CLOSURE – Amanda Baggen sets a candle on the Indian River foot bridge Tuesday night in memory of her sister Jessica, who was killed 24 years ago at age 17 while walking home through the nearby woods. Dozens of Sitkans turned out to leave candles and flowers on the bridge Tuesday night after Alaska State Troopers and Sitka Police announced earlier in the day they had solved the 1996 murder case using DNA evidence. The suspect, Steve Branch, 66, a former Sitka resident, killed himself at his home in Austin, Arkansas, shortly after being contacted there by officers Aug. 3. Baggen said she thinks this is the last year she will be lighting candles at the bridge, something she, her friends and family have been doing every year for the past 24 years. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Sitka's Challenge

An Editorial:

The election on Tuesday will give Sitka voters choices among a fine selection of candidates for mayor, Assembly and School Board.
    With this issue the Sentinel continues its tradition of granting editorial space to the candidates in which they can inform the voters in their own words on what they can bring to the deliberations that will determine Sitka’s future.
    We are pleased with the caliber of this year’s field of office seekers, and leave it to the voters to choose those they believe are most qualified.
    Whoever they are, they will find their talent and ability severely tested by the decisions they will be called upon to make.
    The election itself is providing a test for the voters, who will decide on an issue of great importance to the financial stability of our city government.
    We don’t like taxes any more than anyone else, but we believe voter approval of the property tax proposition Tuesday will be a reasonable approach to stabilizing city finances. Reliance on our own local resources is a fact of life since the oil price collapse that has left Alaska billions of dollars short of balancing its own books.
    A citizen task force and the city Assembly have given careful consideration to the options, and have recommended a raise in the property tax ceiling as but one step among others – including more cutbacks in city government – to meet our most pressing needs in city services and school support.
    We can look to the state Legislature for an example, if one is needed, of an utter failure to deal with a fiscal crisis. While the legislators sit paralyzed by indecision and the state totters toward insolvency, we in Sitka have the chance to deal with our own problems head-on.
    We support a Yes vote on Proposition 1.

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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 8-12-20)

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 11:20 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 62

Total statewide – 3,881

Total (cumulative) deaths – 27

Active cases in Sitka – 22 (16 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 16 (12 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 164.

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. 

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20 YEARS AGO
August 2000

Classified For Rent ads: 3-bdrm. apt. 1-1/2 baths $800; 2-bdrm trailer $645 plus tax; Unfurnished 2 bdrm. on HPR $735; 1-bdrm. on HPR $588; 3-bdrm, 2-1/2 bath home on Edgecumbe Dr. Excellent view, deck, garage $1,300.

50 YEARS AGO
August 1970

Trollers and their skippers reporting in at Cold Storage Tuesday were Lark Star, John Polivka; Emma, William Sanders; Majestic, George Rohrer; Needlefish, Wayne Westover; The Peasant, Van Baker; The Spencer, Charles Raleigh .... 

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