The front page of the Juneau Empire on June 25, 1984. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

The front page of the Juneau Empire on June 25, 1984. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week ending June 29

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, a report developed by Juneau City-Borough officials says if a new city hall is to be built, it should be located in the Centennial Hall-National Guard Armory area. And until that happens, offices of the municipal Engineering Department, which are now located in two municipally owned buildings and two leased buildings, should be brought under one roof. The recommended “civic center” would require 70,000 square feet of space to house almost all city-borough departments, including the school district, police department and social services department. The civic center, according to a report prepared at the request of the Juneau City-Borough Assembly and slated for review at its upcoming meeting, “would act more as a true civic center rather than simply as city and borough offices. A civic center concept would strengthen Juneau’s urban center and the capital complex.” The center could also include a downtown or regional library, community meeting rooms, a museum or visitor center, and perhaps a performing arts center.

Today the City and Borough of Juneau is in the process of transferring employees from five downtown buildings, including the current City Hall, to the Michael J. Burns Building near the edge of the downtown area after two bond measures to build a new City Hall — minus the police, school district and other other facilities envisioned in the 1980s — adjacent to Centennial Hall failed during the past two years.

Original Story: “City considers new office site,” by Christopher Jarvis. 6/25/1984.

This week in 1994, rescue workers continued searching the icy waters of Taku Inlet, looking for four passengers who are missing — and feared dead — following a floatplane crash Wednesday night. Three other passengers, including a child, died when the single-engine de Havilland DH-3 Otter floatplane, operated by Wings of Alaska, plunged into the foggy inlet 12 miles southeast of Juneau. Four survivors, including the Juneau pilot, were taken to Bartlett Memorial Hospital. They are being treated for hypothermia and are listed in good condition, hospital spokesperson Anne Schultz said Thursday morning. The floatplane was ferrying 10 cruise ship passengers from a tour on the Taku Glacier back to their cruise ship, the S.S. Universe, when the accident occurred shortly after 8 p.m., said Bob Jacobsen, a co-owner of the flight service. The cause of the crash is not yet known, said Tim Borson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original Story: “Seven lost in floatplane crash,” by Annabel Lund. 6/23/1994.

This week in 2004, when six trade representatives from China visited Juneau during a tour of Southeast Alaska fisheries on Friday, they found promising but uncertain opportunities for Alaska seafood. Zhou Dan Yi, a Shanghai food company manager, was intrigued by the discarded parts at Juneau and Cordova processing plants. Parts such as fish heads are enjoyed immensely on dinner tables in China. “Why are they throwing them away?” she asked. Unfortunately, while shipping frozen salmon heads to China might sound like a promising opportunity, the bargaining prices so far haven’t been good enough for actual trade to occur. “Having a competitive price is the essential thing,” said KC Dochtermann, international program director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Bellevue, Washington, branch office. China — previously a closed market — has started importing Alaska seafood over the last few years. While the Chinese do not eat as much seafood as Japanese consumers, their appetites far exceed Americans’. Per capita consumption of seafood in China is about 80 pounds per year. Per capita consumption in the United States is “more like 15 pounds,” said Laura Fleming of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, which is hosting the Chinese delegation.

Today the global market is markedly different, with China viewed as an adversary in a U.S. ban enacted by executive order last year that restricts importing fish and other marine species caught in Russia that are processed in China, part of wider sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. China is also separately being targeted by state and federal lawmakers for what they call substandard products and practices.

Original Story: “Trade delegation eyes Alaska seafood,” by Elizabeth Bluemink. 6/28/2004.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at or (907) 957-2306.

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