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Author Topic: Is Juneau About to Be Dumped?
snopes
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Is this some kind of dark plot to dump Juneau as Alaska's capital?

Political pundits drew their own interpretations after Gov.-elect Sarah Palin announced she would buck an unbroken tradition and take the oath of office outside the capital city.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/J/JUNEAUS_SNUB?SITE=FLTAM

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Spc. Sharki
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Seems to be a good idea to me, given Juneau's isolation. But I'm not from Alaska so I really can't comment.

Has a state capital ever been moved before, or would this be a first? I know that in the early days of Texas, there were plans to move the capital from Austin to my home city of Houston, but the plans feel through.

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FrogFeathers
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They talked about moving the state capitol from Juneau to Willow (or Wasilla?) back when I lived there. I left in 1987. So, this isn't a new debate- its an old one being reopened and re-argued.

I can't recall if they had an actual vote on the whole thing, but we talked about it in a few of my classes in high school. I have a friend who lives in Juneau (not a snopester), but I'm going to email her the link to this thread so I can hear what she says about it. [Smile]

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Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Spc. Sharki:
...
Has a state capital ever been moved before, ...

The state capital of Illinois was moved from Vandalia to Springfield in 1837. Before 1820, the capital was Kaskaskia, which is the only (or perhaps one of the few) parts of Illinois which is west of the Mississippi River, a condition it found itself in when the river changed course in 1881.

Nick

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Winter Morning
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quote:
Originally posted by Spc. Sharki:

Has a state capital ever been moved before, or would this be a first? I know that in the early days of Texas, there were plans to move the capital from Austin to my home city of Houston, but the plans feel through.

Ohio's capital city was moved from Chillicothe to Zanesville and then back to Chillicothe. As a compromise, a new town was built in the center of the state in 1812 "on the "High Banks opposite Franklinton at the Forks of the Scioto known as Wolf's Ridge".

[hijack] Columbus is really an interesting place. Ya'll should visit. Have a White Castle or a Wendy's burger, visit the Zoo (formerlly run by Jack Hanna), go to COSI or a multitude of cultural events. [/hijack]

Morning

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Daniceguy
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Spc. Sharki:
Has a state capital ever been moved before, or would this be a first?

Apparently, moving state capitals is a long-standing tradition. According to The New Georgia Encyclopedia
quote:
Almost every state has moved its state capital at least once. Only Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming have had a single capital city since their creations as colonies, territories, or states.

Although they don't provide any primary source material for this assertion, a quick Google search suggests they may not be far off.

However, it seems extremely rare to move established state capitals (i.e. more than 50 years old). Since Juneau became the capital in 1900, it sounds like this move would be a big deal.

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Brad from Georgia
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Georgia's state capital has moved--from Savannah to Milledgeville, and then to Atlanta. Milledgeville lost the capitol building, but they built the state insane asylum there, and outside of the improvement, no one noticed the difference.

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Alabama's capitol city has been Saint Stephens (flooded & burned down), Huntsville (too far north), Cahaba (burned down), Tuscaloosa (burned down), and now Montgomery. My kids have a little song they sing to remember it all (including the burning and flooding). [Smile]

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niner domestic actual
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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The neighbouring Yukon also moved their territorial capital from Dawson to Whitehorse back in the 50s as the population of Dawson declined (not to mention 918 having the better road access from the Al-Can).

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ThornyWreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Frog_Feathers:
They talked about moving the state capitol from Juneau to Willow (or Wasilla?) back when I lived there. I left in 1987. So, this isn't a new debate- its an old one being reopened and re-argued.

I can't recall if they had an actual vote on the whole thing, but we talked about it in a few of my classes in high school. I have a friend who lives in Juneau (not a snopester), but I'm going to email her the link to this thread so I can hear what she says about it. [Smile]

They were talking about moving the capital to Wasilla when I was there in the mid-90s. For snopesters not in the know, Wasilla is slightly north of Anchorage.

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Sara at home
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It was Willow when I was there in the '80's. Willow estentially didn't exist at the time. It was more or less a rural area outside of Wasilla.

I suspect that the discussion to move the capital out of Juneau will go on until they move the capital out of Juneau.

