Cruise ship foes in Juneau come up short on signatures to get Saturday ship ban on ballot

Cruise ships in Juneau in early June, 2024.

A signature-gathering drive to ban cruise ships from Alaska’s capital city on Saturdays has fallen short of the needed signatures to get the question on the Oct. 1 Juneau municipal ballot.

Karla Hart, a well-known cruise ship critic, is leading the effort to get the issue before Juneau voters. She and her group are proposing “ship free Saturdays,” with no cruise ships that have more than 250 passengers allowed to stop in Juneau on Saturdays or on July 4.

The petition needed 2,359 signatures to be validated by the city clerk. Only 2,069 were certified as valid, with 290 more needed to get the question in front of voters. The group pushing the petition have 10 days to remediate the shortage by gathering the 290 signatures.

“Out of the 60 books we received from the petitioners committee, the only complete book that was rejected outright was book #60 due to lack of notarization,” City Clerk Elizabeth “Beth” McEwen wrote to the petitioners.

Read McEwen’s letter at this link.

The Juneau city government has already crafted an agreement with cruise ship companies to cap the number of cruise visitors starting in 2026. The agreement has the cruise lines agreeing to coordinate their schedules to limit passengers arriving in Juneau at 16,000 per day Sunday through Friday and 12,000 on Saturdays. But the petitioners want to go further and stop all large cruise ship activity on Saturdays during the 22-week cruise season.

A second petition is circulating in Juneau that would place a recall question on the ballot to boot School Board President Deedie Sorensen and Vice President Emil Mackey. Petitioners are upset that the school board is preparing to consolidate campuses to meet the needs of a shrinking student population.

That group was authorized on April 10 to begin collecting signatures and had 60 days in which to obtain the signatures of 2,359 qualified Juneau voters.


  1. I’m confused, as usual. The headline says they came up short to get the issue on the ballot. But then, the story says “The group pushing the petition have 10 days to remediate the shortage by gathering the 290 signatures.” So, the question could still possibly be on the ballot?

  2. Hurry up, kill the golden goose. Maybe if we moved the government out of Juneau, they would have less lobbyists taking up space and could support more tourism?

  3. We have a broke school district and a broke hospital. Yeah, let’s cut off a reliable revenue source that’s seasonal. I think I’ll go for a ride today to look at the broken whale statue, the poles and gondola cars scattered about on the Eaglecrest road, and look for that elusive electric bus that never worked.

  4. I lived in Juneau within six different decades, I was actively involved in building infrastructure of all types to improve the quality of life for the community during those decades. In my misspent youth I even did a term on the CBJ Harbor Board at a time when our Docks were rotten old hulks from a bygone era. The Board sought to improve the waterfront in an effort to better service what appeared to be a flourishing industry that directly benefitted the community. 39 plus years later I now see the folly of it all. My labor spent building things both public and private for that selfish and ungrateful community were in vain.

    Soon the Capitol will be swept away and Juneau will resemble a bigger version of Skagway, except of course that unlike Juneau, Skagway has a ROAD! I helped build that road, so perhaps some of my career has meaning!


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