SMOOTH SAILING – A troller cruises across Sitka Sound during a hazy sunset Friday evening. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Filing Date Nears For City Election

Sentinel Staff Writer

The filing period for candidates in the Oct. 6 municipal election will open next Monday.

The voters will elect a mayor, two Assembly members and two School Board members.

The filing period is July 20 through 5 p.m. Friday, August 7. Information packets for candidates will be available at the city clerk’s office at City Hall starting July 20, City Clerk Sara Peterson said.

Assembly members whose terms are expiring are Richard Wein, Steven Eisenbeisz and Mayor Gary Paxton.

The election will fill the seats on the School Board now held by appointees Andrew Hames and Blossom Twitchell. The two were appointed to replace Dionne Brady-Howard and Elias Erickson, who resigned from the board, and whose terms were ending this year.

Those filing for mayor and Assembly must have been a resident for a year before the election, and submit signatures of 25 registered Sitka voters. The residency required for the School Board is 30 days prior to the election, and 25 signatures of registered voters also are needed.

Paxton said he believes he will seek another two-year term as mayor. He is a former Sitka city administrator.

“First of all, presumptuously I think it’s a bad time to change leadership,” he said. “I know the details of issues, from the haulout to CARES to the budget.”

Paxton said he also has a good relationship with U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and state Sen. Bert Stedman.

“I also have a good relationship with city staff at a time when they are challenged with shortages,” he said. “I also think I still have enough energy and wit to help out.”

Wein said he is still considering seeking re-election to the Assembly but has ruled out another run for state House.

Eisenbeisz, who has served two consecutive terms on the Assembly, was not available today.

Andrew Hames said he hasn’t decided whether he will run for election to a full term on the School Board. Twitchell said she plans to run for a three-year term this October.

“The current board has been welcoming, and I have a strong belief that they have a great foundation,” Twitchell said today. “I’m happy to be part of the team.”

The deadline has passed for citizen-initiated ballot questions, but the Assembly has until July 28 to put issues on the ballot, Peterson said. At Tuesday’s regular meeting the Assembly will consider an ordinance to place an advisory question on the ballot relating to the Baranof statue.

Peterson said it’s too early to gauge the interest in this year’s city election, but she has received some queries from residents interested in running.


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 8-4-20)

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 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 59

Total statewide – 3,394

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (12 resident; 5 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 136.

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. 



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.

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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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August 2000

The School Board Tuesday discussed district policy on head lice. At present, students found to have head lice are kept from school until all lice are removed. The revised policy allows students who have nits to remain in school, with information on treatment and a nit-removing comb to be sent home with them.

August 1970

Legal notice: Sealed bids will be received ... for furnishing and installation of siding on the City
Garage, located on Halibut Point Road. ... City of Sitka, Alaska Fermin Gutierrez, Director of Public Works.