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Archie2K
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Why Willow or Wasilla, rather than somewhere obvious like Anchorage or Fairbanks. You know, somewhere with an actual population. [Wink]
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Sara at home
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There is some anti Anchorage sentiment in Alaska because many consider it not to be "real" Alaska. And it already has about half the population of the state. Seems it already has enough. Wasillia is ...45 minutes? an hour? from Anchorage; Willow would have been a bit farther. And IIRC, the Anchorage basin may not have the room needed to build a capital. Land was cheap in Willow.

Fairbanks, despite being in the middle of the main part of the state -- excluding the panhandle -- is almost as isolated as Juneau. And the weather is extreme compared to the Wasilla/Willow area.

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Silas Sparkhammer
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California's state capital (and capitol) have been known to move, usually in fits and starts of less than an inch. Sudden-like.

Silas

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LeaflessMapleTree
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A quake! A quake!
The house begins to shake
You're bouncing 'cross the floor
And watching all your dishes break.
You're sleeping; there's a quake
You're instantly awake
You're leaping out of bed and shouting
Oh for heaven's sake!

Oh, a quake! A quake!
Say it's all a big mistake
Just feel the ground go up and down
Won't someone hit the brake?
A quake! A quake!
Oh what a mess they make
The bricks, the walls, the chimney falls
Destruction in its wake.

Too late! Too late!
You shouldn't ought to wait
'Cause now you're stuck; we wish you luck
Here comes a six-point-eight!
Whose fault? Whose fault?
The San Andreas's fault
'Cause Mister Richter can't predict her
Kicking our asphalt.


There's more to the song, but that's the gist of it. I love the Animaniacs.

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Avril
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Guthrie was originally the capital city of Oklahoma, but Oklahoma City business leaders and the prosperity of the town due to the railroad's influence made it seem like a good place for a capital, and it moved in 1910.

Avril

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Avu
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:

Fairbanks, despite being in the middle of the main part of the state -- excluding the panhandle -- is almost as isolated as Juneau. And the weather is extreme compared to the Wasilla/Willow area.

Well, it's colder here. But we don't have the windy/foggy/three-feet-of-snow-at-a-time travel hazards that you can find in the Juneau and Anchorage areas. Travel to Fairbanks is more reliable than either of those two.

I'm a little suprised Palin isn't having her swearing-in in the Mat-Su area, given her campaign promise to be biased towards it.

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Signora Del Drago
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quote:
Originally posted by Avril:
Guthrie was originally the capital city of Oklahoma, but Oklahoma City business leaders and the prosperity of the town due to the railroad's influence made it seem like a good place for a capital, and it moved in 1910.

Avril

Not only that, but the Oklahoma state seal was moved to Okie City in the middle of the night. It was supposed to have been "stolen" from Guthrie by cohorts of the first governor, Charles Haskell.
http://www.lsb.state.ok.us/house/news5202.htm
quote:
Davis said the nature in which the state seal was moved led many Guthrie residents to consider the seal, and consequently, the capital, “stolen”.


According to Irvin Hurst, author of the book “The 46th Star,” in 1910, then-Governor C.N. Haskell called for a special election to vote on whether the capital should reside in Guthrie or Oklahoma City. The election took place on a Saturday, and as soon as the results were in, and the numbers indicated Oklahoma City had won, Haskell ordered his personal secretary and the Secretary of State to take the seal from Guthrie. They did so after midnight, concealing the seal in a bundle of laundry.



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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Avu:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:

Fairbanks, despite being in the middle of the main part of the state -- excluding the panhandle -- is almost as isolated as Juneau. And the weather is extreme compared to the Wasilla/Willow area.

Well, it's colder here. But we don't have the windy/foggy/three-feet-of-snow-at-a-time travel hazards that you can find in the Juneau and Anchorage areas. Travel to Fairbanks is more reliable than either of those two.
It's also hotter there.

In the 11 years I lived in Anchorage, I recall maybe one day that there was no school. I remember one time it snowed constantly for 3 days but only accumulated 8 inches of snow. The three-feet-of-snow thing never happened while I was there. The St. Patrick's Day storm (27") was sort of a fluke, wasn't it?

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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Sara, I lived there in the 80s too. We had one snow day and it was in relation to a Good Friday blizzard and St. Augustine spewing ash all over the city at the same time. I went to Bartlett High, which was going through a scheduling conflict with trying to create a six-month summer break so they could remove asbestoes from the building.

Anyway, I remember referring to Wasilla and Willow as one place and "Willow Lake" being its own place.

