Municipal Government

Curtis Davis sharpens a spike at his makeshift campsite near Juneau International Airport on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

With no official place to camp, homeless and neighborhoods alike are suffering miseries

Complaints to JPD nearly double, social agencies seek “safety zone,” many campers just want peace.

 

Juneau residents, including many current and former employees and leaders at Eaglecrest Ski Area, pack a room at the downtown public library for a meeting of the resort’s board of directors Thursday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Eaglecrest employees, skiers demand answers from board after ouster of general manager

Board offers few details about reasons during contentious meeting as search begins for new leader.

 

Cruise ships and passengers in downtown Juneau on Monday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Limit of 16,000 cruise passengers daily, 12,000 on Saturdays, agreed to by CBJ and industry

Pact taking effect in 2026 allows some exemptions, criticized by backers of Saturday ban on ships.

 

Abi Spofford, a Juneau resident who said she suffered a mental health crisis that resulted in her seeking treatment at Bartlett Regional Hospital nine months ago, testifies during a joint meeting of the hospital’s board of directors and the Juneau Assembly on Wednesday night where cuts to such programs were considered. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Bartlett seeking help from Assembly and public as program cuts considered to halt huge losses

Hospital losing $1M a month; comments sought on proposed “non-core” program cuts during coming weeks

Abi Spofford, a Juneau resident who said she suffered a mental health crisis that resulted in her seeking treatment at Bartlett Regional Hospital nine months ago, testifies during a joint meeting of the hospital’s board of directors and the Juneau Assembly on Wednesday night where cuts to such programs were considered. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A crane unloads a car from a used gondola after its arrival in Juneau in 2022. Eaglecrest Ski Area officials say they are hoping the gondola will be operational by the 2025-26 winter ski season. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)

Petition expresses concerns about future of Eaglecrest’s operations following general manager’s ouster

Group questions if ski resort will be ready for coming ski season, projects such as gondola delayed.

A crane unloads a car from a used gondola after its arrival in Juneau in 2022. Eaglecrest Ski Area officials say they are hoping the gondola will be operational by the 2025-26 winter ski season. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)
The city of Hoonah, which is petitioning to incorporate as a borough that includes a large surrounding area that includes Glacier Bay and a few tiny communities. (Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development photo)

Hoonah’s petition to create Alaska’s 20th borough opposed by state boundary commission staff

Xunaa Borough would rank 8th in size, 18th in population; final decision, public vote still pending.

The city of Hoonah, which is petitioning to incorporate as a borough that includes a large surrounding area that includes Glacier Bay and a few tiny communities. (Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development photo)
Mayor Beth Weldon (left), Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale and Juneau Assembly member Paul Kelly discussion proposals for next year’s mill rate during an Assembly Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Assembly members support lower 10.04 mill rate ahead of final vote on next year’s CBJ budget

Initial proposal called for raising current rate of 10.16 mills to 10.32 mills.

Mayor Beth Weldon (left), Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale and Juneau Assembly member Paul Kelly discussion proposals for next year’s mill rate during an Assembly Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Dave Scanlan, general manager of Eaglecrest Ski Area, speaks to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Finance Committee on April 13, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)

Dave Scanlan forced out as Eaglecrest’s general manager, says decision ‘came as a complete shock to me’

Resort’s leader for past 7 years says board seeking a “more office-process, paper-oriented” manager.

Dave Scanlan, general manager of Eaglecrest Ski Area, speaks to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Finance Committee on April 13, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Scattered debris remains on a tent platform at the former Mill Campground on March 28, where people experiencing homelessness stayed during recent summers. Officials decided not to open the campground there this summer due to a high amount of illegal activity last year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Lack of homeless campground means more people are on the streets, Assembly members told

Ordinance authorizing a campground approved Monday night, but where to put it remains elusive.

Scattered debris remains on a tent platform at the former Mill Campground on March 28, where people experiencing homelessness stayed during recent summers. Officials decided not to open the campground there this summer due to a high amount of illegal activity last year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Municipal Attorney Robert Palmer reacts to praise for his service from Juneau Assembly members after his resignation was announced during an Assembly meeting Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Municipal Attorney Robert Palmer resigning to take job with Anchorage law firm

Palmer, a CBJ attorney since 2014, plans to depart Aug. 31 to allow time to search for successor.

