Columns

Juneau Assembly candidates discuss a range of issues during a forum Sept. 12 at the KTOO studio. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Opinion: After the election where does Juneau go from here?

The dust has finally settled on Juneau’s recent municipal election, and there’s an expectation that our Assembly will start conducting its business more transparently and… Continue reading

Juneau Assembly candidates discuss a range of issues during a forum Sept. 12 at the KTOO studio. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A lone berry hangs from a bush on the edge of a muskeg in which the author and his wife sought a buck, but found a doe. (Photo by Jeff Lund)

I Went to the Woods: Muskeg mornings

Twenty minutes after the first call and maybe two after the last sip of coffee, a gray body walked casually behind a smattering of brush… Continue reading

A lone berry hangs from a bush on the edge of a muskeg in which the author and his wife sought a buck, but found a doe. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
A rainbow appears over downtown as residents check out rows of electric vehicles at Juneau’s EV & E-bike Roundup on Sept. 23. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: We should all pay more for the privilege of driving

Last month a law charging an annual $200 fee on electric vehicles (EV) went into effect in Texas. The Alaska Legislature needs to enact a… Continue reading

A rainbow appears over downtown as residents check out rows of electric vehicles at Juneau’s EV & E-bike Roundup on Sept. 23. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

My Turn: Math and the apportionment of Alaska’s legislative district boundaries

Recently, in response to the news that “we the people” must now pay $400,000 out of Alaska’s public treasury to a plaintiff unhappy with the… Continue reading

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
(Juneau Empire File)

Living and Growing: An ancient history of meditation in the Christian tradition

St. Paul encourages us to “not be anxious about anything.” But how to attain such peace in our world so filled with peril and strife,… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File)
(Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

My Turn: Begin decolonization with the body

Indigenous and minority people describe the need to “decolonize” — that society unwinds and redresses centuries of unequal treatment, denial of opportunity, removal, and economic… Continue reading

(Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaks to a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Gazing at the stars while democracy burns

“The stars are aligned at long last” to get the Alaska LNG project built, Sen. Dan Sullivan wrote in an Anchorage Daily News opinion last… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaks to a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
A slate-colored junco awaits release back into the forest after biologists at Creamer’s Field Migration Station noted it was their 2,000th songbird capture of the season. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Songbird Institute)

Alaska Science Forum: Fat Bird Week highlights long flight ahead

At the mist-netting station in the woods at Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks, volunteers and professionals briefly cupped more than 2,000 songbirds in their hands this… Continue reading

A slate-colored junco awaits release back into the forest after biologists at Creamer’s Field Migration Station noted it was their 2,000th songbird capture of the season. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Songbird Institute)
Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. (Robert DeBerry/The Salvation Army)

Living and Growing: Impossible to possible

Some of the greatest moments in life get branded into our memories: Branded Moments Shannon has moved 2,000 miles away from her abusive husband and… Continue reading

Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. (Robert DeBerry/The Salvation Army)
A local-mail in ballot is deposited in a drop box. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: An election alternative for Juneau — more transparency, more choice

While the City Clerk’s office has done a creditable job conducting Juneau’s recent municipal election, many residents are expressing dissatisfaction with the current vote-by-mail (VBM)… Continue reading

A local-mail in ballot is deposited in a drop box. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
AI will attempt to replicate the feeling of a crisp morning in a snowy drainage, but it will never be the same…right? (Photo by Jeff Lund)

I Went to the Woods: A new era

I asked the artist if he had Instagram. “No, I’m from the Facebook era.” We both laughed. He looked it, but you can never tell.… Continue reading

AI will attempt to replicate the feeling of a crisp morning in a snowy drainage, but it will never be the same…right? (Photo by Jeff Lund)
A ballot is dropped into a drop box at the City Hall Assembly Chambers on Tuesday, the official date of this year’s municipal election. Certified results are scheduled to be released two weeks later on Oct. 17. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: It’s time to retire the idea of Election Day results

Although I defended voting by-mail a few weeks ago, Win Gruening is right in calling for the CBJ Assembly to take a second look at… Continue reading

A ballot is dropped into a drop box at the City Hall Assembly Chambers on Tuesday, the official date of this year’s municipal election. Certified results are scheduled to be released two weeks later on Oct. 17. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
A rosary the author got during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2018. (Photo by Gina Del Rosario)

Living and Growing: The Holy Rosary — our spiritual sword

Do you have a favorite song that brings back to your heart precious events in your life that you want to keep alive? Praying the… Continue reading

A rosary the author got during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2018. (Photo by Gina Del Rosario)
(Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: How to protect individuals from financial damage caused by irresponsible elected officials

Most everyone is familiar with how insurance deductibles work: You cover the first dollars out of pocket and then, when the expenses reach the threshold… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File)
A sooty grouse alertly watches some approaching humans. (Photo by Pam Bergeson)

On the Trails: From Switzer Creek to Mount Roberts

A September morning stroll with a friend on the Switzer Creek Trail (and the nearby DZ Loop Trail) found the streams teeming with pink salmon.… Continue reading

A sooty grouse alertly watches some approaching humans. (Photo by Pam Bergeson)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during an April 27 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol in which options for a long-range fiscal plan were discussed. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Alaska’s rudderless fiscal ship

The Permanent Fund dividend Alaskans are set to receive next week is again a paltry sum compared to what Gov. Mike Dunleavy promised five years… Continue reading

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during an April 27 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol in which options for a long-range fiscal plan were discussed. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
This resting dog’s nose is at work all the time and is more than 1,000 times more sensitive than yours. (Photo of a tired-out Cora by Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: The world according to a dog’s nose

A dog can tell you a lot about the outdoors. When a Lab vacuums the ground with her nose and her tail spins like a… Continue reading

This resting dog’s nose is at work all the time and is more than 1,000 times more sensitive than yours. (Photo of a tired-out Cora by Ned Rozell)
An Earth Day message posted on Facebook this spring by the University of Alaska Southeast refers to environmental stewardship and climate change activities, including these kayaks used for an oceanography course during the summer of 2019. (Courtesy of the University of Alaska Southeast)

Sustainable Alaska: Connecting to nature is vital to sustainable well-being and behavior

I have spent my career studying the aesthetic experience in an art-viewing context. My work has shown that art viewing, even when viewing abstract art,… Continue reading

An Earth Day message posted on Facebook this spring by the University of Alaska Southeast refers to environmental stewardship and climate change activities, including these kayaks used for an oceanography course during the summer of 2019. (Courtesy of the University of Alaska Southeast)
(Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Does vote-by-mail work? It’s time for a second look

Voting last week in Juneau’s “rolling” municipal election seemed more like a chore that needed to get done instead of the patriotic civic-minded custom I… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File)
Food has so much more value if you get it yourself and few things taste better than fresh game meat. (Photo by Jeff Lund)

I Went to the Woods: Freezer full of fun

My wife added a little sugar, but not so much that the caribou tasted like standard breakfast sausage mix with maple syrup flavoring. I am… Continue reading

Food has so much more value if you get it yourself and few things taste better than fresh game meat. (Photo by Jeff Lund)