Mark Sabbatini

Jerry Harmon, president of Juneau Gold Rush Days and a miner for more than 40 years, shows some of the nearly 500,000 pounds of heavy equipment being brought to Savikko Field for this weekend’s events. The event has attracted more than 10,000 people at its peak, but was cancelled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Gold Rush Days returns with strong prospects

Weekend mining and logging event at Savikko Field celebrates 30th year after missing past two years

Jerry Harmon, president of Juneau Gold Rush Days and a miner for more than 40 years, shows some of the nearly 500,000 pounds of heavy equipment being brought to Savikko Field for this weekend’s events. The event has attracted more than 10,000 people at its peak, but was cancelled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
This photo shows Sít' Eetí Shaanáx - Glacier Valley School the evening of Tuesday, June 14. The school is one of three sites of the Juneau School District's RALLY program. On Tuesday, children were served floor sealant instead of milk during breakfast at the school's RALLY site. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Superintendent: Pouches of milk, chemicals delivered side-by-side

“That’s when the beginning of this mismatch began,” she said.

This photo shows Sít' Eetí Shaanáx - Glacier Valley School the evening of Tuesday, June 14. The school is one of three sites of the Juneau School District's RALLY program. On Tuesday, children were served floor sealant instead of milk during breakfast at the school's RALLY site. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Learning bundles await pickup at what is now known as Kax̱digoowú Héen Elementary School on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. The school’s name was officially changed Tuesday night after much debate. It was previously named Riverbend Elementary School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Goodbye Riverbend, hello Kax̱digoowú Héen

Renaming elementary school approved by Juneau Board of Education after a long debate.

Learning bundles await pickup at what is now known as Kax̱digoowú Héen Elementary School on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. The school’s name was officially changed Tuesday night after much debate. It was previously named Riverbend Elementary School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
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Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon, left, and Deputy Mayor Maria Gladziszewski review a portion of the city’s spending plan for the upcoming year before the Juneau Assembly unanimously approved it Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Assembly approves budget, new city hall ‘down payment’

Juneau’s leaders approve $439.6M budget with no debate, but city hall funding remains controversial

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon, left, and Deputy Mayor Maria Gladziszewski review a portion of the city’s spending plan for the upcoming year before the Juneau Assembly unanimously approved it Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Native dancers gather for a final time on the stage at Centennial Hall for the Grand Exit of this year’s four-day Celebration. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Celebration goes out like it came in

1,200 Alaska Natives perform encore of entrance dance for Grand Exit, talk of revived future hopes

Alaska Native dancers gather for a final time on the stage at Centennial Hall for the Grand Exit of this year’s four-day Celebration. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A group of women drummers nears the end of the Celebration parade route at the turnoff to Centennial Hall on Saturday. The four-day Alaska Native gathering is marking its final day with events at the hall including an afternoon of dances, a screening a film commemorating Celebration’s 40-year anniversary and the Grand Exit. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Celebration parade a priceless souvenir for visitors

Procession a chance for Alaska Natives to share stories and snapshots with folks from afar.

A group of women drummers nears the end of the Celebration parade route at the turnoff to Centennial Hall on Saturday. The four-day Alaska Native gathering is marking its final day with events at the hall including an afternoon of dances, a screening a film commemorating Celebration’s 40-year anniversary and the Grand Exit. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An artist’s depiction shows the public meeting space for a proposed new city hall in Juneau. The Juneau Assembly is scheduled to vote Monday on allocating $6.3 million in general funds toward the project expected to cost roughly $40 million, accepting public testimony beforehand. The Assembly is also scheduled to take final votes on other major items including next year’s budget and property tax mill rate. (SRS Architecture)

Big action on big local issues Monday

Final votes on next year’s budget and property tax mill rate among items at Juneau Assembly meeting

An artist’s depiction shows the public meeting space for a proposed new city hall in Juneau. The Juneau Assembly is scheduled to vote Monday on allocating $6.3 million in general funds toward the project expected to cost roughly $40 million, accepting public testimony beforehand. The Assembly is also scheduled to take final votes on other major items including next year’s budget and property tax mill rate. (SRS Architecture)
Ricardo Worl, left, congratulates 2022 Celebration traditional food contest winners Mike Allard (seaweed), Sharon Olsen (seal oil) and Donna James (dried fish) at Centennial Hall on Thursday shortly after a secret judging at the Walter Soboleff Building(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Traditions set the table for Celebration food contest winners

Winners say subsistence traditions feed bodies and souls during pandemic.

Ricardo Worl, left, congratulates 2022 Celebration traditional food contest winners Mike Allard (seaweed), Sharon Olsen (seal oil) and Donna James (dried fish) at Centennial Hall on Thursday shortly after a secret judging at the Walter Soboleff Building(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The copper sculpture “Mussel” by Káakaxaawulga Jennifer Younger is the Best of Show winner in the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s 11th biennial Juried Art Show and Competition featured at this year’s Celebration. Entries in the competition will be exhibited at the Nathan Jackson Gallery at the Walter Soboleff Building through Dec. 3. (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage Institute)
The copper sculpture “Mussel” by Káakaxaawulga Jennifer Younger is the Best of Show winner in the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s 11th biennial Juried Art Show and Competition featured at this year’s Celebration. Entries in the competition will be exhibited at the Nathan Jackson Gallery at the Walter Soboleff Building through Dec. 3. (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Fran Houston, cultural Leader of the A'akw Kwáan, dances during Celebration in downtown Juneau. Wednesday, the biennial celebration of Alaska Native peoples and cultures brought song, dance and the opening of a new arts campus to the capital city. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Celebration opens with Sealaska campus debut

