African-American soldiers of Company L, 24th Infantry, famously known as "Buffalo Soldiers" on parade on 5th Avenue in Skagway, between Broadway and State streets, in front of the Daily Budget newspaper on July 4, 1899. A recent book from a University of Alaska Anchorage history professor traces the long history of Black Americans in Alaska. (Courtesy image / Alaska's Digital Archives)
African-American soldiers of Company L, 24th Infantry, famously known as "Buffalo Soldiers" on parade on 5th Avenue in Skagway, between Broadway and State streets, in front of the Daily Budget newspaper on July 4, 1899. A recent book from a University of Alaska Anchorage history professor traces the long history of Black Americans in Alaska. (Courtesy image / Alaska's Digital Archives)
The entrance to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services building in downtown Juneau on Jan. 14, 2021. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has twice proposed splitting the department using an executive order, but the Division of Legislative Legal Services has raised issues with the most recent order. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
The entrance to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services building in downtown Juneau on Jan. 14, 2021. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has twice proposed splitting the department using an executive order, but the Division of Legislative Legal Services has raised issues with the most recent order. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reacts as she leaves a courthouse in New York, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Palin lost her libel lawsuit against The New York Times on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, when a jury rejected her claim that the newspaper maliciously damaged her reputation by erroneously linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting. (AP Photo / Seth Wenig)
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reacts as she leaves a courthouse in New York, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Palin lost her libel lawsuit against The New York Times on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, when a jury rejected her claim that the newspaper maliciously damaged her reputation by erroneously linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting. (AP Photo / Seth Wenig)
Gubernatorial candidate Les Gara, right, announced as his running mate Jessica Cook, left, an Eagle River school teacher, at a news conference in Anchorage on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. (Courtesy photo / Erin Kirkland)
Gubernatorial candidate Les Gara, right, announced as his running mate Jessica Cook, left, an Eagle River school teacher, at a news conference in Anchorage on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. (Courtesy photo / Erin Kirkland)
Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, seen here on Feb. 7, 2022, announced Thursday he was running to fill the Alaska State Senate seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson who's announced a bid for the U.S. Senate. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, seen here on Feb. 7, 2022, announced Thursday he was running to fill the Alaska State Senate seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson who's announced a bid for the U.S. Senate. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore speaks at a press conference in Anchorage on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, to announce three bills introduced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy meant to address sex and human trafficking in the state. (Screenshot)
Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore speaks at a press conference in Anchorage on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, to announce three bills introduced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy meant to address sex and human trafficking in the state. (Screenshot)
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin arrives to Federal court in New York City on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.  Palin claims the New York Times damaged her reputation with an editorial linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting.  (AP Photo / Jeenah Moon)
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin arrives to Federal court in New York City on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.  Palin claims the New York Times damaged her reputation with an editorial linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting.  (AP Photo / Jeenah Moon)
Members of the House Committee of Military and Veterans' Affairs heard testimony on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers amid public pressure to take disciplinary action against Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, who is a member of the group. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of the House Committee of Military and Veterans' Affairs heard testimony on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers amid public pressure to take disciplinary action against Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, who is a member of the group. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, seen here Feb. 4, 2022, has come under scrutiny from the public and some of his legislative colleagues for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a far-right organization whose leaders have been arrested and charged with sedition for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

State rep defends Oath Keepers, laments ‘cancel culture’