Municipal Attorney Robert Palmer reacts to praise for his service from Juneau Assembly members after his resignation was announced during an Assembly meeting Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Cruise industry says Marine Passenger Fees being spent illegally as Assembly members give initial OK to $21M list

$5M for shore power, $3M for Capital Civic Center, $2M for Marine Park improvements among projects

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale (left) talks with Assembly members (from right to left) Alicia Hughes-Skandijs, Wáahlaal Gíidaak Barbara Blake and Ella Adkison following an Assembly Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night. Hale and Blake, whose terms expire this fall, say they are not seeking reelection. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Two Assembly members say they won’t seek reelection ahead of annual ‘run for office’ workshop

Michelle Bonnet Hale and Wáahlaal Gíidaak Barbara Blake cite family and time considerations.

Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale (left) talks with Assembly members (from right to left) Alicia Hughes-Skandijs, Wáahlaal Gíidaak Barbara Blake and Ella Adkison following an Assembly Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night. Hale and Blake, whose terms expire this fall, say they are not seeking reelection. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
City Manager Katie Koester (center) explains options for a budget item to members of the Juneau Assembly’s Finance Committee during a meeting Wednesday night as Deputy City Manager Robert Barr and Finance Director Angie Flick listen. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

With city taking over school buildings, leaders balk at funding for newly built projects

Assembly members reject $4M for new nonprofit family center site, suggest using existing facilities.

City Manager Katie Koester (center) explains options for a budget item to members of the Juneau Assembly’s Finance Committee during a meeting Wednesday night as Deputy City Manager Robert Barr and Finance Director Angie Flick listen. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Charles VanKirk expresses his opposition to a proposed increase in the mill rate during a Juneau Assembly meeting on Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
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Mill rate, land-use code rewrite, elevator at indoor field house among few public comments on proposed CBJ budget

Assembly begins in-depth amendment process Wednesday to draft plan for fiscal year starting July 1.

Charles VanKirk expresses his opposition to a proposed increase in the mill rate during a Juneau Assembly meeting on Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
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Juneau residents calling for a ceasefire in Gaza put on t-shirts with slogans declaring their cause before testifying on a resolution calling for “a bilateral peace agreement in Israel and Palestine” considered by the Juneau Assembly on Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Juneau Assembly fails by 2-5 vote to pass resolution seeking ‘bilateral peace’ between Israel and Palestine

Members question if declaration is appropriate at local level, angering residents favoring ceasefire

Juneau residents calling for a ceasefire in Gaza put on t-shirts with slogans declaring their cause before testifying on a resolution calling for “a bilateral peace agreement in Israel and Palestine” considered by the Juneau Assembly on Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A view of the downtown Juneau waterfront published in Blueprint Downtown, which outlines an extensive range of proposed actions for the area’s future. (Pat McGonagel/City and Borough of Juneau)

Long-term blueprint for downtown Juneau sent to Assembly after six years of work

Plan making broad and detailed proposals about all aspects of area gets OK from Planning Commission.

A view of the downtown Juneau waterfront published in Blueprint Downtown, which outlines an extensive range of proposed actions for the area’s future. (Pat McGonagel/City and Borough of Juneau)
The exterior of Floyd Dryden Middle School on Tuesday, April 2. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

CBJ seeking proposals for future use of Marie Drake Building, Floyd Dryden Middle School

Applications for use of space in buildings being vacated by school district accepted until May 20.

The exterior of Floyd Dryden Middle School on Tuesday, April 2. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Current facilities operated by the private nonprofit Gastineau Human Services Corp. include a halfway house for just-released prisoners, a residential substance abuse treatment program and a 20-bed transitional living facility. (Gastineau Human Services Corp. photo)

Proposed 51-unit low-income, long-term housing project for people in recovery gets big boost from Assembly

Members vote 6-2 to declare intent to provide $2M in budget to help secure $9.5M more for project.

Current facilities operated by the private nonprofit Gastineau Human Services Corp. include a halfway house for just-released prisoners, a residential substance abuse treatment program and a 20-bed transitional living facility. (Gastineau Human Services Corp. photo)
An aerial view of downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)

Task force to study additional short-term rental regulations favored by Juneau Assembly members

Operator registration requirement that took effect last year has 79% compliance rate, report states.

An aerial view of downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau’s Recycling Center and Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 5600 Tonsgard Court. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)

Recycleworks stops accepting dropoffs temporarily due to equipment failure

Manager of city facility hopes operations can resume by early next week

Juneau’s Recycling Center and Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 5600 Tonsgard Court. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)