Dances, ceremonies, Alaska’s first 360-degree totem and a new discovery about old times mark event

Fran Houston, cultural Leader of the A'akw Kwáan, dances during Celebration in downtown Juneau. Wednesday, the biennial celebration of Alaska Native peoples and cultures brought song, dance and the opening of a new arts campus to the capital city. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Kristall Bullock, 16, right, a Ketchikan resident whose Native-themed vest is part of the Sealaska Heritage Juried Youth Art Exhibit, examines works by her peers during the debt of the exhibit Friday at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. She said she saw works at the exhibit during Celebration in 2018, when she was with one of the dance groups, and “I was thinking I want to have a piece.” Viewing other works at the exhibit with Bullock are her sister, Anna Lindgren, and 8-month-old niece, Evelyn. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Healthy outlook for return of Celebration

Landmark Alaska Native event returns to Juneau starting Wednesday, with strict COVID-19 rules.

Kristall Bullock, 16, right, a Ketchikan resident whose Native-themed vest is part of the Sealaska Heritage Juried Youth Art Exhibit, examines works by her peers during the debt of the exhibit Friday at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. She said she saw works at the exhibit during Celebration in 2018, when she was with one of the dance groups, and “I was thinking I want to have a piece.” Viewing other works at the exhibit with Bullock are her sister, Anna Lindgren, and 8-month-old niece, Evelyn. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Natalia Spengler, left, Tommy Schoffler, center, and Kelsey Riker rehearse the final scene of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Treadwell Office Mine on Tuesday. The play debuts at 7 p.m. Thursday and will continue at the historic mine site and other outdoors venues until June 26. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Playing around at the office

All the world’s a stage —especially the part by the Treadwell Mine.

Natalia Spengler, left, Tommy Schoffler, center, and Kelsey Riker rehearse the final scene of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Treadwell Office Mine on Tuesday. The play debuts at 7 p.m. Thursday and will continue at the historic mine site and other outdoors venues until June 26. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Dense residential housing in areas such as Douglas includes a mixture of more expensive homes occupied by long-term owners, rentals occupied by residents from various income categories and an increasing number of short-term rentals occupied by tourists. (Courtesy Photo / City and Borough of Juneau)

Long-term debate continues about short-term rentals

Mandatory registration of Airbnb and similar rentals favored by Assembly members.

Dense residential housing in areas such as Douglas includes a mixture of more expensive homes occupied by long-term owners, rentals occupied by residents from various income categories and an increasing number of short-term rentals occupied by tourists. (Courtesy Photo / City and Borough of Juneau)
An artist depiction of a new city hall building at 450 Whittier St. in Juneau, which would cost an estimated $41 million with an underground parking garage, according to a presentation to Juneau Assembly members Monday. (Courtesy Image / North Wind Architects)

A priceless vote for a new city hall

Juneau’s Assembly members OK drafting bond measure for fall ballot, but not yet sure of the amount.

An artist depiction of a new city hall building at 450 Whittier St. in Juneau, which would cost an estimated $41 million with an underground parking garage, according to a presentation to Juneau Assembly members Monday. (Courtesy Image / North Wind Architects)
Bartlett Regional Hospital is extending its search for a new chief executive officer after two finalists for the job recently withdrew from consideration. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

Bartlett extends new CEO search

Hospital board to reevalute current applicants, may consider new ones, as lengthy search gets longer

Bartlett Regional Hospital is extending its search for a new chief executive officer after two finalists for the job recently withdrew from consideration. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
A sign asking Juneau residents to sign a petition eliminating a requirement that property buyers disclose their purchase price is displayed by a signature gatherer during a collection effort earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of the Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors)

Property buyers may again be able to keep prices secret

Ballot petition repealing required disclosure of price to city has enough signatures, proponents say

A sign asking Juneau residents to sign a petition eliminating a requirement that property buyers disclose their purchase price is displayed by a signature gatherer during a collection effort earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of the Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors)
Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon takes a photo of an interactive spreadsheet showing how adjusting sales tax and property tax rates can compensate for revenue lost if food is exempt from local sales taxes during a meeting of the Juneau Assembly’s Finance Committee on Wednesday. The committee rejected putting several variations of the food tax exemption on the fall municipal ballot, instead suggesting they may favor an advisory vote on the issue. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Food sales tax exemption stalls out —for now

Members of Juneau’s Assembly reject proposal for fall ballot, but residents may see advisory vote.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon takes a photo of an interactive spreadsheet showing how adjusting sales tax and property tax rates can compensate for revenue lost if food is exempt from local sales taxes during a meeting of the Juneau Assembly’s Finance Committee on Wednesday. The committee rejected putting several variations of the food tax exemption on the fall municipal ballot, instead suggesting they may favor an advisory vote on the issue. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Bartlett Regional Hospital announced that two of three finalists for its chief executive officer position have withdrawn from consideration citing personal  reasons. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

2 of 3 hospital CEO candidates drop out

Finalists withdraw a day before in-person interviews begin, BRH board considers next steps Saturday.

Bartlett Regional Hospital announced that two of three finalists for its chief executive officer position have withdrawn from consideration citing personal  reasons. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
A sign asking Juneau residents to sign a petition eliminating a requirement that property buyers disclose their purchase price is displayed by a signature gatherer during a collection effort earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of the Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors)
A sign asking Juneau residents to sign a petition eliminating a requirement that property buyers disclose their purchase price is displayed by a signature gatherer during a collection effort earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of the Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors)