Mark Sabbatini

The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 11, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 11, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Elias Lowell, 15, balances his way to the end of the pond during the annual Slush Cup at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Sunday, the last day of what officials called and up-and-down season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Up-and-down season at Eaglecrest ends on splashy note with Slush Cup

Ski area’s annual beach party features ice-filled water, snowy shores and showboating skimmers.

Elias Lowell, 15, balances his way to the end of the pond during the annual Slush Cup at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Sunday, the last day of what officials called and up-and-down season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau Assembly members confer with Bartlett Regional Hospital leaders during a break in an Assembly Finance Committee meeting Saturday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Juneau Assembly begins annual budget process with school district exiting crisis, hospital facing one

Bartlett has lost millions annually since ‘20, will be broke in three years without fixes, CFO says.

Juneau Assembly members confer with Bartlett Regional Hospital leaders during a break in an Assembly Finance Committee meeting Saturday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
About 20 people gather in Marine Park at midday Tuesday for a rally calling for a ban on large cruise ships on Saturdays in Juneau. Some of the participants are members of a committee planning to gather signatures for a petition to put the question on the ballot for local voters. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Activists hoping to put Saturday ban on large cruise ships on local ballot

Proposed initiative would also make July 4 a ship-free day in Juneau.

About 20 people gather in Marine Park at midday Tuesday for a rally calling for a ban on large cruise ships on Saturdays in Juneau. Some of the participants are members of a committee planning to gather signatures for a petition to put the question on the ballot for local voters. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Construction workers work on retaining walls and other infrastructure Tuesday in preparation for an expanded three-season food court on South Franklin Street. The Juneau Planning Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the project, some of which occupies the space where the historic Elks Lodge stood until it was demolished last year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Expanded three-season food court on Franklin Street gets unanimous OK from Planning Commission

More food options, seating, a bar and restrooms among plans that include former Elks Lodge site.

Construction workers work on retaining walls and other infrastructure Tuesday in preparation for an expanded three-season food court on South Franklin Street. The Juneau Planning Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the project, some of which occupies the space where the historic Elks Lodge stood until it was demolished last year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The 1,094-foot-long Norwegian Bliss docks in Juneau early Tuesday morning to begin this year’s cruise ship season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

First cruise ship of the season arrives to welcomes, planned protest

Passengers get warm reception at dock, may encounter midday rally seeking ship-free Saturdays.

The 1,094-foot-long Norwegian Bliss docks in Juneau early Tuesday morning to begin this year’s cruise ship season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Gustavus band Tramwreck performs on the main stage in the ballroom at Centennial Hall during the opening night of the 49th annual Alaska Folk Festival on Monday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

49th annual Alaska Folk Festival celebrates a homecoming on opening night

Weeklong event will feature about 130 acts performing music, dances and workshops.

The Gustavus band Tramwreck performs on the main stage in the ballroom at Centennial Hall during the opening night of the 49th annual Alaska Folk Festival on Monday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen (left) and Vice President Emil Mackey, holding his son Emil Mackey IV, listen to discussion about next year’s budget for the school district during a meeting March 14 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. Both are the targets of recall petitions expected to begin circulating this week. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Recall effort targets school board president, vice president due to district’s budget crisis

Deedie Sorensen, Emil Mackey failed to act on previous concerns about fiscal woes, petitioners say.

Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen (left) and Vice President Emil Mackey, holding his son Emil Mackey IV, listen to discussion about next year’s budget for the school district during a meeting March 14 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. Both are the targets of recall petitions expected to begin circulating this week. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Maddy Fortunato, a Chickaloon middle school student, sets to attempt the one-hand reach by touching a suspended ball while remaining balanced on the other hand during the Traditional Games on Sunday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Striving for the perfect balance of competition, camaraderie at seventh annual Traditional Games

More than 250 participants pursue personal goals while helping others during Indigenous events.

Maddy Fortunato, a Chickaloon middle school student, sets to attempt the one-hand reach by touching a suspended ball while remaining balanced on the other hand during the Traditional Games on Sunday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Tourists wait at a Capital Transit bus stop about 1.5 miles from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on July 19, 2023. Large numbers of cruise ship visitors taking city buses to get near the glacier last year meant there often wasn’t space for local residents going to other locations. (Photo by Laurie Craig)

First cruise ship of season expected to match last year’s record-high traffic arrives Tuesday

Officials say new five-ship daily limit will reduce passengers compared to busiest days last year.

