Ner­vous cap­i­tal

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

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.

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