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After violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol today, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, left, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., join other senators as they return to the House chamber to continue the joint session of the House and Senate and count the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Murkowski on impeachment: ‘I will listen carefully’ to both sides

As for timing, the senator said, “our priority this week must be to ensure safety in Washington, D.C.”

After violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol today, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, left, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., join other senators as they return to the House chamber to continue the joint session of the House and Senate and count the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The Brewer’s Guild of Alaska, a trade organization, is celebrating AK Beer Month through Feb. 14 with a scavenger hunt, beer releases and other deals from breweries in Juneau and across Alaska. (Unsplash / Radovan)

Finally, something to stout about: AK Beer Month is here

In Juneau, the event will be marked with beer drops, deals and a scavenger hunt.

The Brewer’s Guild of Alaska, a trade organization, is celebrating AK Beer Month through Feb. 14 with a scavenger hunt, beer releases and other deals from breweries in Juneau and across Alaska. (Unsplash / Radovan)
Even as coronavirus numbers are going down and vaccines are being distributed, pandemic-related facilities like the testing site at Juneau International Airport, seen here in this Oct. 12 file photo, are scheduled to remain for some time, according to city health officials. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

Vaccines are coming, but pandemic facilities will remain

Testing sites and other COVID-19 operations will continue, officials say, but infections are trending down.

Even as coronavirus numbers are going down and vaccines are being distributed, pandemic-related facilities like the testing site at Juneau International Airport, seen here in this Oct. 12 file photo, are scheduled to remain for some time, according to city health officials. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Expected heavy snow and high winds Thursday evening prompted Alaska’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to issue a warning of increased avalanche hazard along Thane Road. (File photo)

Avalanche risk increasing along Thane Road

Be careful and plan for the possibility of an extended road closure.

Expected heavy snow and high winds Thursday evening prompted Alaska’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to issue a warning of increased avalanche hazard along Thane Road. (File photo)
The entrance to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services building in downtown Juneau on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has proposed splitting the department in two to try and spread out the administrative burden, but health care workers and tribal leaders say they weren't consulted on changes and Alaska Natives will likely be negatively impacted. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Health department split would hurt Alaska Natives, leaders say (updated)

Tribal leaders say a proposal to break up the Department of Health and Social Services would worsen outcomes.

The entrance to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services building in downtown Juneau on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has proposed splitting the department in two to try and spread out the administrative burden, but health care workers and tribal leaders say they weren't consulted on changes and Alaska Natives will likely be negatively impacted. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A child plays at Capital School Park. The park is in line for a remodel that will fix the crumbling retaining wall, visible in the background. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

A new life is in store for Capital School Park

Public input is helping craft a vision for the park’s voter-approved facelift.

A child plays at Capital School Park. The park is in line for a remodel that will fix the crumbling retaining wall, visible in the background. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)
Winter sports enthusiasts set up for a run at Eaglecrest Ski Area. (Eaglecrest Ski Area)

Maybe it’s raining at sea level, but Eaglecrest is chillin’

Get up there. Good weekday conditions precede a rough forecast for the weekend.

Winter sports enthusiasts set up for a run at Eaglecrest Ski Area. (Eaglecrest Ski Area)
U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, speaks on the House floor on Jan. 3. (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)

Alaska Republican Young votes against Trump impeachment

But he called last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol “an act of terror against American democracy.”

  • Jan 13, 2021
U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, speaks on the House floor on Jan. 3. (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Lawmakers weren’t at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on Friday, but the House Finance Committee met electronically to discuss Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Lawmakers weren’t at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on Friday, but the House Finance Committee met electronically to discuss Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget.
A dipper has captured two small fish. (Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Even at solstice time, wildlife is everywhere

Sometimes you don’t need to even leave the house to see something interesting.

A dipper has captured two small fish. (Bob Armstrong)
Mendenhall Glacier and Mendenhall Lake in 2017. Significant development is proposed for the area to the left of the glacier’s terminus. (Laurie Craig)

Opinion: Have you seen what is proposed at Mendenhall Glacier?

Many of us spent time this year hiking trails without large crowds. That would change.