And I haven't gotten a reply from my friend yet. [Smile]

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Frog_Feathers:

Anyway, I remember referring to Wasilla and Willow as one place and "Willow Lake" being its own place.

Willow is about 20 miles up the Parks Highway from Wasilla. They were and still are separate municipalities. I didn't vote in the election which selected Willow but I voted in the two which turned down funding the move. In 1994, the voters turned down an attempt to make the proposed site Wasilla. Capital move timeline.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Avu
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
quote:
Originally posted by Avu:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:

Fairbanks, despite being in the middle of the main part of the state -- excluding the panhandle -- is almost as isolated as Juneau. And the weather is extreme compared to the Wasilla/Willow area.

Well, it's colder here. But we don't have the windy/foggy/three-feet-of-snow-at-a-time travel hazards that you can find in the Juneau and Anchorage areas. Travel to Fairbanks is more reliable than either of those two.
It's also hotter there.
Yes, but very rarely approaching truly hot by the rest of the country's standards! I have to go on vacation every few years to be reminded of what it feels like to be uncomfortably hot outside.

quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
In the 11 years I lived in Anchorage, I recall maybe one day that there was no school. I remember one time it snowed constantly for 3 days but only accumulated 8 inches of snow. The three-feet-of-snow thing never happened while I was there. The St. Patrick's Day storm (27") was sort of a fluke, wasn't it?

Probably. Three feet at a time was an exaggeration, but Anchorage does get much more snow in a single event than Fairbanks does. Anchorage and Juneau both are situated with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. This makes for a higher chance of travel-impeding weather. I've had more than one flight to or from Anchorage delayed, even with the extensive snow removal equipment at that airport. I remember a few years ago there was a day that they diverted all Anchorage bound traffic to Fairbanks because Anchorage was experiencing hurricane force winds. That was a big day for our little airport!

The Juneau airport has a tricky runway for commercial airliners and the weather can make it trickier. It feels like you're going to splash down in the ocean on landing and fly into a mountain in takeoff. Experienced pilots can handle it OK, but it does require some nonstandard maneuvers and there have been a few crashes. Going in or out of Juneau, you have to fly over glaciers which create some unpredictable weather.

So, if you're only considering temperature, then yes, Fairbanks has the more extreme weather. But if you're considering other factors (wind, rain, snow, fog) it's by far the calmest.

quote:

Originally posted by Frog_Feathers:

Anyway, I remember referring to Wasilla and Willow as one place and "Willow Lake" being its own place.

Originally posted by Sara at home:
Willow is about 20 miles up the Parks Highway from Wasilla. They were and still are separate municipalities. I didn't vote in the election which selected Willow but I voted in the two which turned down funding the move. In 1994, the voters turned down an attempt to make the proposed site Wasilla.

Frog_Feathers, maybe you're thinking of Big Lake? It's in the same area. Wasilla and Palmer are sort of considered one place. So are Chugiak and Eagle River.
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FrogFeathers
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We used to go camping every weekend and my parents always referred to the whole area as one entity. I asked my mom about it yesterday and she said it was "just easier" and apparently, it was something they did with just each other- not to anyone else. [Razz]

Finger Lake was a favorite place to camp (and by "camp", I mean in a 27 foot trailer with its own bathroom). We were in the Good Sam Club and camped all the dang time. We also used to go to that horse farm that was on the Parks and Glen (Glenn?) Highway junction. The Parks Highway is going off to the right, Palmer to the left and of course, the route to Anchorage would be on the route straight back (in the picture). It was shortly after that I stopped camping with my folks. They finally trusted two teens home alone.

Its been 19 years since I've been there and I still miss it.

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Grumpy
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Returning to the OP...

quote:

Political pundits drew their own interpretations after Gov.-elect Sarah Palin announced she would buck an unbroken tradition and take the oath of office outside the capital city.

You should ask yourself, why are pundits discussing this? Because it's a legitimate worry, or because it's hype?

The answer is, it's hype. It's one of Juneau's three major industries: government, cruise ship tourism, and fretting about moving the capital.

quote:
posted by Sara at home:
the Anchorage basin may not have the room needed to build a capital.

Depends on the size of the capitol. Since it would probably be little more than a 6- to 10-story office building... yeah, there's room for that.
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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Avu:
Frog_Feathers, maybe you're thinking of Big Lake? It's in the same area. Wasilla and Palmer are sort of considered one place. So are Chugiak and Eagle River.