A Q & A with Rep. David Eastman amid public scrutiny, potential disciplinary action.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, seen here Feb. 4, 2022, has come under scrutiny from the public and some of his legislative colleagues for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a far-right organization whose leaders have been arrested and charged with sedition for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, an Anchorage Democrat, filed her paperwork on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 at the Division of Elections offices in Juneau, to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Lisa Murkowski. Gray-Jackson, a Democrat, is the first from her party to enter the race and the first Black woman to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, an Anchorage Democrat, filed her paperwork on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 at the Division of Elections offices in Juneau, to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Lisa Murkowski. Gray-Jackson, a Democrat, is the first from her party to enter the race and the first Black woman to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A Coast Guard rescue swimmer pulls in a rescue basket during an emergency call to a stricken vessel south of Sitka on Feb. 7, 2022. (Screenshot)
A Coast Guard rescue swimmer pulls in a rescue basket during an emergency call to a stricken vessel south of Sitka on Feb. 7, 2022. (Screenshot)
Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court Daniel Winfree gave his first State of the Judiciary address to the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. Winfree emphasized the need for courts to remain impartial in order to maintain a healthy democracy. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court Daniel Winfree gave his first State of the Judiciary address to the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. Winfree emphasized the need for courts to remain impartial in order to maintain a healthy democracy. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
An Alaska State Ombudsman report released Tuesday detailed numbers issued raised at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, a state-run psychiatric facility.

Report: API is still not meeting federal regulatory requirements

The department’s commissioner says many of the concerns raised have or are being resolved.

An Alaska State Ombudsman report released Tuesday detailed numbers issued raised at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, a state-run psychiatric facility.
Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, seated, speaks with senators during a floor debate on a bill to revamp the state's alcohol laws on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. The bill was one of Micciche's own, and Tuesday's floor vote came after nine years of trying to pass a bill modernizing Alaska's alcohol regulation. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, seated, speaks with senators during a floor debate on a bill to revamp the state's alcohol laws on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. The bill was one of Micciche's own, and Tuesday's floor vote came after nine years of trying to pass a bill modernizing Alaska's alcohol regulation. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senators Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, and Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, spoke with reporters in Begich's office at the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, about their thoughts on the current legislative session. The senators said there were reasons to be optimistic about meaningful progress even with the full plate before the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senators Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, and Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, spoke with reporters in Begich's office at the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, about their thoughts on the current legislative session. The senators said there were reasons to be optimistic about meaningful progress even with the full plate before the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A graphic shows employment by Alaska region and features the percent change in jobs from December 2020 to December 2021. (Graphic via February 2022 Alaska Economic Trends reports from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development)
A graphic shows employment by Alaska region and features the percent change in jobs from December 2020 to December 2021. (Graphic via February 2022 Alaska Economic Trends reports from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development)
Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday, Feb. 3, 2022. Eastman has come under scrutiny for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a right-wing paramilitary group whose leaders have been charged with sedition for their role in the Jan. 6, riot at the U.S. Capitol. A House committee will meet next week to investigate the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday, Feb. 3, 2022. Eastman has come under scrutiny for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a right-wing paramilitary group whose leaders have been charged with sedition for their role in the Jan. 6, riot at the U.S. Capitol. A House committee will meet next week to investigate the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The House Labor and Commerce Committee speaks with Alaska's Congressional delegation on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill which is set to bring billions of dollars to the state. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The House Labor and Commerce Committee speaks with Alaska's Congressional delegation on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill which is set to bring billions of dollars to the state. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
In this Empire file photo, the MV Tazlina heads in to dock in Juneau. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation is poised to bring a lot of money to Alaska for things like ferries, but when and how much isn't yet known as many of the programs are new. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
In this Empire file photo, the MV Tazlina heads in to dock in Juneau. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation is poised to bring a lot of money to Alaska for things like ferries, but when and how much isn't yet known as many of the programs are new. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Anne Zink, Alaska chief medical officer, participates in a briefing with Department of Health and Social Services officials to discuss the rise of the omicron variant of the corona virus, on Nov. 29, 2021. (screenshot)

Health officials speak on misinformation as pandemic nears end of 2nd year

Nearing the end of the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic — at a time when many people are wary of the health care system… Continue reading

Anne Zink, Alaska chief medical officer, participates in a briefing with Department of Health and Social Services officials to discuss the rise of the omicron variant of the corona virus, on Nov. 29, 2021. (screenshot)