amusement machines by persons under 18.