Mark Sabbatini

Josh Fortenbery records a song from his debut album “No Such Thing as Forever” while sitting in an improvised sound isolation booth at the KTOO studios in early 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
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Struggles of isolation and support of community come together for launch of debut album

Josh Fortenbery’s “No Such Thing As Forever” available Friday, with two-show release party Saturday.

Josh Fortenbery records a song from his debut album “No Such Thing as Forever” while sitting in an improvised sound isolation booth at the KTOO studios in early 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
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The front page of the Juneau Empire on March 3, 1994. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on March 3, 1994. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Angie Flick (center), finance director for the City and Borough of Juneau, presents an overview of local property value assessments during a meeting of the Assembly’s Finance Committee on Wednesday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Juneau residential property assessments rise 1.66% in 2023, compared to 16% in 2022, preliminary data shows

Cooling of housing market results in lower increase, CBJ’s finance director says.

Angie Flick (center), finance director for the City and Borough of Juneau, presents an overview of local property value assessments during a meeting of the Assembly’s Finance Committee on Wednesday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A blueprint shows plans for a geotechnical exploration/bathymetry survey scheduled at Cascade Point this summer for a proposed ferry terminal. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)

Cascade Point ferry terminal may be ready by ’25, but AMH board members skeptical about its usefulness

“The compelling reason for this is still escaping me,” one member says during project update Tuesday

A blueprint shows plans for a geotechnical exploration/bathymetry survey scheduled at Cascade Point this summer for a proposed ferry terminal. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
A sign objecting to the Juneau School District’s consolidation plan is displayed by an audience member during a Juneau Assembly meeting Monday night as members consider a $9.7 million bailout package to help solve the district’s financial crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Assembly approves $9.7M bailout package for school district

Superintendent says some layoffs, other cuts can be reversed if increase in state funding occurs

A sign objecting to the Juneau School District’s consolidation plan is displayed by an audience member during a Juneau Assembly meeting Monday night as members consider a $9.7 million bailout package to help solve the district’s financial crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
About 15 members of the group Juneau for Palestine are among the residents showing up the public testimony portion of a Juneau Assembly meeting on Feb. 5. Members of the group also attended Monday’s Assembly meeting to reiterate their call for a resolution seeking a ceasefire in Gaza.(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Assembly members express support for peace in Gaza conflict, decline to support resolution

Calls for a ceasefire by residents at recent meetings, rally prompts local leaders to weigh in.

About 15 members of the group Juneau for Palestine are among the residents showing up the public testimony portion of a Juneau Assembly meeting on Feb. 5. Members of the group also attended Monday’s Assembly meeting to reiterate their call for a resolution seeking a ceasefire in Gaza.(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
A view of Gastineau Channel, where a second crossing between Juneau and Douglas north of the current bridge is in the evaluation stage. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)

Second Juneau-Douglas crossing to cost about $400M, be completed by 2030, in revised state transportation plan

Update also envisions Cascade ferry terminal by ‘25, safety fixes at Fred Meyer intersection by ‘26.

A view of Gastineau Channel, where a second crossing between Juneau and Douglas north of the current bridge is in the evaluation stage. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Emergency response officials probe the wreckage of a simulated avalanche site during a training exercise in Lemon Creek on Saturday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Simulated disaster strikes — repeatedly — as do rescue efforts during avalanche training exercise

Staged burial of three homes implores multitude of agencies to share specialized response skills

Emergency response officials probe the wreckage of a simulated avalanche site during a training exercise in Lemon Creek on Saturday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Liana Wallace offers a water blessing during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool on Friday following nearly a year of renovations. The pool is scheduled to reopen for public use on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Ribbon-cutting for Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool a blessing for longtime users after 11-month renovation

Infrastructure upgrades, new locker rooms and student tile art in lobby greet visitors at ceremony.

Liana Wallace offers a water blessing during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool on Friday following nearly a year of renovations. The pool is scheduled to reopen for public use on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Statewide standards for municipal property assessments sought in bill by Juneau lawmaker

Some residents say legislation doesn’t go far enough, want limits on annual valuation increases.

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 26, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 26, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Alexei Painter, director of Alaska’s Legislative Finance Division, presents an update of the state’s budget situation for the coming year to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Analysis: Balanced state budget next year can include a $1,535 PFD and $680 BSA increase

However, a “statutory” $3,688 PFD would result in a deficit of more than $1.2 billion, report says.

