Opinion

Leaders at Bartlett Regional Hospital listen to comments from residents during a forum Monday about proposed cuts to some services. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

My Turn: Bartlett board faces challenges

Once upon a time, Alaska’s capital had a well-run municipal hospital, but times change. In the complex world of healthcare facilities, for a few years… Continue reading

Leaders at Bartlett Regional Hospital listen to comments from residents during a forum Monday about proposed cuts to some services. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Downtown Juneau in late October of 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: Mitigating the loss of tax revenue from cruise ship free Saturdays

The cruise ship free Saturday initiative presents us with a modified lesson in Newton’s law of motion. Every action has a reaction whether it’s equal… Continue reading

Downtown Juneau in late October of 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
(Juneau Empire file photo)

Letter: SEARHC’s goals seem likely to limit, rather than expand, health options in Juneau

Max Mertz’s comments at the Bartlett Regional Hospital public forum about SEARHC’s competitive, non-collaborative approach to health care in Juneau hits the bullseye. One of… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after he was found guilty of all counts in his criminal trial in New York on May 30. (Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times)

Opinion: Trump’s new fixers

“Alaska Republicans back Trump after historic conviction in hush money case,” the Anchorage Daily News headline read as if anyone might have expected otherwise. It… Continue reading

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after he was found guilty of all counts in his criminal trial in New York on May 30. (Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times)
(Juneau Empire file photo)

Letter: Allow locals to have their town back once a week during the summer

Perhaps Nate Vallier shrugs when he sees eagles and bears (My Turn, May 29), floating icebergs at the glacier, orcas in the channel, but I… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire file 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)

My Turn: School board recall not a cure for ‘failure to thrive’

Decline happens over time. Kinda like the way we gain weight and let our credit cards get out of control. If we don’t pay attention,… 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)
Two skiers settle into a lift chair as they pass trees with fresh snow at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Dec. 20, 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Eaglecrest Ski Area attempting to do too much without sensible leadership

Ever wonder what the 50-year-old clearcut above the beginner slopes at Eaglecrest is about? Dubbed “Mund’s Folly” by ski area founder Craig Lindh after the… Continue reading

Two skiers settle into a lift chair as they pass trees with fresh snow at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Dec. 20, 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
A Carnival cruise ship is berthed Juneau’s cruise ship docks during the summer of 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: Ignoring the consequences of ship-free Saturdays?

Backers of a cruise initiative to block large cruise ships from docking in Juneau on Saturdays and the Fourth of July say they have sufficient… Continue reading

A Carnival cruise ship is berthed Juneau’s cruise ship docks during the summer of 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau School District administrators and board members review the updated budget for the current fiscal year during a Board of Education meeting April 16 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: School board recall is about more than ‘angry moms set on being vengeful’

It’s time to set the record straight about the school board recall. Many community members object to the recall because they feel that board members… Continue reading

Juneau School District administrators and board members review the updated budget for the current fiscal year during a Board of Education meeting April 16 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
The 1,094-foot-long Norwegian Bliss docks in Juneau on April 9 to begin this year’s cruise ship season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Consider the far-reaching and harmful consequences of Saturday cruise ship ban

The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council expresses our strong support for Protect Juneau’s Future, and to urge Juneau’s public to decline to sign the initiative… Continue reading

The 1,094-foot-long Norwegian Bliss docks in Juneau on April 9 to begin this year’s cruise ship season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
(Juneau Empire file photo)

Letter: Don’t believe doom-and-gloom predictions for ship-free Saturdays

As a 54-year resident of Juneau I have seen the summer cruise industry grow from a single weekly 600-passenger ship May through August to the… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Former Juneau Mayor Ken Koelsch in 2018. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Close, but no cigar on meaningful mill rate reduction by Juneau Assembly members

Before beginning my teaching career in Juneau in 1968, one of my favorite summer jobs was supervising the many food and game booths at the… Continue reading

Former Juneau Mayor Ken Koelsch in 2018. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
About 20 people gather in Marine Park at midday April 9 for a rally calling for a ban on large cruise ships on Saturdays in Juneau. Some of the participants are members of a committee planning to gather signatures for a petition to put the question on the ballot for local voters. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: Cruise ship free Saturdays seems like a reasonable compromise

Three years ago, I opposed the local initiatives to limit cruise ship traffic. On Sunday, I signed the petition that seeks to establish Saturdays as… Continue reading

About 20 people gather in Marine Park at midday April 9 for a rally calling for a ban on large cruise ships on Saturdays in Juneau. Some of the participants are members of a committee planning to gather signatures for a petition to put the question on the ballot for local voters. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Tourists walk the piers downtown on July 14, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Let’s get moderate heads together for a solution on cruise ship tourism

Come on Juneau, we’ve got to do better. Once again neighbors are pitted against each other over cruise ships. Cruise tourism versus the environment and… Continue reading

Tourists walk the piers downtown on July 14, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire file photo)
Passengers of the Norwegian Bliss look out across downtown Juneau as they wait to disembark on April 17, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: Juneau’s economy is not on the line — Ship-Free Saturdays is about better balance

Judging by the “Save Juneau” posters one would think that Juneau’s economic well-being is at stake with the initiative to have one day a week… Continue reading

Passengers of the Norwegian Bliss look out across downtown Juneau as they wait to disembark on April 17, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Columbia is seen in drydock on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 in Ketchikan. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Opinion: Overhauling the federal Jones Act would benefit Alaska, including the Marine Highway System

Antiquated or obsolete laws can be amusing; I recently learned that an obscure medieval law provides the right to drive sheep across London Bridge. Fortunately,… Continue reading

The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Columbia is seen in drydock on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 in Ketchikan. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
(Juneau Empire file photo)

Letter: Quality of treatment at Bartlett Regional Hospital is excellent

I recently experienced a relatively serious chest injury and received treatment at Bartlett Regional Hospital. My hospital treatment services included the emergency department, diagnostic imaging… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire file photo)
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan addresses a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature in the House chambers on Feb. 7, 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: Sen. Sullivan sinks to a new low

Last week, Sen. Dan Sullivan mimicked Donald Trump’s endless stream of baseless accusations that President Joe Biden has weaponized the justice system to bring him… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan addresses a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature in the House chambers on Feb. 7, 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Members of local business organizations greet cruise passengers with maps and other handouts as they disembark from the Norwegian Bliss on April 25, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire file photo)

A call for collaboration, not restrictions on cruise ship tourism

Please don’t sign. I feel it is time to speak up about the recent signature-gathering campaign aimed at banning cruise ships from visiting Juneau on… Continue reading

Members of local business organizations greet cruise passengers with maps and other handouts as they disembark from the Norwegian Bliss on April 25, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau School District Superintendent Frank Hauser provides an overview of restructuring options being considered during a Community Budget Input Session at Thunder Mountain High School on Jan. 31. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Opinion: Smearing school board members and the superintendent is vindictive and destructive

A school consolidation plan announced by the Juneau School District (JSD) has drawn fire from a dissident group calling themselves Community Advocates for Responsible Education… Continue reading

Juneau School District Superintendent Frank Hauser provides an overview of restructuring options being considered during a Community Budget Input Session at Thunder Mountain High School on Jan. 31. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)