Columns

Kayak paddles and a spear tipped with a sharpened rock lie in a volcanic cave on the Seward Peninsula in 2010. (Photo by Ben Jones)

Alaska Science Forum: Treasures found within a volcanic cave

Ben Jones suspected he had found something special when he squeezed into a volcanic cave and saw pale wooden poles, some with ends shaped like… Continue reading

Kayak paddles and a spear tipped with a sharpened rock lie in a volcanic cave on the Seward Peninsula in 2010. (Photo by Ben Jones)
Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance Board Chair JoLynn Shriber reads a list the names of killed transgender people as Thunder Mountain High School students Kyla Stevens, center, and Laila Williams hold flags in the wind during a transgender remembrance at Marine Park on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: The toxic debate about transgender care

There are three bills related to transgender issues in public schools that are working their way through the state House. It’s an understatement to say… Continue reading

Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance Board Chair JoLynn Shriber reads a list the names of killed transgender people as Thunder Mountain High School students Kyla Stevens, center, and Laila Williams hold flags in the wind during a transgender remembrance at Marine Park on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
The beginnings of a budding garden in Southeast Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
The beginnings of a budding garden in Southeast Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
An aging outhouse on the pier extending out from the fire station that’s purportedly the only public toilet in Tenakee Springs in August of 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Gimme a Smile: Is it artificial intelligence or just automatic?

Our nation is obsessed with AI these days. Artificial intelligence is writing our school essays (don’t tell the teacher), animating our favorite movies, and feeding… Continue reading

An aging outhouse on the pier extending out from the fire station that’s purportedly the only public toilet in Tenakee Springs in August of 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Adam Bauer of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’ís of Juneau.

Living and Growing: Embracing progress while honoring Our roots

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Áakʼw Ḵwáan, the original inhabitants of Lingít… Continue reading

Adam Bauer of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’ís of Juneau.
This rendering depicts Huna Totem Corp.’s proposed new cruise ship dock downtown that was approved for a conditional-use permit by the City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission last July. (City and Borough of Juneau)

Opinion: Huna Totem dock project inches forward while Assembly decisions await

When I last wrote about Huna Totem Corporation’s cruise ship dock project in November, over four years had passed since the subport property on which… Continue reading

This rendering depicts Huna Totem Corp.’s proposed new cruise ship dock downtown that was approved for a conditional-use permit by the City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission last July. (City and Borough of Juneau)
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski addresses the Alaska State Legislature on Feb. 22, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Set ANWR aside and President Biden is pro-Alaska

In a recent interview with the media, Sen. Lisa Murkowski was asked about how she might vote on the question of Biden versus Trump. She… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski addresses the Alaska State Legislature on Feb. 22, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
The Juneau Board of Education debates a school district consolidation plan after midnight Wednesday, March 13, near the end of an eight-hour meeting at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé auditorium. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: School district’s problems aren’t on shoulders of two board members targeted for recall

I urge folks not to sign the petition to recall the school board officers. Recalls waste city resources and should be a last resort in… Continue reading

The Juneau Board of Education debates a school district consolidation plan after midnight Wednesday, March 13, near the end of an eight-hour meeting at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé auditorium. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
A beach marmot carries nest material to its den. (Photo by Jos Bakker)

On the Trails: Spring is really happening

A spate of fine, sunny weather in mid-April was most welcome. Those clear skies, however, meant that the nights were still about crispy, and at… Continue reading

A beach marmot carries nest material to its den. (Photo by Jos Bakker)
Former Juneau Board of Education member Jeffrey Short. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Frustration of school board recall supporters understandable, but if successful will do great harm

Whenever a crisis befalls a public institution, the first thing that gets fixed is the blame. And so, following discovery of multiple accounting errors that… Continue reading

Former Juneau Board of Education member Jeffrey Short. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Alaska Senate Majority Leader Gary Stevens, prime sponsor of a civics education bill that passed the Senate last year. (Photo courtesy Alaska Senate Majority Press Office)

Opinion: A return to civility today to lieu of passing a flamed out torch

It’s almost been a year since the state Senate unanimously passed a bill that, as Sen. Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) explains, is aimed at restoring “attention… Continue reading

Alaska Senate Majority Leader Gary Stevens, prime sponsor of a civics education bill that passed the Senate last year. (Photo courtesy Alaska Senate Majority Press Office)
Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. (Robert DeBerry/The Salvation Army)

Living and Growing: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Ever have to say goodbye unexpectedly? A car accident, a drug overdose, shooting or sudden infant death syndrome? Saying goodbye, when there is no physical… Continue reading

Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. (Robert DeBerry/The Salvation Army)
Eric Cordingley looks at his records while searching for the graves of those who died at Morningside Hospital at Multnomah Park Cemetery on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in Portland, Ore. Cordingley has volunteered at his neighborhood cemetery for about 15 years. He’s done everything from cleaning headstones to trying to decipher obscure burial records. He has documented Portland burial sites — Multnomah Park and Greenwood Hills cemeteries — have the most Lost Alaskans, and obtained about 1,200 death certificates. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

My Turn: Decades of Psychiatric patient mistreatment deserves a state investigation and report

On March 29, Mark Thiessen’s story for the Associated Press was picked up by several Alaska newspapers. The story was a vivid look at families… Continue reading

Eric Cordingley looks at his records while searching for the graves of those who died at Morningside Hospital at Multnomah Park Cemetery on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in Portland, Ore. Cordingley has volunteered at his neighborhood cemetery for about 15 years. He’s done everything from cleaning headstones to trying to decipher obscure burial records. He has documented Portland burial sites — Multnomah Park and Greenwood Hills cemeteries — have the most Lost Alaskans, and obtained about 1,200 death certificates. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
(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)