This is a photo of a feature story on a page of the Juneau Empire published on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 1995, from an archived book. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

This is a photo of a feature story on a page of the Juneau Empire published on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 1995, from an archived book. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Aug. 26

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 1985, 1995 and 2005.

This week in 1985, more than 4,600 students returned to school in Juneau, along with 19 new teachers and two principals. That enrollment number, now 38 years ago, is starkly higher than the district’s anticipated enrollment in 2023. According to new Superintendent Frank Hauser, the district is projecting this year’s enrollment to be 4,240 students, which is actually a slight increase from the 4,221 students enrolled in 2022.

Original Story: “School set for opening day” by Leslie Murray. 08/26/1985.

This week in 1995, a poll conducted by a local firm revealed most voters in Juneau had little to no idea who their Assembly members were ahead of the upcoming 1995 municipal election, despite sharing criticism of the Assembly’s actions. According to the poll, almost half of Juneau residents were unable to name any Assembly members other than the mayor. Out of the 402 respondents, only one could name all eight sitting Assembly members.

Original Story: “Poll shows voters don’t know local office holders” by Lori Thomson and Mark Sabbatini. 08/23/1995.

This week in 2005, a feature story explored the “hidden” yet increasingly more common dangers of jökulhlaups — glacier outburst from valleys and lakes — that were occurring throughout Southeast Alaska.

“They are kind of hard to predict,” said Ed Neal, a Juneau hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the time.

At the time in 2005, Juneau’s annual Suicide Basin outbursts had yet to begin — the flooding didn’t start until 2011. This year, two Juneau homes were completely destroyed, one partially destroyed and 15 other residences were condemned as uninhabitable following record flooding in early August.

Original Story: “Ready to Burst? Southeast and South Central Alaska leads the world in glacial floods” by Elizabeth Bluemink. 08/21/2005.

• Questions or suggestions for the Empire Archives series? Contact reporter Clarise Larson at or (651)-528-1807.

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