Mark Sabbatini

Members of United Academics - American Association of University Professors/American Federation of Teachers Local 4996 gathered on the steps of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, to call on University of Alaska officials to agree to a negotiated contract. After an agreement failed to materialize Monday, negotiations are ongoing. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

University contract impasse continues as classes near

Union and administration schedule talks through September after negotiations fall short Monday

Members of United Academics - American Association of University Professors/American Federation of Teachers Local 4996 gathered on the steps of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, to call on University of Alaska officials to agree to a negotiated contract. After an agreement failed to materialize Monday, negotiations are ongoing. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
A forecast for Alaska’s U.S. Senate race by FiveThirtyEight, long considered the gold standard in prediction punditry, following Tuesday’s primary is wildly at odds with virtually all polls and conventional wisdom by showing Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka is the dominant favorite to win in November’s general election. Most analysts expect incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski to be reelected under the new ranked choice voting system due to support from Democrats and Independents. Murkowski also defied some predictions by getting the most Republican votes in the primary, although that may have been because the leading Democratic candidate got considerably fewer votes than expected. (Screenshot from FiveThirtyEight)

Odds and unends from a primarily special campaign

Bits of weirdness from a uniquely mystifying election week.

A forecast for Alaska’s U.S. Senate race by FiveThirtyEight, long considered the gold standard in prediction punditry, following Tuesday’s primary is wildly at odds with virtually all polls and conventional wisdom by showing Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka is the dominant favorite to win in November’s general election. Most analysts expect incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski to be reelected under the new ranked choice voting system due to support from Democrats and Independents. Murkowski also defied some predictions by getting the most Republican votes in the primary, although that may have been because the leading Democratic candidate got considerably fewer votes than expected. (Screenshot from FiveThirtyEight)
A map shows land tracts where Alaska Native Vietnam veterans can apply for parcels under an allocation program finalized this month by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The most common land parcels potentially available are shaded in light yellow. Areas shaded in light green, including the ones nearest Juneau, represent potentially available state selected land. Applications processing and selection by the bureau is scheduled to start Sept. 14. (U.S. Bureau of Land Management)

28M acres of land now available for Vietnam-era Alaska Native veterans

160-acre parcels for Vietnam-era applicants viewable online, allocations to begin in September

A map shows land tracts where Alaska Native Vietnam veterans can apply for parcels under an allocation program finalized this month by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The most common land parcels potentially available are shaded in light yellow. Areas shaded in light green, including the ones nearest Juneau, represent potentially available state selected land. Applications processing and selection by the bureau is scheduled to start Sept. 14. (U.S. Bureau of Land Management)
Democratic U.S. House Candidate Mary Peltola hugs a supporter during a campaign event in Juneau on Friday. Peltola emerged as the top finisher in the first round of results on election night, but is facing two better-known Republican challengers who may prevail when the new ranked choice ballots get a final tabulation Aug. 31. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Election results and reactions

Ranked choice will determine who wins House seat; November races take shape.

Democratic U.S. House Candidate Mary Peltola hugs a supporter during a campaign event in Juneau on Friday. Peltola emerged as the top finisher in the first round of results on election night, but is facing two better-known Republican challengers who may prevail when the new ranked choice ballots get a final tabulation Aug. 31. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A sign points voters toward an election center during the May special primary election. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

What to know for Election Day

Balloting bits including poll places, expected result times and more.

A sign points voters toward an election center during the May special primary election. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
A sign points voters toward an election center during the May special primary election. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Candidates answer questions ahead of election

Responses from gubernatorial, House and Senate candidates.

A sign points voters toward an election center during the May special primary election. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein stars in a campaign sign within view of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Gungurstein, an independent, got exposure this week for being a Hollywood actress under a different last name after questions about her past went unanswered throughout the campaign. She is one of 19 candidates seeking to be among the four selected in next Tuesday’s primary to compete in the November general election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Senate candidate sheds more light on background

Shoshana Gungurstein responds at length to recent report on past film career.