Tourists wait at a Capital Transit bus stop about 1.5 miles from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on July 19, 2023. Large numbers of cruise ship visitors taking city buses to get near the glacier last year meant there often wasn’t space for local residents going to other locations. (Photo by Laurie Craig)
A security gate installed at Harris Harbor is scheduled to be locked from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily starting in early May, with access to boaters provided by key fobs or other means. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)

Harris Harbor to be protected at night by electronic security gate starting in early May

Barrier is believed to be the first at a public dock in Alaska; boaters will access via key fobs

A security gate installed at Harris Harbor is scheduled to be locked from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily starting in early May, with access to boaters provided by key fobs or other means. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Laurie Lewis, a California bluegrass musician who has been performing for nearly four decades, is the featured guest artist at the 49th annual Alaska Folk Festival that starts Monday. (Photo courtesy of Laurie Lewis)

49th annual Alaska Folk Festival returns to its familiar roots at Centennial Hall

More than 130 acts scheduled to perform during week of concerts, dances and workshops.

Laurie Lewis, a California bluegrass musician who has been performing for nearly four decades, is the featured guest artist at the 49th annual Alaska Folk Festival that starts Monday. (Photo courtesy of Laurie Lewis)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 4, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 4, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Cerys Hudson, winner of the Juneau Symphony’s Youth Solo Competition, rehearses for this weekend’s performance with the ensemble at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Cerys Hudson, winner of the Juneau Symphony’s Youth Solo Competition, rehearses for this weekend’s performance with the ensemble at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Kaden Ollila, 20, a Washington state resident who used to live in Juneau, was recently indicted in Alaska on cyberstalking and child pornography charges. (U.S. Department of Justice photo)

Former Juneau resident indicted on cyberstalking and child pornography charges

Kaden Ollila, 20, is accused of targeting minors in Alaska, Washington and California.

Kaden Ollila, 20, a Washington state resident who used to live in Juneau, was recently indicted in Alaska on cyberstalking and child pornography charges. (U.S. Department of Justice photo)
Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé students, along with a handful of state legislators and staff members, march from the school to the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday morning to protest lawmakers who earlier this year rejected an increase in the state’s funding formula for public schools. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Juneau students take statewide protest for more education funding into the Capitol

Scores of students march from JDHS to the offices of the governor and other lawmakers.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé students, along with a handful of state legislators and staff members, march from the school to the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday morning to protest lawmakers who earlier this year rejected an increase in the state’s funding formula for public schools. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Tazlina is docked at the Auke Bay ferry terminal in this November 2021 photo. Both the vessel and terminal are scheduled to get upgrades from federal grants that will be matched with “toll funds” from ferry revenues. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)

Use of state ferry revenues as ‘toll credits’ to secure federal grants for major projects gets OK

Federal government approval will ensure funds for Tustumena replacement vessel, other upgrades.

The Tazlina is docked at the Auke Bay ferry terminal in this November 2021 photo. Both the vessel and terminal are scheduled to get upgrades from federal grants that will be matched with “toll funds” from ferry revenues. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)
A rainbow connects with Kajson Cunningham (30) as he connects with the ball for Thunder Mountain High School during Tuesday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé at JDHS, the opening match of the season for both teams. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

High school soccer season starts with a spectrum of goals and milestones

JDHS boys begin state title defense with 4-0 victory over TMHS, which is playing its final season.

A rainbow connects with Kajson Cunningham (30) as he connects with the ball for Thunder Mountain High School during Tuesday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé at JDHS, the opening match of the season for both teams. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Donovan Jackson, 12, of Juneau competes in the one-foot high kick during the 2022 Traditional Games on April 2, 2022. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)

Record number of participants expected for seventh annual Traditional Games

Teams from Alaska, Canada and Lower 48 to compete in 12 Indigenous skills events starting Friday.

Donovan Jackson, 12, of Juneau competes in the one-foot high kick during the 2022 Traditional Games on April 2, 2022. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)
A gate stands at the entrance to the Little Rock Dump about a mile and a half south of downtown, which is being proposed as a campsite for people experiencing homelessness this summer by some business operators near the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, stating there have been problems from people staying there. (Photo by Laurie Craig)

Homeless will be on their own when warming shelter closes, as Assembly ponders campground decision

Deputy city manager: “There will be a period of time where we don’t have a CBJ-sanctioned campground.”

A gate stands at the entrance to the Little Rock Dump about a mile and a half south of downtown, which is being proposed as a campsite for people experiencing homelessness this summer by some business operators near the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, stating there have been problems from people staying there. (Photo by Laurie Craig)