SUPPLY CHAIN WOES – James Pelletier, Yellow Jersey bicycle mechanic, is surrounded by cycles waiting to be repaired as he points to empty display racks at the Harbor Drive store. The main showroom rack, which can hold two dozen new bicycles, now holds only three bicycles (including an unclaimed special-order $5,000 electric mountain bike) for sale. A nationwide supply chain disruption of bicycles and parts is not expected to be alleviated any time soon. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Protesters: Caribou Heart Was Message to Sullivan

The Associated Press

JUNEAU (AP) — The man who owned a caribou heart that protesters said they wanted to give U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan during a disrupted campaign event said Sullivan reminded him of the robotic Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz,” and he wanted to give him a heart.

Samuel Johns said his intended message was tied to Sullivan’s support for opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling. The refuge provides grounds for the Porcupine Caribou herd, which is significant to the Indigenous Gwich’in.

“I thought, maybe I should give him a heart as a symbolic message that the caribou heart is what has kept my people alive for thousands of years,” Johns said Monday. 

Sullivan’s campaign defended the senator’s record. State officials have long pushed for opening part of the refuge for oil and gas drilling, including all three current Republican members of Alaska’s congressional delegation. 

Sen. Dan Sullivan wears a mask at a hearing in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP, File)

Johns said he was not at Saturday’s event in Anchorage, in which a protester stepped on stage next to Sullivan and his wife and attempted to pull the heart from a bag. Video posted by the Alaska Landmine blog shows another woman run into Sullivan’s campaign manager, Matt Shuckerow, as he moved toward the protester on stage. That woman was knocked down. A statement from the protesters released to the Anchorage Daily News said the woman was trying to get between them.

Shuckerow said the actions taken by protesters at the event, at an airport hangar in Anchorage, were dangerous and unsafe. Protesters said unnecessary force was used in responding to their actions.

The matter was being reviewed by police from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and the city, said David Schulling, deputy chief for airport police and fire.

“We’re still looking into it, to try to determine what exactly took place,” he said.

Shuckerow described the incident as a “very serious security threat,” and said he was concerned about the woman who stepped on stage as she “was reaching to grab something concealed within a handbag.” He also thought they might throw the “bleeding” heart at the Sullivans.

Johns said “blood, anywhere, was not part of the plan,” and said he should have been more explicit on the handling of the once-frozen heart.

Kathleen Bonnar, the protester who went on stage, said she never planned to throw the heart. 

Sullivan is seeking a second term in office. His wife is Alaska Native and from a prominent Alaska family. 

Rina Kowalski said she was among the protesters and had bruises after the event. She called the protest bold and said she hoped it would get Sullivan’s attention. 

“And it did capture attention. ... Our goal was fulfilled,” she said. “Hopefully he can’t ignore us now.” 


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 9-21-20)

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. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 46

Total statewide – 6,950

Total (cumulative) deaths – 45

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (7 resident; 10 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 41 (37 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 266.

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. 




September 2000

Enrollment is down by more than 100 students from last year, a decline four times greater than anticipated in the budget, Sitka School District Superintendent John Holst said today. The budget was based on an enrollment down by only 25 students.

September 1970

The borough assembly approved unanimously an ordinance authorizing expenditure of $12,000 for a redevelopment plan for the Sitka Indian Village. ... Judy Christianson, a member of the Sitka Community Action Group board of directors, has suggested that the planning be handled by a private social service organization called Habitats West.