Hmm, Wasilla and Palmer were very separate when I lived there. Have they grown together?

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Avu
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
quote:
Originally posted by Avu:
Frog_Feathers, maybe you're thinking of Big Lake? It's in the same area. Wasilla and Palmer are sort of considered one place. So are Chugiak and Eagle River.

Hmm, Wasilla and Palmer were very separate when I lived there. Have they grown together?
Pretty much. The area has really grown in the last 10 years or so. Lots more commuters who live there and work in Anchorage. More condos/apartments, businesses, and tourist traps along the highways. There's not much empty space between the towns any more. Just like Kenai and Soldotna, where my parents live.

quote:
Originally posted by Frog_Feathers:
The Parks Highway is going off to the right, Palmer to the left and of course, the route to Anchorage would be on the route straight back (in the picture).

Wow this brings back memories. They've completely revamped that intersection. Now going from the Glenn to the Parks highway towards Wasilla is one continuous road and staying ont he Glenn highway towards Palmer is a multi-lane off ramp. No more traffic light! They also built a bridge to get rid of the railroad grade crossing. (Thanks, Uncle Ted!)

I think it took three seasons to finish the whole project and it was completed the summer before last.

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Grumpy
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Avu:
There's not much empty space between [Palmer and Wasilla] any more.

"Empty space" is probably a relative concept. There are still farms between the two towns. There's no confusion about where one ends and the other begins. That said, they did locate the new regional hospital exactly halfway between, overlooking the highway junction. And the new recreation arena is midway between, as well. The area between the boundaries of Palmer & Wasilla is probably the largest unincorporated town in Alaska (say, 5000 people or so).
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FrogFeathers
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quote:
No more traffic light!
Wow... there wasn't a traffic light there when I lived there.

Frog-when did I get so old?-Feathers [lol]

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
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"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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Sara at home
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They put it in while I still lived there.

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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My friend from Juneau responded to my message. I sent her the article link and the link to this thread. Her message:

quote:
Hi Patty - thanks for sharing that. I went to the link and read the thread. I was going to register but then I had some minor problems while registering and then the page wouldn't re-load, so I decided to do that later. You can share this message with your fellow snopesters if you desire:

Yes, Palin is getting inaugurated in Fairbanks, she claims because of the 50th anniversary of the constitution, which was signed in Fairbanks. We in Juneau think it is to punish us for voting over 70% against her. She is also allowing her cabinet members to live wherever in the state they are most needed rather than in Juneau. She claims that she will not be moving the capital because as governor she will have bigger fish to fry. This issue comes up in almost every governor's election. It would be a huge blow to Juneau's economy if it happened. So much of our economy depends on the legislature. But it's more than that. True, Juneau is "isolated" but so is the majority of the state. Alaska is not just Fairbanks and Anchorage. Alaska is the panhandle, the Aleutian chain, the slope, and all the villages that are not easily accessible. By having the capital in Juneau, it at least includes all of Southeast in Alaskan politics, as Juneau is the hub for many communities down here, and we all get around by water or air, always have and always will. I personally think that if the capital moved near Anchorage or Fairbanks, it would isolate so many people around the state, and it would really send the message that only Anchorage and Fairbanks matter.
On Palin, even my staunch Republican police officer husband did not vote for her and for the first time since being a registered voter, voted Democrat.

There you have it- from an actual Juneau resident who is attempting to join us on this board. [Big Grin] I'll direct her to the initiation thread when she arrives. [Wink]

--------------------
"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

Posts: 4524 | From: South of Madison, Wisconsin | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Avu
I Saw Three Shipments


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I haven't heard any talk of moving it to Fairbanks., just Anchorage. I don't think we want it.

Then again, the Mat-Su area is not really Anchorage proper, but to an Interior resident, everything between Willow and Girdwood is the sprawling metropolis of "Anchorage." [Razz]

Palin didn't have much of a presence here during the election. Hardly anything before the primary, anyway. I think she concentrated on the Cook Inlet area. I guess that's is a smart thing to do, considering that's probably 80% of the state's population.

She's here at some sort of pre-inaguration reception happening in the building next door to me as we speak.

Posts: 64 | From: Fairbanks, AK | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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