U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein stars in a campaign sign within view of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Gungurstein, an independent, got exposure this week for being a Hollywood actress under a different last name after questions about her past went unanswered throughout the campaign. She is one of 19 candidates seeking to be among the four selected in next Tuesday’s primary to compete in the November general election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
This late-April photo shows a damaged sticker on a door at Thunder Mountain High School reminding people to social distance and wear masks inside the building. Masks will not be required in school buildings this year. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

This late-April photo shows a damaged sticker on a door at Thunder Mountain High School reminding people to social distance and wear masks inside the building. Masks will not be required in school buildings this year. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau School District Bridget Weiss, shown in this September 2021 photo, shows an art project she completed as a kindergarten student at Harborview Elementary School. Weiss, superintendent since 2018, received a one-year extension of her contract until June of 2025 on Tuesday. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire File)

Superintendent gets contract extension, raise

Bridget Weiss, Alaska’s 2022 Superintendent of the Year, to preside over Juneau schools until 2025.

Juneau School District Bridget Weiss, shown in this September 2021 photo, shows an art project she completed as a kindergarten student at Harborview Elementary School. Weiss, superintendent since 2018, received a one-year extension of her contract until June of 2025 on Tuesday. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire File)
Screenshot from www.predictit.org
A betting chart lists Sarah Palin as the strong favorite to win the special election for Alaska’s U.S. House seat next Tuesday despite polling suggesting she is the least likely of the three candidates on the ballot to prevail.

The odds are odd for special election

Palin a strong favorite and Peltola a 7-1 longshot, which differs from polls.

Screenshot from www.predictit.org
A betting chart lists Sarah Palin as the strong favorite to win the special election for Alaska’s U.S. House seat next Tuesday despite polling suggesting she is the least likely of the three candidates on the ballot to prevail.
This May 2022 photo shows a ballot and return envelope in the state's special primary election. Tuesday is Election Day for the general election featuring three of the top vote-getters from the earlier ballot. Aug. 16 will also include a regular primary election. Only the special election will feature ranked choice voting. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Clarifying an election unlike any other

Confusion about unique ballot impairs otherwise lively vote next week.

This May 2022 photo shows a ballot and return envelope in the state's special primary election. Tuesday is Election Day for the general election featuring three of the top vote-getters from the earlier ballot. Aug. 16 will also include a regular primary election. Only the special election will feature ranked choice voting. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

It’s a week until the vote — do you know where your candidates are?

A few contenders planning Juneau and Southeast Alaska stops before Tuesday’s primary/special election

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters about the state's budget at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Dunleavy, who received a conditional endorsement from former President Donald Trump, was among the first prominent Alaska politicians to weigh in on the FBI's search of Trump's property. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Alaska pols buzzwording about FBI raid

Reactions by Trump backers — and lack thereof by opponents — mirror national furor

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters about the state's budget at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Dunleavy, who received a conditional endorsement from former President Donald Trump, was among the first prominent Alaska politicians to weigh in on the FBI's search of Trump's property. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Alex Whetman, suffering leg cramps and numb hands moments after winning the inaugural Ironman Alaska on Sunday, found something sufficient to divert his attention a minute or so later while in the midst of explaining his victory to the surrounding cameras and voice recorders. Whetman, a Salt Lake City resident participating in his fifth Iron Man, finished with a time of 9 hours, 11 minutes and 17 seconds, more than 12 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Ironman Alaska chills and thrills

Rain and numbing cold add extra challenge to inaugural race in Juneau, but warmth from locals shines

Alex Whetman, suffering leg cramps and numb hands moments after winning the inaugural Ironman Alaska on Sunday, found something sufficient to divert his attention a minute or so later while in the midst of explaining his victory to the surrounding cameras and voice recorders. Whetman, a Salt Lake City resident participating in his fifth Iron Man, finished with a time of 9 hours, 11 minutes and 17 seconds, more than 12 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A blank wood sign at the seaplane dock welcomes people to Tenakee Springs, where the adjacent moss-covered helipad has been in disrepair and unusable for years. The town is struggling with numerous infrastructure deficiencies, along with a shrinking population and uncertain future. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Sharing shortfalls and stoutness in Tenakee Springs

Part 1 in a three-part series.

