The sky is white and overcast today, and the rain falls in Gastineau Channel. Two red-breasted mergansers wade around the fishing dock that is just outside the Juneau Empire on Channel Drive. There are usually two eagles perched on the dock’s piers, but not today. The tide is high.
Standing outside the Empire building, meditating on the shore, has been a secret pleasure since I arrived here eight and a half years ago. I stand in front of the mountains, and as I observe them, I know they are observing me as well.
I remember my old boss, back when he was interviewing me for a reporting position for the Empire in the fall of 2011, describing the newspaper — it’s located next to a world-class salmon hatchery! he exclaimed — and what Juneau was like. I moved here sight unseen that September.
After a long and beautiful journey, today marks my last day at the newspaper. I am moving on to pursue a new opportunity, one very close to my heart. I will be doing communications work for a local conservation group.
As I prepare to leave, I am just simply overwhelmed with gratitude.
I am grateful for all of the Empire’s readers and supporters who believe that the capital city needs and deserves a top-rate publication, dedicated to telling the stories of those who live here, and holding those in power accountable. Looking back, I am amazed by all the people in Juneau who have let me into their lives and homes to interview them, so I could try to do their story justice. I am grateful for all those who have reached out to me over the years, sharing their tips, thoughts and concerns, all for the betterment of the paper. I am grateful for all my current and past employees, who are so talented and creative and made me better at my job and a better person. I am grateful for all the leaders at the Empire over the years who have given me opportunities to grow and develop, and for their support and guidance.
When I first moved here in 2011, I told myself I would stay for two years. I had no idea at the time that I would plant roots here, that I would continue to choose to live and work here. I had no idea it would become my home.
Thank you, Juneau. It’s been an honor.
— Emily Russo Miller, Managing Editor