PHONING IT IN – Lisa Langenfeld, court reporter, is pictured alone inside the Sitka Courthouse Tuesday as judge lawyers and others speak remotely over the audio system. A sign posted on the door says,  "Effective Immediately TELEPHONIC PARTICIPATION ONLY FOR ALL HEARINGS. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

UA President Seeks Restart To Get Unity

    FAIRBANKS (AP) — University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen released a video acknowledging his role in what he calls a breakdown in unity across the university system.
    Johnsen issued the video statement Wednesday in the wake of a University of Alaska Anchorage Faculty Senate no-confidence resolution in his leadership issued last week, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported .
    There were also reports of infighting between university campuses.
    Johnsen remained in “crisis mode” over the spring and summer resulting from a $70 million budget cut by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, he said.
    “I didn’t adjust to our new, still urgent, reality,” he said.
    He acknowledged a need to empower others across the system in an effort toward inclusivity that the university Board of Regents saw lacking in recent governance decisions.
    “While that was a hard thing to do while facing that big budget ax, after the agreement there was an opportunity to reach out and involve more people,” Johnsen said.
    “No one person, including me, has all the answers,” he said. “And again, while we are under pressure, often leaders do step up and come up with approaches and plans to deal with challenges and crises.”
    Anchorage Faculty Senate President Scott Downing would like to see Johnsen and the Board of Regents “walk the talk” before altering his view, he said.
    “I think our concern is still pretty high,” Downing said. “It’s a positive step to acknowledge some of the shortcomings of the leadership, but I think he’s going to need to restore confidence in his leadership and demonstrate ongoing commitment to the inclusive governance processes moving forward.”



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 4-1-20)

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 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

The list includes the total cases (and what portions are travel and non-travel-related or still being investigated):

 Total - 143 (40, 103)

 Anchorage area – 67 (24, 43)

 Homer – 2 (1, 1)

 Kenai – 1 (1, 0)

 Seward – 1 (1, 0)

 Soldotna – 2 (1, 1)

 Sterling – 2 (0, 2)

 Fairbanks area – 40 (7, 33)

 Mat-Su – 4 (2, 2)

 Juneau – 10 (1, 9)

 Ketchikan – 14 (2, 12)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is nine, and the cumulative number of deaths is three.



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.