SMILE! – The Pacific High School graduating class poses outside Harrigan Centennial Hall Saturday afternoon prior to their commencement ceremony. Because of COVID-19 concerns the ceremony was not open to the public. Pictured are Eric Alvarado,Chelsea Taylor, Madison Roy-Mercer, Lindsey Bartolaba, Melissa Gibson, Douglas Johnson, Korbin Tugmon, George Stevenson, Jayvan Iya-Kowchee and Elizabeth Newell. Sitka High School will hold its graduation ceremony Monday, May 24. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Stedman Cites Work on Pink Salmon Issue

By Sentinel Staff

Sen. Bert Stedman asked Gov. Walker last month to consider adding Southeast Alaska to his request to the U.S. Department of Commerce for a disaster declaration related to this year’s poor pink salmon run.

Walker’s office announced Wednesday that he has added Southeast to the areas in the Gulf of Alaska for which he is seeking federal disaster relief because of the loss of income to fishermen in the pink salmon fishery.

In Thursday’s edition, the Sentinel reported on the governor’s letter to Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka and Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan, thanking them for their letter of Oct. 21 which had presented their data supporting the addition of Southeast to the fisheries areas Walker had previously listed in seeking the federal disaster declaration.

Stedman’s office told the Sentinel today that the Sitka senator has been working on the issue since early September, in a joint effort with the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association.

Stedman’s Senate district covers more than two dozen Southeast communities, including Ketchikan, Sitka, Wrangell, Metlakatla, Petersburg, Klawock and Hoonah.

On Sept. 23 Stedman announced on his web page that at his request, “Governor Walker’s office has agreed to review all relevant data and consider adding Southeast Alaska to the request for fisheries disaster relief from the federal government for the poor 2016 pink salmon harvest.”

On Oct. 18 the Petersburg association’s executive director Megan O’Neil sent a letter to the governor with detailed information about this year’s pink salmon run in Southeast to bolster the association’s Sept. 7 request to the governor for a disaster declaration.

“Our office worked closely with Ms. O’Neil to develop the (Oct. 18) letter, the research, and statistics cited in the letter starting back in late September,” said Stedman aide Randy Ruaro in an email to the Sentinel today. “I also personally discussed the grounds for including the Southeast salmon fishermen with the Governor’s Office in late September 23, 2016, and let them know a letter from PVOA would be forthcoming. The Governor’s Office agreed to consider our new information. A post on our website was put up for the public at that time as well.”

In her Oct. 18 letter to the governor about the 2016 fishery in Southeast, O’Neil said “wild pink salmon were off 47 percent from predictions and hatchery chum returns were off a combined 42 percent, and as much as 98 percent in the case of Hidden Falls.”

The poor chum returns at all Southeast hatcheries resulted in $18,332,760 in lost revenue to fishermen, she said. 

“In addition to the hatchery losses, an estimated $14,347,515 in lost revenue occurred for pink salmon to Southeast fishermen .... “ O’Neil said in the letter.

In a statement on his website today, Stedman said:

“I applaud Governor Walker for asking the federal government to review and grant disaster relief for the Southeast Alaska pink salmon fishery. Governor Walker also directed the state Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development to consider loan payment waivers for affected Pink Salmon Fishery Permit Holders. My staff worked closely with the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association to provide accurate information to the Governor’s Office.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 5-17-21)

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 12:45 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 50

Total statewide – 66,814

Total (cumulative) deaths – 358

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,542

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. Friday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 372 (325 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 364

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

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Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 4,978 (71.64%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,612 (66.37%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,245 (84.24%) 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: https://bit.ly/3apStpb

 

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20 YEARS AGO
May 2001

Sitka High boys track team ran to a 2nd-place finish in Juneau while the girls finished fourth. Sitka long-jumper Derek Hirai leapt 19’9.5” for the 2nd highest jump in the state this year. ... Others doing well were Thor Hartwig, Matt Mangini, Damien LaMar, Jeff Loiselle, Logan Wild, Elgin Hollins, Brian Friske, Brian Mork, Mike Bagley, Cody Campbell ....

50 YEARS AGO
May 1971

New Loyal Order of Moose officers, installed Saturday, are Earl Arnold, Grant Laiblin Jr., James Gardner, William Wakefield Jr., Eddielee Hodnett, Basil Riley, Lloyd Van Doren, James Firestone Sr. and Lynden Kincaid.

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