A blank wood sign at the seaplane dock welcomes people to Tenakee Springs, where the adjacent moss-covered helipad has been in disrepair and unusable for years. The town is struggling with numerous infrastructure deficiencies, along with a shrinking population and uncertain future. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A telephone booth, one of two in Tenakee Springs, awaits callers near the recreational boat harbor at the edge of town. While full-size phone booths have all but vanished in the United States, the two in Tenakee are all the more remarkable because both allows calls to be made free of charge. The drawback is the calls can only be local and calling cards for long-distance numbers aren’t always available for purchase. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Trivial Tenakee tidbits

Random bits of weirdness from a town with two phone booths and no bathhouse committee applicants

A telephone booth, one of two in Tenakee Springs, awaits callers near the recreational boat harbor at the edge of town. While full-size phone booths have all but vanished in the United States, the two in Tenakee are all the more remarkable because both allows calls to be made free of charge. The drawback is the calls can only be local and calling cards for long-distance numbers aren’t always available for purchase. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An unofficial 4 1/2-mph speed limit sign implores people to slow down from the official 10 mph limit while driving ATVs and bicycles on the dirt road passing through a trio of family homes on the outskirts of Tenakee Springs. A suggestion to impose an official 5 mph limit in some parts of the community where children frequent has been unsuccessfully made recently to the city council. No cars or trucks, except for two essential public service vehicles, are allowed in the town. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Choosing the road less traveled

Part three of a three-part series.

An unofficial 4 1/2-mph speed limit sign implores people to slow down from the official 10 mph limit while driving ATVs and bicycles on the dirt road passing through a trio of family homes on the outskirts of Tenakee Springs. A suggestion to impose an official 5 mph limit in some parts of the community where children frequent has been unsuccessfully made recently to the city council. No cars or trucks, except for two essential public service vehicles, are allowed in the town. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Kevin Allred, left, and his son, Flint, discuss options for finding building project materials in front of the elder Allred’s house along the main street in Tenakee Springs on Tuesday. Both are among the high percentage of residents who say they make a living dong “odd jobs.” That diversity of skills proves useful in other ways in the tiny community such as when the father made a mechanical hand from spare parts for his son when he broke his hand a year ago. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Seeking the upsides of downsizing

Part 2 in a three-part series

Kevin Allred, left, and his son, Flint, discuss options for finding building project materials in front of the elder Allred’s house along the main street in Tenakee Springs on Tuesday. Both are among the high percentage of residents who say they make a living dong “odd jobs.” That diversity of skills proves useful in other ways in the tiny community such as when the father made a mechanical hand from spare parts for his son when he broke his hand a year ago. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
This March 2020 photo shows Juneau’s City Hall. Friday was the first day for candidates to file for October’s municipal election. By the end of the day, only one certified candidate was listed on the CBJ website. However, all three Assembly members with expiring terms said they intent to run again. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

A unique challenge to huge hike in assessments

Owner wants Juneau Assembly, not courts, to resolve dispute about property values.

This March 2020 photo shows Juneau’s City Hall. Friday was the first day for candidates to file for October’s municipal election. By the end of the day, only one certified candidate was listed on the CBJ website. However, all three Assembly members with expiring terms said they intent to run again. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Congressional candidates Mary Peltola, left, Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III discuss Southeast Alaska and other issues during a midday forum Monday hosted by KINY radio. The three candidates are the finalists for the special election Aug. 16 fill the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young’s term and also are competing in the primary for the general election on that date. (Screenshot / KINY radio webcast)

3 House candidates debate in Juneau

Mary Peltola, Nick Begich III and Sarah Palin make cases before Aug. 16 special election

Congressional candidates Mary Peltola, left, Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III discuss Southeast Alaska and other issues during a midday forum Monday hosted by KINY radio. The three candidates are the finalists for the special election Aug. 16 fill the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young’s term and also are competing in the primary for the general election on that date. (Screenshot / KINY radio webcast)