Mark Sabbatini

Jayden Johnson (4) and Hayden Aube (2), seen here against Dimond High School on Aug. 19, were the biggest offensive playmakers for the Juneau Huskies this season and were used according during the team’s opening playoff game at Anchorage West High School on Friday night. The Huskies, seeded last in the eight-team conference, took an early lead and battled on even terms with top-ranked Anchorage for most of the first half before losing 48-7. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Huskies get into first-half dogfight with top-ranked Anchorage West before losing 48-7 to end season

Juneau takes an early lead, then loses it on a few critical plays resulting in Anchorage touchdowns.

Jayden Johnson (4) and Hayden Aube (2), seen here against Dimond High School on Aug. 19, were the biggest offensive playmakers for the Juneau Huskies this season and were used according during the team’s opening playoff game at Anchorage West High School on Friday night. The Huskies, seeded last in the eight-team conference, took an early lead and battled on even terms with top-ranked Anchorage for most of the first half before losing 48-7. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A home hangs over the edge of an eroded riverbank after part of the neighboring house fell into the Mendenhall River during the record flooding of Suicide Basin on Aug. 5. The rest of the second home was later demolished. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)

Federal SBA loans available for people, businesses affected by Suicide Basin flooding

Agency responds favorably to state request after FEMA rejects disater aid.

A home hangs over the edge of an eroded riverbank after part of the neighboring house fell into the Mendenhall River during the record flooding of Suicide Basin on Aug. 5. The rest of the second home was later demolished. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Denny Corson (left), Edgar Higgins (center) and Patrick Jimmerson perform as the jazz fusion trio 247 at The Alaskan Hotel and Bar this summer. The trio released its fourth recording, the EP ““Seal of Approval,”on Friday. (Photo courtesy of 247)

Jazz fusion trio of TMHS grads releases fourth recording

Band co-founder calls EP, which can be heard free online, “a gigantic step up” from previous albums.

Denny Corson (left), Edgar Higgins (center) and Patrick Jimmerson perform as the jazz fusion trio 247 at The Alaskan Hotel and Bar this summer. The trio released its fourth recording, the EP ““Seal of Approval,”on Friday. (Photo courtesy of 247)
Heidi Drygas, executive director of the 8,000-member Alaska State Employees Association, addresses a rally outside the Alaska State Capitol on Feb. 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)

Union for state employees files class action grievance over payroll delays

State has fewer than half the payroll employees needed “to run smoothly,” complaint alleges.

Heidi Drygas, executive director of the 8,000-member Alaska State Employees Association, addresses a rally outside the Alaska State Capitol on Feb. 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Nikki King (16), a senior, attempts to block a shot for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during the team’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Thursday night at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS volleyball, missing two key players to illness, loses to Mt. Edgecumbe

“We have to start focusing on the small wins,” coach Jody Levernier says.

Nikki King (16), a senior, attempts to block a shot for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during the team’s game against Mt. Edgecumbe High School on Thursday night at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Evan Wood (left), Yvette Fountain (middle) and Nasir Spears wait outside the Alaska Department of Revenue office in the State Office Building on Thursday morning to discuss issues related to their Permanent Fund dividends. A majority of state residents got $1,312 dividends electronically deposited Thursday — or a day or two earlier — a considerably lower dividend than the $3,284 payout last year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A majority of Alaskans are $1,312 richer as of Thursday — some wish it were more

This year’s PFD is much lower than last year’s — the price of a balanced state budget.

Evan Wood (left), Yvette Fountain (middle) and Nasir Spears wait outside the Alaska Department of Revenue office in the State Office Building on Thursday morning to discuss issues related to their Permanent Fund dividends. A majority of state residents got $1,312 dividends electronically deposited Thursday — or a day or two earlier — a considerably lower dividend than the $3,284 payout last year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Brick Engstrom (right) connects his harness to a rope on a crane-like device Thursday morning that allows him, co-worker Colton Baucom and two other people to rappel down the 11-story State Office Building as they clean it with pressure washers. The first such cleaning in at least a decade, which began a week ago, is expected to take about another month. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Rappelling the dirt and slime from the State Office Building

11-story bastion of bureaucracy getting first thorough exterior cleaning in at least a decade.