  • Jan 13, 2021
Mendenhall Glacier and Mendenhall Lake in 2017. Significant development is proposed for the area to the left of the glacier’s terminus. (Laurie Craig)
Meta Mesdag, one of the owners of the Salty Lady Seafood Company located at Bridget Point, empties oysters into a sorting machine in this 2019. (Courtesy Photo / Meta Mesdag)

Aw, shucks: A love for oysters is growing in Juneau

Local mariculture operation introduces new flavors to the capital city

Meta Mesdag, one of the owners of the Salty Lady Seafood Company located at Bridget Point, empties oysters into a sorting machine in this 2019. (Courtesy Photo / Meta Mesdag)
Emergency worker Tyler Morgan prepares to administer a COVID-19 test at Juneau International Airport. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Low positivity rate ‘incredible’; next challenge is vaccines

The big decrease in infections means more city services are now available.

Emergency worker Tyler Morgan prepares to administer a COVID-19 test at Juneau International Airport. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Douglas Island, part of Tongass National Forest, breaks through the fog on Dec. 15. Sealaska Corporation announced Monday they would terminate logging operations in the Tongass this year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Sealaska to transition out of Tongass logging this year

The corporation announced Monday that it would focus on healthy ocean-based industries.

Douglas Island, part of Tongass National Forest, breaks through the fog on Dec. 15. Sealaska Corporation announced Monday they would terminate logging operations in the Tongass this year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Staff pass through a COVID-19 screening checkpoint set up on the ground floor of the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The new session of the Alaska State Legislature starts Jan. 19, and some lawmakers and their staff have already arrived in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

New Legislature, same issues, says Juneau’s delegation

Alaska’s perennial problems are likely to dominate the session that starts next week, lawmakers say.

Staff pass through a COVID-19 screening checkpoint set up on the ground floor of the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The new session of the Alaska State Legislature starts Jan. 19, and some lawmakers and their staff have already arrived in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
City leaders are waiting to learn more about the City and Borough of Juneau’s protocols that allow cruise ships to resume sailing. The Norwegian Pearl cruise ship, right, pulls into the AJ Dock in Juneau in September 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Amid COVID, cruise season planning is off to a slow start

The Assembly faces obstacles in setting local health protocols for visitors.

City leaders are waiting to learn more about the City and Borough of Juneau’s protocols that allow cruise ships to resume sailing. The Norwegian Pearl cruise ship, right, pulls into the AJ Dock in Juneau in September 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire 
Juneau School District Superintendent Dr. Bridget Weiss, center-right, talks to students as they re-enter school Monday morning with distancing strategies and mitigation protocols in place at Floyd Dryden Middle School. Below, students reentered school Monday morning with distancing strategies and mitigation protocols, including this sign in Tlingit reminding students to wear masks.

Juneau students begin to return to classrooms

In-person learning resumed for some elementary and middle school students on Monday.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire 
Juneau School District Superintendent Dr. Bridget Weiss, center-right, talks to students as they re-enter school Monday morning with distancing strategies and mitigation protocols in place at Floyd Dryden Middle School. Below, students reentered school Monday morning with distancing strategies and mitigation protocols, including this sign in Tlingit reminding students to wear masks.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to local leaders at the Alaska Municipal League’s legislative conference in this February 2020 photo. (Peter Segall/ Juneau Empire File)

Judge refuses to invalidate Dunleavy appointments

The Legislative Council had argued that appointments presented early last year lapsed in December.

  • Jan 11, 2021
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to local leaders at the Alaska Municipal League’s legislative conference in this February 2020 photo. (Peter Segall/ Juneau Empire File)
This photo shows vials of COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15, 2020. Rollout to the next group of eligible recipients, Alaska residents 65 or over, has been weighted by technical issues and limited vaccine supplies. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Vaccine slots filled within minutes — followed by uncertainty

While there was high demand in Juneau, the state’s vaccine website proved frustrating for many.

This photo shows vials of COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15, 2020. Rollout to the next group of eligible recipients, Alaska residents 65 or over, has been weighted by technical issues and limited vaccine supplies. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Alaska’s congressional delegation, from left to right, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Don Young, all Republicans. Following a riot at the U.S. Capitol last week, Democrats and some Republicans have called for President Donald Trump to be removed from office before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Precautions are taken here as inauguration day approaches

Meanwhile, Alaska’s delegation has been mostly quiet on the issue of impeachment.

Alaska’s congressional delegation, from left to right, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Don Young, all Republicans. Following a riot at the U.S. Capitol last week, Democrats and some Republicans have called for President Donald Trump to be removed from office before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)