Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Alaska historian Steve Haycox on Mary Peltola’s Congressional swearing-in ceremony. Juneau trail system initiatives on the October 4th ballot. First annual Babefest launches tomorrow with a Joni Mitchell retrospective.

Just after being sworn on the floor of U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Mary Peltola stands with family members and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for a ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on September 13, 2022. At center is Peltola’s husband Gene Peltola Jr. (Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News)

Steve Haycox never gets tired of writing about Alaska history. It’s a state with many a political page-turner. And Mary Peltola’s swearing-in ceremony in Washington D.C.  on Tuesday afternoon was just another example. Peltola won the race in August to fill the remainder of the late Congressman Don Young’s term.

On Juneau Afternoon, Haycox reflects on the unique political circumstances that led to Peltola’s election as the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress – a wild ride that’s still far from over, as she once again faces off against her challengers in the special election, Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich in the November General Election, which will determine who will fill the next two-year term.

Also, on Tuesday’s program:

  • Why there’s a lot at stake on October 4th ballot for Juneau’s trail system.
  • The first annual Babefest, four nights of entertainment showcasing the talents of Alaska women.
Rhonda McBride, Producer of Juneau Afternoon

Rhonda McBride hosts Tuesday’s program. You can catch Juneau Afternoon, Tuesday through Friday, live at 3:00 p.m. on KTOO Juneau 104.3. The rebroadcast airs at 7:00 p.m. on KTOO. You can also listen online at ktoo.org.

For more information about Juneau Afternoon or to schedule time on the show, email juneauafternoon@ktoo.org. Please schedule early. The show is often booked one to two weeks in advance.

Part 1: Steve Haycox: The curious history of Alaska's U.S. House seat.

Guests: Steve Haycox, author, historian and professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Steve Haycox says Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat is colorful like the state itself (Photo by Will Mader).

Alaska’s lone U.S. House Seat has a history has, well, quite a history. The first time the late Congressman Don Young ran for office in 1972, he was actually beaten by Nick Begich, a Democrat, who died in a plane crash just before the election — so Young got the job by default, one that he held for almost a half century until his death this year.

UAA Professor Steve Haycox says the special election to fill the remainder of Don Young’s term is in keeping with that Congressional seat’s odd history, after Mary Peltola, a Democrat, won in the state’s first election to use ranked choice voting.

Peltola also  made history in two other ways. She’s the first woman and Alaska Native to fill that job, while also beating two high profile opponents — former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III, whose grandfather held that seat, only Begich is running as a Republican. Peltola must now face off against these two Republicans in the November to determine who gets to fill the next two-year term.

Part 2: Joni Mitchell retrospective concert, a longtime dream of Teri Tibbett.

Guests: Teri Tibbett, Juneau singer-songwriter.
Teri Tibbet, a longtime fixture in the Juneau music scene, first came to Juneau as a professional musician, performing in local bars (Photo by Rhonda McBride).


For years, Teri Tibbett wanted to get a group of singers together to do a concert featuring Joni Mitchell songs. At the Crystal Saloon in Juneau this week, that dream will finally come true.

Tibbett says, as an aspiring singer and performer in the 1960’s, Mitchell was a role model for her, because there were very few women who wrote and performed their own songs back then.

Tibbett says she’s happy to finally honor Mitchell, who turns 79 this November. She’s one of several singers performing songs in at an all Joni  Mitchell concert, that’s part of Babefest.


Part 3: Crystal Saloon holds Juneau's first Babefest concert series.

Guests: Taylor Vidic, Crystal Saloon stage and marketing manager. June Bunch, singer-songwriter.
Juneau’s first Babefest, which features four nights of feminine focused entertainment, includes a Joni Mitchell retrospective, a “Babes and their Ballads” concert, a performance of “The Vagina Monologues”  and an open mic and market night, with local artisans selling their wares.




Part 4: Why Trail Mix and the Juneau Park Foundation support Propositions 2 and 3.

Guests: Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Executive Director Trail Mix, Inc. John Pugh, Juneau Park Foundation board member.
Proposition 2 includes money to build an additional public use cabin (Photo courtesy of Trail Mix).

On October 4th, Juneau voters will asked to approve $6.6 million in spending to upgrade Juneau’s parks and trail systems, as well as extend a temporary one percent sales tax. which would also include money for trail improvements. Why Trail Mix and the Juneau Parks Foundation supports both ballot measures.

Editors note: Organizations with other positions on Propositions 2 and 3 are also invited to share their views on Juneau Afternoon. 

Proposition 2 would allow the City and Borough of Juneau to make improvements to a trail system that’s over 200 miles (Photo courtesy of Trail Mix).




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