Brick Engstrom (right) connects his harness to a rope on a crane-like device Thursday morning that allows him, co-worker Colton Baucom and two other people to rappel down the 11-story State Office Building as they clean it with pressure washers. The first such cleaning in at least a decade, which began a week ago, is expected to take about another month. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Safeway supermarket in Juneau, seen here Wednesday, is among those in Alaska that might be sold if its parent company, Albertsons Companies Inc., merges with Kroger Co., the parent company of Fred Meyer. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

24 of 60 Alaska state lawmakers sign letter opposing merger of Safeway, Fred Meyer parent companies

All three of Juneau’s Democratic legislators among those opposing merger.

The Safeway supermarket in Juneau, seen here Wednesday, is among those in Alaska that might be sold if its parent company, Albertsons Companies Inc., merges with Kroger Co., the parent company of Fred Meyer. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Students in the Juneau School District fared better on standardized science tests during the past year than their peers statewide, but the local proficiency score of about 43% was nearly 6% lower than the local scores last year, according to results released last Friday. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Statewide test scores show Alaska’s students still struggling

About 37% proficient in science statewide; Juneau at 43%, down from 48.6% a year ago.

Students in the Juneau School District fared better on standardized science tests during the past year than their peers statewide, but the local proficiency score of about 43% was nearly 6% lower than the local scores last year, according to results released last Friday. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
A closed sign sits on Delta’s ticket counter after hours inside Juneau International Airport in August of 2022. The airline announced this week it is suspending service between Juneau and Seattle from Nov. 4 to June 6, 2024. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)

Delta Air Lines canceling Juneau-Seattle flights from Nov. 4 until early next June

Airline cites “commercial and operational constraints,” analyst says higher local airfares likely.

A closed sign sits on Delta’s ticket counter after hours inside Juneau International Airport in August of 2022. The airline announced this week it is suspending service between Juneau and Seattle from Nov. 4 to June 6, 2024. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé volleyball team faces off against Bartlett High School during bracket play in the 2023 West Spiketacular Tournament in Anchorage on Saturday. JDHS won the play-in match to get to the final four in the Bronze Bracket, but lost its subsequent game in straight sets. (Screenshot from video by JDHS volleyball)

Juneau’s teams fall short in 2023 West Spiketacular Tournament in Anchorage

TMHS goes 9-3, JDHS 0-12 in pool play; both local teams knocked out early in bracket rounds.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé volleyball team faces off against Bartlett High School during bracket play in the 2023 West Spiketacular Tournament in Anchorage on Saturday. JDHS won the play-in match to get to the final four in the Bronze Bracket, but lost its subsequent game in straight sets. (Screenshot from video by JDHS volleyball)
Juneau senior Eric Tipton (88) levels Anchorage South wide receiver Landon Drumm during Saturday’s game at Adair-Kennedy Field. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Huskies go South, lose regular season finale 46-0

Juneau, last place at 0-7 in conference, faces top-seed Anchorage West in playoffs.

Juneau senior Eric Tipton (88) levels Anchorage South wide receiver Landon Drumm during Saturday’s game at Adair-Kennedy Field. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Violinist/vocalist Chelsey Green, seen here with her Green Project ensemble in 2022, is scheduled to perform Oct. 4 and 5 during the Juneau Jazz and Classics Fall Music Festival. (Photo courtesy of Chelsey Green)
Video

This fall’s Juneau Jazz and Classics offers the world on a string

Cellos and violins will be playing rock, folk, baroque, fusion and traditional at five-day festival.

Violinist/vocalist Chelsey Green, seen here with her Green Project ensemble in 2022, is scheduled to perform Oct. 4 and 5 during the Juneau Jazz and Classics Fall Music Festival. (Photo courtesy of Chelsey Green)
Video
Recently installed rock fill safeguards homes along the Mendenhall River where record flooding caused extensive damage in early August, including washing away part of a home where the riverbank remains unprotected. Residents along the riverbank are expressing concerns about the costs of the protection, as well as anyone not able or willing to have such fill installed because the gaps will leave the area vulnerable to future floods. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Recently installed rock fill safeguards homes along the Mendenhall River where record flooding caused extensive damage in early August, including washing away part of a home where the riverbank remains unprotected. Residents along the riverbank are expressing concerns about the costs of the protection, as well as anyone not able or willing to have such fill installed because the gaps will leave the area vulnerable to future floods. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
A person departs Bartlett Regional Hospital on July 26, a day after a board of directors meeting raised issues about the hospital’s leadership and quality of care, with then-CEO David Keith resigning a week later. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)

New Bartlett CEO has lots of experience with mergers, transitions as hospital confronts struggles

Meanwhile former CEO still getting paid for post-resignation ‘transition’ despite leaving the state.

