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)
Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)

Police calls for Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)

Police calls for Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / 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.
Has it always been a police car. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)

Police calls for Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Has it always been a police car. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
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)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 8

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
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)
A sign in the window of a shop in downtown Juneau informs customers of rules for entering the business on Dec. 15, 2020. On Monday the City and Borough of Juneau announced it was relaxing some of the restrictions on businesses as the spread of COVID-19 in the community had decreased. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

City relaxes health restrictions as COVID risk declines

Restaurants can fully open but are strongly urged to ensure distancing among customers.

A sign in the window of a shop in downtown Juneau informs customers of rules for entering the business on Dec. 15, 2020. On Monday the City and Borough of Juneau announced it was relaxing some of the restrictions on businesses as the spread of COVID-19 in the community had decreased. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 8

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)