The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 4, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 4, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week ending April 6

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Empire Archives is a series printed every Saturday featuring a short compilation of headline stories in the Juneau Empire from archived editions in 1984, 1994 and 2004.

This week in 1984, while Alaska lawmakers did not muster the necessary votes at a joint session last week to override capital budget vetoes by Gov. Bill Sheffield, a second session being considered this week may have a different outcome, legislators say. The governor last Friday announced he had vetoed more than $100 million from three capital bills funding economic development, transportation and University of Alaska projects. The largest slice was taken from the development bill, which Sheffield trimmed from $102 million to $18.7 million. The transportation bill was cut from $73 million to $49 million. The university bill was trimmed by $6 million to $22 million. With announced cuts of at least $200 million planned for the “sweeper” bill to be handed down later today, some lawmakers, particularly from the Anchorage area, are upset. “How can he condemn Anchorage legislators by cutting their projects because they did not vote for his Major Projects Fund is unbelievable. He is playing the role of Caesar,” said Rep. Terry Martin, R-Anchorage. Anchorage lawmakers complain they were heavily hit during Sheffield’s red-pen sessions last week and with the executive announcement of more cuts to be made are considering a joint session to override those vetoes.

Today the Legislature has already met twice this year in veto override sessions following Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s rejection of increased education funding approved by lawmakers. However, both efforts were unsuccessful.

Original Story: “Legislators plan for 2nd override session,” by Debbie Reinwand Rose. 4/2/1984.

This week in 1994, a judge has thrown out a lawsuit accusing two former city-borough Assembly members of extortion. The civil suit alleged Hugh Grant and George Davidson extorted $256,000 from Juneau’s Mad-Tiff Development, Hawken Northwest Inc. and other parties. Mad-Tiff and Hawken won contracts in 1989 to build an office building and a laboratory for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and claimed they had to pay off Grant and Davidson to proceed with their projects. Grant and Davidson, who were also interested in the contracts, admitted taking the money. But they said it only covered expenses of challenges they made to what they considered illegal contracts. “We didn’t intend to do anything wrong, we didn’t do anything wrong and we had legal guidance along the way,” Davidson said. The suit, filed in 1992, was scheduled to go on trial in Juneau Superior Court in early April. Instead, Superior Court Judge J. Justin Ripley of Anchorage granted a motion to dismiss the suit. Ripley also awarded attorney fees and costs to Grant and Davidson. Grant said those would run more than $100,000.

Original Story: “Judge dismisses extortion lawsuit,” by Ed Schoenfeld. 3/31/1994.

This week in 2004, Southeast Alaska has a new city. After two failed attempts dating to the early 1980s, Gustavus has voted to incorporate. The mail-in ballot initiative, certified April 1, passed 182-127 and takes effect April 5. Population 429, Gustavus is about 48 miles northwest of Juneau, at the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Residents also approved a new 2% sales tax, a 4% bed tax on lodging and a seven-member city assembly. The assembly’s first order of business will be choosing a mayor from its ranks, said Peter Turner, a member of the Gustavus Community Association Board. The association has overseen some town services. The incorporation provides “a representative form of municipal government and an ability to levy broad-based taxation to provide community services,” Turner said, The tax money will be used initially to support existing services including the landfill, library and emergency response, he said.

Original Story: “Gustavus votes to incorporate,” by Masha Herbst. 4/4/2004.

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