Alexei Painter, director of Alaska’s Legislative Finance Division, presents an update of the state’s budget situation for the coming year to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A mountain biker takes advantage of a trail at Eaglecrest Ski Area during the summer of 2022. The city-owned resort is planning to vastly expand its summer activities with a new gondola and the facilities by 2026. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)

Eaglecrest’s big summertime plans, including the gondola, get OK from planning commission

Ski area also planning new summit lodge, snowtubing park, bike trails and picnic pavilion by 2026.

A mountain biker takes advantage of a trail at Eaglecrest Ski Area during the summer of 2022. The city-owned resort is planning to vastly expand its summer activities with a new gondola and the facilities by 2026. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Students, parents and teachers rally outside Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé prior to a school board meeting Tuesday, seeking a change in the board’s decision to consolidate Juneau’s two high schools beginning with the next school year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Layoffs and larger classes planned along with consolidation at local schools, but BSA increase would help

District leaders not counting on funds approved by Legislature, due to veto threat by governor.

Students, parents and teachers rally outside Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé prior to a school board meeting Tuesday, seeking a change in the board’s decision to consolidate Juneau’s two high schools beginning with the next school year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Nanibaa’ Frommherz, a student at Thunder Mountain High School, testifies about a proposal to help the Juneau School District with its financial crisis during a Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night at City Hall. The meeting was moved from the Assembly Chambers to a conference room toward the end due to technical errors that disrupted the live online feed.

Little public reaction to city’s bailout of school district this year, but big questions beyond loom

Only two people testify Monday about proposed $4.1M loan and taking over $3.9 in “shared costs.”

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Nanibaa’ Frommherz, a student at Thunder Mountain High School, testifies about a proposal to help the Juneau School District with its financial crisis during a Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night at City Hall. The meeting was moved from the Assembly Chambers to a conference room toward the end due to technical errors that disrupted the live online feed.
Jirdes Winther Baxter chats with Wayne Bertholl during her 100th birthday celebration Saturday at the Juneau Yacht Club. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
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Jirdes Winther Baxter, last survivor of 1925 Nome serum run, celebrates 100th birthday in Juneau

Five generations of family, dozens of friends and a coalition of political leaders offer tributes.

Jirdes Winther Baxter chats with Wayne Bertholl during her 100th birthday celebration Saturday at the Juneau Yacht Club. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
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Thunder Mountain High School’s Thomas Baxter and Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s Alwen Carrillo embrace at their end of Saturday’s game at JDHS that may have been the final local game between the two schools due to a consolidation of them tentatively approved by the school board starting next year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

In Juneau’s potentially final crosstown basketball showdown, both schools win

TMHS girls and JDHS boys prevail on night filled with dual-school spirit as consolidation looms.

Thunder Mountain High School’s Thomas Baxter and Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s Alwen Carrillo embrace at their end of Saturday’s game at JDHS that may have been the final local game between the two schools due to a consolidation of them tentatively approved by the school board starting next year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Thunder Mountain High School seniors for the boys’ basketball team, their families and other supporters fill the Thunderdome for a Senior Night recognition before Friday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. It was possibly the final home game for the Falcons team due to a pending decision to put all high school students at JDHS starting with the next school year. The Falcons girls’ team will play their final home games of the season — and possibly ever — next Friday and Saturday against North Pole High School. (Screenshot from NFHS Network)

TMHS boys prevail in possibly their final home game ever against JDHS, with merger of schools pending

Girls play final home games next weekend; both local schools play each other again tonight at JDHS.

Thunder Mountain High School seniors for the boys’ basketball team, their families and other supporters fill the Thunderdome for a Senior Night recognition before Friday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. It was possibly the final home game for the Falcons team due to a pending decision to put all high school students at JDHS starting with the next school year. The Falcons girls’ team will play their final home games of the season — and possibly ever — next Friday and Saturday against North Pole High School. (Screenshot from NFHS Network)
Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (right) discusses the Juneau School District’s financial crisis with school board Vice President Emil Mackey (right) and City Attorney Robert Palmer during a meeting Thursday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Meetings to comment on Assembly’s proposed $9.6M of help to school district scheduled next two Mondays

Plan includes $4.1 million no-interest loan, picking up “shared costs” this year and next.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (right) discusses the Juneau School District’s financial crisis with school board Vice President Emil Mackey (right) and City Attorney Robert Palmer during a meeting Thursday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Thursday night as school board members meet to select a consolidation option to help resolve the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

School district leaders approve putting grades 9-12 at JDHS, 7-8 and HomeBRIDGE at TMHS

Elementary schools will be K-6; Marie Drake, Floyd Dryden to close this fall if plan gets final OK.

A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Thursday night as school board members meet to select a consolidation option to help resolve the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)