The front page of the Juneau Empire on May 9, 1984. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

The front page of the Juneau Empire on May 9, 1984. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week ending May 11

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 three-day celebration of Native culture bringing together three Indian nations, participants from 18 Southeast communities and guests from as far away as Hawaii got underway today at Centennial Hall. Celebration ‘84, sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Foundation, features the music, dances, art and stories of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people, said David Katzeek, the foundation’s president. “This is one of the largest family gatherings in Alaska,” he said. Celebration ‘84 is the second of the biennial events started in 1982 out of a desire of tribal elders to promote, emphasize and pass on the rich Native culture of the region, Katzeek said.

For 2024, Celebration is scheduled June 5-8.

Original Story: “Celebration ‘84,” by the Juneau Empire. 5/9/1984.

This week in 1994, Ray Coxe, owner of Rayco Sales in Juneau, has run out of bumper stickers stating “Crime Control, Not Gun Control.” He is also selling out of assault-style firearms after the U.S. House narrowly approved a ban on many models. The same day as the House voted 216-214 to ban the production of 19 different assault weapons, Coxe sold 13 such guns, more than half of which are targeted by the legislation. “We definitely would have been able to sell more of them if we’d had them,” he said. Coxe said he has sold about 700 of the guns on the banned list since he started his business in 1985.

Original Story: “Vote to ban assault weapons triggers jump in sales,” by James MacPherson. 5/9/1994.

David Hunt, right, prevents a distraught Carlene Shaw from entering her burning house at Gold and Fifth streets on Sunday, May 9, 2004. Shaw wanted to save her exotic birds. (Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire file photo)

David Hunt, right, prevents a distraught Carlene Shaw from entering her burning house at Gold and Fifth streets on Sunday, May 9, 2004. Shaw wanted to save her exotic birds. (Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire file photo)

This week in 2004, a fire that broke out at a downtown Juneau residence Sunday morning killed more than a dozen exotic birds and a pet dog from smoke inhalation. Carlene and Barry Shaw, owners of BaCar’s restaurant, were working the Sunday morning breakfast crowd, when a neighbor from up the hill ran into the dining room at about 9:30. “Your house is on fire!” Cheryl Lewis, 48, told Carlene. After calling the Capital City Fire and Rescue, Carlene, 54, ran up the hill to her home at 339 Fifth Street. Thick smoke billowed out of the bedroom window of the 1,200-square-foot home. About 30 exotic birds and several other pets were inside the home when the fire started. Cockatiels, finches, cockatoos, macaws, doves and a variety of other birds cawed and chirped wildly, flapping their wings in an effort to escape the smoke. The couple also owns two dogs and two iguanas. One of the dogs, 18-year-old Sugar, a gray German Shepherd mix, also died from smoke inhalation.

Original Story: “Fire destroys much of exotic bird collection downtown,” by Timothy Inklebarger. 5/10/2004.

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

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