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. Monday, an Unfair Labor Practice complaint has been filed by a representative of the University of Alaska’s faculty union against the university’s administration. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

UA staff union files unfair labor practice complaint

University administration accused of bad faith during year-long negotiations

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. Monday, an Unfair Labor Practice complaint has been filed by a representative of the University of Alaska’s faculty union against the university’s administration. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File 
In an open letter, a spokesperson for Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s reelection campain questioned an Anchorage Daily News reporter’s coverage of matters related to the governor in light of a reporter’s marriage to City and Borough of Juneau Assembly member Carole Triem, who has been a vocal supporter of candidate Les Gara.

Dunleavy campaign: Marriage of ADN reporter, Juneau Assembly member a ‘conflict’

Letter from Dunleavy spokesperson questions Carole Triem’s husband’s ability to cover campaign fairly.

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File 
In an open letter, a spokesperson for Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s reelection campain questioned an Anchorage Daily News reporter’s coverage of matters related to the governor in light of a reporter’s marriage to City and Borough of Juneau Assembly member Carole Triem, who has been a vocal supporter of candidate Les Gara.
Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File 
A roll of I voted stickers await voters on Saturday at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Juneau.

Special House race set for photo finish

Peltola now leads by nearly 9% in special House race, pollster calls ranked choice outcome a toss-up

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File 
A roll of I voted stickers await voters on Saturday at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Juneau.
The MV Tazlina is docked at the Auke Bay ferry terminal in this Nov. 15, 2021, photo. The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry is expected to provide service from early January through February, according to the Alaska Department of Public Transportation and Public Facilities. Updates on some aspects of winter operations from October until next April were provided by top ferry and state transportation officials during an Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board meeting Friday.  (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Chilly reception for proposed winter ferry schedule

Fears about no or little service for critical needs expressed from Southeast to Southwest Alaska

The MV Tazlina is docked at the Auke Bay ferry terminal in this Nov. 15, 2021, photo. The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry is expected to provide service from early January through February, according to the Alaska Department of Public Transportation and Public Facilities. Updates on some aspects of winter operations from October until next April were provided by top ferry and state transportation officials during an Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board meeting Friday.  (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Supporters of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wait for an opportunity to talk to her at her newly Juneau campaign headquarters Thursday evening at Kootznoowoo Plaza. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Murkowski opens up at Juneau HQ debut

Senator chats with supporters about U.S. vs. Belgium voting, moose chili and Project Veritas

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wait for an opportunity to talk to her at her newly Juneau campaign headquarters Thursday evening at Kootznoowoo Plaza. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
A State of Alaska Department of Health Social Services sign remains on the main building providing in Juneau providing related services, even though the agency officially split into two departments on July 1.

Commissioners of new departments say transition has been smooth

Commisioners of new departments say IT and other key transitions smooth, more visible changes coming

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
A State of Alaska Department of Health Social Services sign remains on the main building providing in Juneau providing related services, even though the agency officially split into two departments on July 1.
This photo shows the old Glory Hall building on South Franklin Street. Leaders of the longtime homeless shelter and soup kitchen hope that the building will be developed into low-income housing.  (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

Another step forward for old Glory Hall housing project

Proposed conversion of downtown shelter to low-income housing to get new consideration in October

This photo shows the old Glory Hall building on South Franklin Street. Leaders of the longtime homeless shelter and soup kitchen hope that the building will be developed into low-income housing.  (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
A chart shows statewide non-farm jobs since 2007 which remained relatively stable until the sharp drop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. While the total has recovered somewhat, employment is still well below pre-pandemic levels and state labor officials said they cannot yet project if and for how long the increase in recovery will continue, (Alaska Department of Labor)

Recent reports show more jobs, less oil revenue

Cruise tourism helps fuel better employment than a year ago, but state coffers may suffer

A chart shows statewide non-farm jobs since 2007 which remained relatively stable until the sharp drop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. While the total has recovered somewhat, employment is still well below pre-pandemic levels and state labor officials said they cannot yet project if and for how long the increase in recovery will continue, (Alaska Department of Labor)
Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum for candidates, May 12, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Sweeney said Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, she plans to end her campaign, saying she does not see a path to victory or to raise the money needed to be successful in the November general election. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)

Little change in election results as Sweeney drops out

Updated count shows Sarah Palin solidifying chances of ultimately prevailing in U.S. House race

Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum for candidates, May 12, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Sweeney said Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, she plans to end her campaign, saying she does not see a path to victory or to raise the money needed to be successful in the November general election. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)
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)