City and Borough of Juneau

Rachel Hightower and Ben Burns present a board showing homes, other buildings and activities near a proposed marijuana dispensary in Douglas, during a Juneau Planning Commission meeting Tuesday. The couple argued the dispensary, which was unanimously approved by the commission, is inappropriate for a neighborhood where there are families with small children and a school. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

First marijuana dispensary in Douglas clears early hurdle

Proposed shop approved by Planning Commission despite opposition from neighbors

 

This photo shows the old Glory Hall building on South Franklin Street.  (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

Glory Hall’s housing hopes survive

Plan turning downtown homeless shelter into apartments gets 2nd reprieve from Planning Commission

 

A man bikes past the Assembly Building, located just across the street from the Alaska State Capitol. The building is set to be renovated into a 33-unit multi-family apartment complex to house legislative staff. (Clarise Larson /Juneau Empire)

Extra leg room: Commission OKs plan to make legislative apartments

It is set to become a 33-unit apartment complex designated for legislative staff

 

City Clerk Beth McEwen directs a fan at City Attorney Robert Palmer, left, and Assembly member Greg Smith as they discuss revisions to a list of proposed projects that will be funded by an extension of a temporary 1% sales tax if voters approve it this fall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Initial ‘shopping list’ for 1% sales tax extension drafted

Building maintenance, affordable housing and child care top proposals.

City Clerk Beth McEwen directs a fan at City Attorney Robert Palmer, left, and Assembly member Greg Smith as they discuss revisions to a list of proposed projects that will be funded by an extension of a temporary 1% sales tax if voters approve it this fall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The question of whether to exempt unprepared foods from sales tax is likely to be posed to Juneau residents via poll instead of on municipal ballots after Monday night's Committee of the Whole meeting. (Unsplash / nrd)

Food tax exemption to get a survey instead of a vote

Advisory vote during fall election nixed by Assembly members, who say poll will provide better data

The question of whether to exempt unprepared foods from sales tax is likely to be posed to Juneau residents via poll instead of on municipal ballots after Monday night's Committee of the Whole meeting. (Unsplash / nrd)
This photo shows a Capital Transit bus en route along Glacier Highway in the Mendenhall Valley. City officials are considering temporary cuts to some routes amid a shortage of drivers low ridership. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire.)

City considers cutting bus routes

Staff shortage and low ridership drive discussion.

This photo shows a Capital Transit bus en route along Glacier Highway in the Mendenhall Valley. City officials are considering temporary cuts to some routes amid a shortage of drivers low ridership. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire.)
An array of “I voted” stickers awaits voters Juneau’s municipal election in October 2020. Residents interested in running for Assembly and Juneau Board of Education seats in this year’s election can start getting schooled with a “toolkit” and workshop scheduled this week. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

School’s in for aspiring candidates

Assembly and school board members offer wise words as toolkit and workshop for local races arrive

An array of “I voted” stickers awaits voters Juneau’s municipal election in October 2020. Residents interested in running for Assembly and Juneau Board of Education seats in this year’s election can start getting schooled with a “toolkit” and workshop scheduled this week. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
This 2018 photo shows downtown Juneau. Commercial property owners filed in 2021 a record number of appeals of a property assessments. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Commercial property sees record appeals

The reason for the uproar is assessments for all commercial property were increased 50% for 2021.

This 2018 photo shows downtown Juneau. Commercial property owners filed in 2021 a record number of appeals of a property assessments. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Pedestrians cross the newly repainted rainbow crosswalk downtown on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Painting of the crosswalk was delayed by supply chain issues.

No paint, no gain: Downtown crosswalk gets belated touch-up

The rainbow crosswalk bursts into full vibrancy again as Juneau celebrates Pride Month.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Pedestrians cross the newly repainted rainbow crosswalk downtown on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Painting of the crosswalk was delayed by supply chain issues.
A petition booklet seeking to nullify a requirement Juneau property buyers disclose the sales price is exhibited before it was turned in to the city clerk’s office earlier this month. (Courtesy of Protect Juneau Homeowners’ Privacy)

Petition to nix property sale disclosure price requirement needs more signatures

Group will have additional 10 days starting Friday to gather enough signatures for fall ballot

A petition booklet seeking to nullify a requirement Juneau property buyers disclose the sales price is exhibited before it was turned in to the city clerk’s office earlier this month. (Courtesy of Protect Juneau Homeowners’ Privacy)
Divina Rotano, a cashier for the city, provides two COVID-19 rapid antigen self test kits at the entrance counter of City Hall on Thursday. The city is also making 24,000 tests arriving from the federal government this week available at public libraries, the Juneau Police Department and Juneau Public Health Center. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

More free COVID-19 self-tests arrive as local case spike lingers

24,000 rapid antigen tests available at City Hall, libraries, police station and city health center

Divina Rotano, a cashier for the city, provides two COVID-19 rapid antigen self test kits at the entrance counter of City Hall on Thursday. The city is also making 24,000 tests arriving from the federal government this week available at public libraries, the Juneau Police Department and Juneau Public Health Center. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon, left, and Deputy Mayor Maria Gladziszewski review a portion of the city’s spending plan for the upcoming year before the Juneau Assembly unanimously approved it Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Assembly approves budget, new city hall ‘down payment’

