Juneau, the capital of Alaska, is feeling jittery because Gov.-elect Sarah Palin announced that she would buck an unbroken tradition andtaketheoathofofficeelsewhere.
She was sworn in Dec. 4 in Fairbanks, more than 600 miles north of Juneau, the nation’s most inaccessible state capital.
Mrs. Palin, Alaska’s first female governor and at 42 the youngest to hold the office, said she chose Fair- banks to mark the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the Alaska Constitution, which was drafted in Fairbanksthreeyearsbeforestatehoodin 1959.
Hergesture,however,sentashiver of anxiety through Alaska’s southeastern region, the Associated Press reports.
“Juneau,beware;it’sthefirststep,” warnedaneditorialintheKetchikan DailyNews,givingvoicetoanagging fear that Mrs. Palin’s real agenda is to move the capital from Juneau, population 31,000.
Those who want to move the seat of government often complain that Juneau is too far from Alaska’s populationcentersandreachableonlyby plane or boat.
Lawmakers must drive several hundred miles through interior Alaska and Canada to catch a ferry to Juneau. Those flying in are some- times diverted as far as Seattle because of Juneau’s cloudy and windy weather.
Almost since statehood, Juneau has fended off repeated attempts to movetheseatofgovernmenttomore northern and populated areas of the state.
Alaska Gov.-elect Sarah Palin has awoken fears that she will move her state’s capital from Juneau to Fairbanks by planning to be sworn in there.