Columns

(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)
(Photo by Gina Delrosario)

Living and Growing: How much love?

Part one of a two-part series

(Photo by Gina Delrosario)
Compromise isn’t always possible, but when it is Alaskans benefit greatly when posturing is replaced with good-faith negotiations that yield results that help Alaskans. (Photo by Jeff Lund)

I Went to the Woods: The future of fish

The Forest Service cabin was a sauna so I went outside, stood at the edge of the lake and listened. We had hauled in some… Continue reading

Compromise isn’t always possible, but when it is Alaskans benefit greatly when posturing is replaced with good-faith negotiations that yield results that help Alaskans. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
The Aiviq, a private icebreaker the U.S. Coast Guard is considering purchasing for Arctic operations with Juneau as its home port, is seen on March 24, 2012. (Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)

Opinion: Giving credit where credit is due

It’s been a long time since the Juneau economy has been bolstered by a single significant federal appropriation. It was 25 years ago when Sen.… Continue reading

The Aiviq, a private icebreaker the U.S. Coast Guard is considering purchasing for Arctic operations with Juneau as its home port, is seen on March 24, 2012. (Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)
Gus Schumacher, an Anchorage cross-country skier, testifies at a Senate Budget Committee hearing last Wednesday. (Budget committee screenshot)

An Alaska Olympian went to D.C. to testify on climate change. Then a senator dredged up old tweets.

Gus Schumacher hit with climate science quiz in exchange that went viral in conservative circles.

Gus Schumacher, an Anchorage cross-country skier, testifies at a Senate Budget Committee hearing last Wednesday. (Budget committee screenshot)
A robin feeds on insects along the shore of Mendenhall Lake. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Robins come, and it’s springtime

Spring comes, quite reliably, but sometimes reluctantly, by fits and starts. Every year we go through a process of counting the increasing hours of daylight,… Continue reading

A robin feeds on insects along the shore of Mendenhall Lake. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
A boreal owl perches in a spruce tree not far from a nest box from which he has been singing each night in March 2024. (Photo by Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Boreal owls perform by daylight

On these March nights, a male boreal owl has been singing from a wooden owl box near our home. The late biologist Dave Klein attached… Continue reading

A boreal owl perches in a spruce tree not far from a nest box from which he has been singing each night in March 2024. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
(Anne Onamuss / For the Juneau Empire)

My Turn: Alaska’s deepest trouble is nonsupport of education

People are exiting The Great Land and are reluctant to come here for professional opportunities and to raise families. The main reason is the deplorable… Continue reading

(Anne Onamuss / For the Juneau Empire)
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, second from right, attends a bill signing by President Donald Trump on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House photo)

Opinion: Sen. Dan Sullivan, a conservative in name only

It’s easy to imagine Sen. Lisa Murkowski broke out in a smile last week after former Vice President Mike Pence announced he won’t endorse Donald… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, second from right, attends a bill signing by President Donald Trump on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House photo)