Juneau’s leaders approve $439.6M budget with no debate, but city hall funding remains controversial

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon, left, and Deputy Mayor Maria Gladziszewski review a portion of the city’s spending plan for the upcoming year before the Juneau Assembly unanimously approved it Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An artist’s depiction shows the public meeting space for a proposed new city hall in Juneau. The Juneau Assembly is scheduled to vote Monday on allocating $6.3 million in general funds toward the project expected to cost roughly $40 million, accepting public testimony beforehand. The Assembly is also scheduled to take final votes on other major items including next year’s budget and property tax mill rate. (SRS Architecture)

Big action on big local issues Monday

Final votes on next year’s budget and property tax mill rate among items at Juneau Assembly meeting

An artist’s depiction shows the public meeting space for a proposed new city hall in Juneau. The Juneau Assembly is scheduled to vote Monday on allocating $6.3 million in general funds toward the project expected to cost roughly $40 million, accepting public testimony beforehand. The Assembly is also scheduled to take final votes on other major items including next year’s budget and property tax mill rate. (SRS Architecture)
Fran Houston, cultural Leader of the A'akw Kwáan, dances during Celebration in downtown Juneau. Wednesday, the biennial celebration of Alaska Native peoples and cultures brought song, dance and the opening of a new arts campus to the capital city. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Celebration opens with Sealaska campus debut

Dances, ceremonies, Alaska’s first 360-degree totem and a new discovery about old times mark event

Fran Houston, cultural Leader of the A'akw Kwáan, dances during Celebration in downtown Juneau. Wednesday, the biennial celebration of Alaska Native peoples and cultures brought song, dance and the opening of a new arts campus to the capital city. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Dense residential housing in areas such as Douglas includes a mixture of more expensive homes occupied by long-term owners, rentals occupied by residents from various income categories and an increasing number of short-term rentals occupied by tourists. (Courtesy Photo / City and Borough of Juneau)

Long-term debate continues about short-term rentals

Mandatory registration of Airbnb and similar rentals favored by Assembly members.

Dense residential housing in areas such as Douglas includes a mixture of more expensive homes occupied by long-term owners, rentals occupied by residents from various income categories and an increasing number of short-term rentals occupied by tourists. (Courtesy Photo / City and Borough of Juneau)
An artist depiction of a new city hall building at 450 Whittier St. in Juneau, which would cost an estimated $41 million with an underground parking garage, according to a presentation to Juneau Assembly members Monday. (Courtesy Image / North Wind Architects)

A priceless vote for a new city hall

Juneau’s Assembly members OK drafting bond measure for fall ballot, but not yet sure of the amount.

An artist depiction of a new city hall building at 450 Whittier St. in Juneau, which would cost an estimated $41 million with an underground parking garage, according to a presentation to Juneau Assembly members Monday. (Courtesy Image / North Wind Architects)
Bartlett Regional Hospital is extending its search for a new chief executive officer after two finalists for the job recently withdrew from consideration. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

Bartlett extends new CEO search

Hospital board to reevalute current applicants, may consider new ones, as lengthy search gets longer

Bartlett Regional Hospital is extending its search for a new chief executive officer after two finalists for the job recently withdrew from consideration. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
A sign asking Juneau residents to sign a petition eliminating a requirement that property buyers disclose their purchase price is displayed by a signature gatherer during a collection effort earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of the Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors)

Property buyers may again be able to keep prices secret

Ballot petition repealing required disclosure of price to city has enough signatures, proponents say

A sign asking Juneau residents to sign a petition eliminating a requirement that property buyers disclose their purchase price is displayed by a signature gatherer during a collection effort earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of the Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors)
Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon takes a photo of an interactive spreadsheet showing how adjusting sales tax and property tax rates can compensate for revenue lost if food is exempt from local sales taxes during a meeting of the Juneau Assembly’s Finance Committee on Wednesday. The committee rejected putting several variations of the food tax exemption on the fall municipal ballot, instead suggesting they may favor an advisory vote on the issue. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Food sales tax exemption stalls out —for now

Members of Juneau’s Assembly reject proposal for fall ballot, but residents may see advisory vote.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon takes a photo of an interactive spreadsheet showing how adjusting sales tax and property tax rates can compensate for revenue lost if food is exempt from local sales taxes during a meeting of the Juneau Assembly’s Finance Committee on Wednesday. The committee rejected putting several variations of the food tax exemption on the fall municipal ballot, instead suggesting they may favor an advisory vote on the issue. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Bartlett Regional Hospital announced that two of three finalists for its chief executive officer position have withdrawn from consideration citing personal  reasons. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

2 of 3 hospital CEO candidates drop out

Finalists withdraw a day before in-person interviews begin, BRH board considers next steps Saturday.

Bartlett Regional Hospital announced that two of three finalists for its chief executive officer position have withdrawn from consideration citing personal  reasons. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)