This Day in Juneau History: June 3, 1986

On June 3, 1986, the Juneau School District launched a plan that would alter kindergarten schedules from occupying half a day to a full day. Though critics pointed out the lack of classroom space available for the students, JSD asked for community feedback before choosing to begin the experiment with interested families.

Meanwhile, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly decided to place a long-considered library on top of the upcoming Marine Park Parking Garage at a total of $3.5 million and voted to pay $387,600 to Southeast Alaska Regional Health Corporation to move from a municipal building and ensure housing for 20 of its corporate office employees.

Because of the immensity of the Alaska state government’s budget deficit, former Lt. Gov. Terry Miller announced his candidacy for his previous position believing that his experience in the government before the Prudhoe Bay oil discovery would allow him to solve the existing budget issues without relying on Alaska’s oil supply.

On a national level, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case against offshore drilling in areas such as Norton Sound protected by a federal environmental law protecting the fishing and hunting rights of Native Alaskans.

With a budget deficit and without other prospects, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was named the “last hope” for any big oil strike or new domestic energy source. However, because the area is home to a multitude of different species, environmentalists remained firmly against drilling endeavours and continued to lobby legislators to vote against any attempts to drill the area.

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