Senate Counsel Sam Dash speaks during a special session as Gov. Bill Sheffield sits in the background. (Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire Archives)

Senate Counsel Sam Dash speaks during a special session as Gov. Bill Sheffield sits in the background. (Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire Archives)

Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Aug. 5

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Empire Archives is a new series released every Saturday featuring a short compilation of headline stories featured in the Juneau Empire from archived editions in 1985, 1995 and 2005.

This week in 1985, Gov. Bill Sheffield, a Democrat, testified for two hours during a special session held as he faced possible removal from office for his role in steering a controversial office lease in Fairbanks to a friend and campaign contributor. During his testimony, Sheffield told the legislative panel he never committed an impeachable offense, lied to probing prosecutors, or was guilty of any other wrongdoings.

Original Story: “Sheffield testifies” by Bruce Scandling. 07/31/1985.

This week in 1995, as issues with bears and trash reached new heights in Juneau and Southeast Alaska mid-way through the summer of ‘95, Juneau’s neighboring city Petersburg took a new approach to solve its problem. The Petersburg city council voted to move forward with a plan to airlift more than 20 bears that forage for food near its dump to Kuiu Island instead of killing them. The estimated cost to airlift each bear at the time was around $280 per bear (approximately $570 today).

Original Story: “Petersburg plans to airlift bears at dump instead of killing them” by the Associated Press. 08/02/1995.

This week in 2005, Canadian regulators approved a controversial environmental assessment for the possible reopening of the Tulsequah Chief Mine, a multi-metal mine located about 40 miles northeast of Juneau. The approval was criticized by local Alaska Native tribes, environmentalists and elected officials in Juneau, who expressed concerns about the acidic runoff and waste rock from the mine, and its harm to the transboundary watershed and Taku salmon fisheries.

Original Story: “Tulsequah wins OK to move ahead” by Elizabeth Bliemink. 07/29/2005.

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

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