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, Former Mayor Fran Ulmer laid down her gavel Monday and, serenaded by song and dance, left the seat. New Mayor Ernest Polley, on the other hand, was introduced to his term with his first run-in with Betty “Belle Blue” Breck.
The Juneau City-Borough Assembly chambers were packed with friends and relatives as Ulmer gave up her seat, with balloons semi-hidden behind one audience chair and yellow roses behind another. Assembly members also presented Ulmer with presents including a duck stamp painting, while she in terms presented members with gifts — such as a magnifying glass for Assembly member George Davidson for his efforts in getting to the details of official business.
Breck, a frequent attendee at Assembly meetings, was present to complain about construction of the downtown parking garage. She interrupted Assembly discussion to tell Polley she signed up to talk, but wasn’t given the opportunity. Polley ruled she was out of order.
Original Story: “Changing of the guard: Juneau gets new mayor” by Betsy Longenbaugh. 10/22/1985.
This week in 1995, All of the winning candidates in the Oct. 3 municipal election were the top spenders in their races, including Areawide Assembly winner James Powell who spent $23,716, according to reports due 10 days after election filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Officials said they did not know if Powell’s spending was a record high, but it was well above typical “expensive” campaigns.
Powell, a political newcomer, defeated one-term incumbent Al Clough, who raised $18,024 and spent $16,709, in a four-candidate race.
Mayor Dennis Egan spent $9,996 in his successful reelection against two challenges who spent a total of about half as much, District 1 Assembly member Cathy Munoz spent $2,705 compared to $642 by her challenger and unopposed Assembly member John MacKinnon spent less than $1,000.
An exception to the top fundraisers prevailing at the polls occurred with one of three ballot measures, where a group opposing a 12 mill property tax cap spent $4,785 compared to $4,012 by a group that successfully campaigned for its passage.
Original Story: “Municipal winners were big spenders too” by Mark Sabbatini. 10/16/1995.
This week in 2005, A large rock slide carrying monster boulders and a few spruce trees and alder bushes blocked a well-trodden path leading to Nugget Falls, just south of the Mendenhall Glacier.
The slide broke loose around noon on Wednesday, Oct. 19, roughly 100 yards south of the glacier.
The smell of freshly broken spruce still lingered in the air the day after the slide, when Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center personnel trekked over to the area for a closer look.
“This will affect people. The whole area has changed,” said Larry Musarra, director of the visitors’ center.
Musarra said slides tend to happen in the vicinity of the glacier during the fall, when the area is “slushy.”
“This is the biggest slide I’ve seen in the last few years,” he said.
Original Story: “Rock slide blocks glacier trail” by Elizabeth Bluemink. 10/21/2005.