Columns

(Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: Alaska House makes the right decision on constitutionally guaranteed PFD

The Permanent Fund dividend is important to a lot of Alaska households, but so is education, public safety, ports and harbors, roads and more. The… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Pseudoscorpions are very small predators of springtails and mites. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Intertidal explorations

A bit of exploration of the rocky intertidal zone near Shaman Island yielded lots of big sea stars (mostly five-armed), little green sea urchins, and… Continue reading

Pseudoscorpions are very small predators of springtails and mites. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
The author’s wife fights a steelhead while the author contemplates fly selection. (Photo by Jeff Lund)

I Went to the Woods: The fear of missing fish

Student: “You know, FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out” Me: “I know exactly what you mean. It’s a lot like FOMF.” “FOMF?” “Yeah, the Fear… Continue reading

The author’s wife fights a steelhead while the author contemplates fly selection. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
Astrophysicists Lindsay Glesener, left, and Sabrina Savage enjoy the sunshine on an observation deck at the Neil Davis Science Center on a hilltop at Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks. (Photo by Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Waiting for the sun at Poker Flat

POKER FLAT RESEARCH RANGE — Under a bluebird sky and perched above a resilient winter snowpack, two sounding rockets point upward, ready to blast through… Continue reading

Astrophysicists Lindsay Glesener, left, and Sabrina Savage enjoy the sunshine on an observation deck at the Neil Davis Science Center on a hilltop at Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor in a profile picture at the Department of Law’s website. (Alaska Department of Law photo)

Dunleavy wants a state sponsored legal defense fund

On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its second hearing on a bill challenging a new regulation that authorizes the Department of Law to defend… Continue reading

Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor in a profile picture at the Department of Law’s website. (Alaska Department of Law photo)
Juneau School District administrators and board members listen to a presentation about the district’s multi-million deficit during a Jan. 9 meeting. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: The twisted logic of the Juneau School Board recall petition

The ink was hardly dry on the Juneau School District (JSD) FY 2025 budget passed last month before a local group filed petitions to recall… Continue reading

Juneau School District administrators and board members listen to a presentation about the district’s multi-million deficit during a Jan. 9 meeting. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Scottish author, poet and minister George MacDonald. (National Portrait Gallery photo)

Living and Growing: A Scotsman who inspired spiritual leaders with writings about God’s unconditional love for all

“I know nothing that gives me such a feeling of spiritual healing, of being washed, as to read George MacDonald.” — C.S. Lewis. I am… Continue reading

Scottish author, poet and minister George MacDonald. (National Portrait Gallery photo)
A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Feb. 22 as school board members meet to consider proposals to address the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: The last thing Juneau needs now is a divisive school board recall campaign

The long-postponed and necessary closure and consolidation of Juneau schools had to happen. There is no question given the huge deficit faced by the Juneau… Continue reading

A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Feb. 22 as school board members meet to consider proposals to address the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Suggestions for Juneau’s future as the Planning Commission seeks public input

Note: This story has been updated to correct the amount of the head tax, and clarify references to the bus electric conversion project and proposed… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Purple mountain saxifrage blooms on cliffs along Perseverance Trail in early April. (Photo by Pam Bergeson)

On the Trails: Flowers and their visitors

Flowers influence their visitors in several ways. Visitors may be attracted by floral color, shape, or scents. Flowers offer rewards — nectar and pollen. But… Continue reading

Purple mountain saxifrage blooms on cliffs along Perseverance Trail in early April. (Photo by Pam Bergeson)
Math Specialist Brenda Taylor helps eighth-graders Fisher Lee, right, and Jorge Cordero, center, and sixth-grader Joshua Kessler with their coding project at the Juneau Community Charter School on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The school celebrated its 20th anniversary that year. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Juneau Community Charter School — an optional program with a long history of serving students

With charter schools in the news recently, it is worth examining the model and how it is being applied in Juneau’s only current charter school.… Continue reading

Math Specialist Brenda Taylor helps eighth-graders Fisher Lee, right, and Jorge Cordero, center, and sixth-grader Joshua Kessler with their coding project at the Juneau Community Charter School on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The school celebrated its 20th anniversary that year. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
(Photo by Gina Delrosario)

Living and Growing: Divine Mercy Sunday

Part one of a two-part series

(Photo by Gina Delrosario)
Aren Gunderson of the UA Museum of the North inspects the back paw of a Siberian tiger donated recently by officials of the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage after the tiger died at age 19. (Photo by Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Siberian tiger takes final rest at museum

It’s a safe bet that Aren Gunderson’s Toyota Tundra is the only one in Fairbanks that has had its bed filled with a Siberian tiger.… Continue reading

Aren Gunderson of the UA Museum of the North inspects the back paw of a Siberian tiger donated recently by officials of the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage after the tiger died at age 19. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, delivers her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Feb. 15 as Senate President Gary Stevens and House Speaker Cathy Tilton watch. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: Sen. Lisa Murkowski has a job to finish

A few weeks ago, Sen. Lisa Murkowski told CNN’s Manu Raju she regretted “that our party is seemingly becoming a party of Donald Trump.” There… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, delivers her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Feb. 15 as Senate President Gary Stevens and House Speaker Cathy Tilton watch. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Feb. 29. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: Taxpayers revolt over property tax assessments

While we all have different ideas on how our tax money should be spent, it’s important to put aside those differences to ensure that property… Continue reading

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Feb. 29. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
The main entrance at Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: ‘No margin no mission’ is the critical statement being considered by Juneau’s community hospital

Bartlett Regional Hospital has been providing medical services to Juneau since 1886, first by the Sisters of St. Ann until 1965, when the hospital’s operations… Continue reading

The main entrance at Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
A male rusty blackbird in breeding dress. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: A hungry goshawk and some early spring observations

Every late afternoon, a bunch of mallards is in the habit of coming to snack on fallen birdseed that accumulates on my ice-covered pond. And… Continue reading

A male rusty blackbird in breeding dress. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
Easter eggs in their celebratory stage, before figuring out what to do once people have eaten their fill. (Photo by Depositphotos via AP)

Gimme A Smile: Easter Eggs — what to do with them now?

From Little League practice to practicing being POTUS, there’s many ways to get cracking.

Easter eggs in their celebratory stage, before figuring out what to do once people have eaten their fill. (Photo by Depositphotos via AP)
Peter Delamere poses in front of a sign in Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range during the 2024 Iditarod Trail Invitational race. On his face is a “nose-hat” invented by Fairbanks athlete Shalane Frost. (Photo by Peter Delamere)

Alaska Science Forum: Long winter bike ride aided by naps

If you could have read that frost-covered fat-biker’s mind as he rolled toward McGrath, Alaska, “as if Velcroed to the snow,” you might have suspected… Continue reading

Peter Delamere poses in front of a sign in Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range during the 2024 Iditarod Trail Invitational race. On his face is a “nose-hat” invented by Fairbanks athlete Shalane Frost. (Photo by Peter Delamere)
The Alaska Legislature meets in a joint session Jan. 18 in a failed attempt to override a veto by Gov. Mike Dunleavy to education funding. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
The Alaska Legislature meets in a joint session Jan. 18 in a failed attempt to override a veto by Gov. Mike Dunleavy to education funding. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)