A person departs Bartlett Regional Hospital on July 26, a day after a board of directors meeting raised issues about the hospital’s leadership and quality of care, with then-CEO David Keith resigning a week later. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Ian Worden addresses Bartlett Regional Hospital’s board of directors via Zoom during a meeting Tuesday night where he was subsequently hired as the new interim chief executive officer. He is expected to begin the job within a month. (Screenshot from Bartlett Regional Hospital video)

Bartlett Regional Hospital, during unusual board meeting, makes yet another interim CEO hire

Longtime Seattle-area executive unanimously chosen as hospital’s third leader in past two months.

Ian Worden addresses Bartlett Regional Hospital’s board of directors via Zoom during a meeting Tuesday night where he was subsequently hired as the new interim chief executive officer. He is expected to begin the job within a month. (Screenshot from Bartlett Regional Hospital video)
U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat who became the first Alaska Native in Congress a year ago, discusses issues and adjusting to the national political scene on Sept. 8 as part of a three-day visit to Juneau. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A year after surprising victory, Peltola a popular target in Congress

Spending 9/11 with Biden, being top target of GOP now part of job while dealing with family matters.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat who became the first Alaska Native in Congress a year ago, discusses issues and adjusting to the national political scene on Sept. 8 as part of a three-day visit to Juneau. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A Ketchikan High School volleyball player, at left, unsuccessfully tries to hit the ball over the net, giving Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé the decisive winning point in a game Saturday during the Southeast Super Slamma Jamma Volleyball Tournament in Sitka. JDHS, after winning the opening game of the lower-ranking Coho Division in Saturday’s tournament, lost the division championship game to Homer High School in straight sets. (Screenshot from Mount Edgecumbe High School video of tournament)
Video

JDHS, TMHS both claim victories of sorts at Sitka tournament

For previously winless Crimson Bears, advancing to a title game marks a step forward.

A Ketchikan High School volleyball player, at left, unsuccessfully tries to hit the ball over the net, giving Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé the decisive winning point in a game Saturday during the Southeast Super Slamma Jamma Volleyball Tournament in Sitka. JDHS, after winning the opening game of the lower-ranking Coho Division in Saturday’s tournament, lost the division championship game to Homer High School in straight sets. (Screenshot from Mount Edgecumbe High School video of tournament)
Video
Maria Norman, 80, guides her wheelchair/walker toward the front patio space of the senior living building at the St. Vincent de Paul of Juneau complex on Teal Street on Saturday. About 30 Juneau residents visited the complex during the morning as part of a Friends of the Poor Run/Walk to raise money for the facility and its programs. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A step at a time toward housing stability

Annual fundraising run/walk for St. Vincent de Paul Juneau highlights improvements, ongoing needs.

Maria Norman, 80, guides her wheelchair/walker toward the front patio space of the senior living building at the St. Vincent de Paul of Juneau complex on Teal Street on Saturday. About 30 Juneau residents visited the complex during the morning as part of a Friends of the Poor Run/Walk to raise money for the facility and its programs. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau’s Anthony Garcia (22) carries the ball deep into West Anchorage High School territory to set up the Huskies’ first touchdown early in the third quarter during Saturday’s game in Anchorage. (Screenshot from Juneau Huskies football livestream video)

Depleted Huskies lose at West Anchorage 59-21

JV players make up one-third of Juneau’s squad during matchup against top team in conference.

Juneau’s Anthony Garcia (22) carries the ball deep into West Anchorage High School territory to set up the Huskies’ first touchdown early in the third quarter during Saturday’s game in Anchorage. (Screenshot from Juneau Huskies football livestream video)