Outside editorial: Give the capital back to Sitka, or to Adak, or ...

Posted: Tuesday, February 01, 2005

This editorial appeared in Friday's The Voice of the (Anchorage) Times:

As many who have tried to reach or leave Juneau in recent days can heartily attest, there absolutely must be a better place to locate the state capital. But where?

As a state we cannot seem to agree on a new location. We look here. We talk about there. Fairbanks? Too cold and strange. The Mat-Su Borough? Maybe too close to Anchorage for some. Anchorage? Way too Anchorage. Even Adak has its share of supporters.

If all else fails, however, let us not overlook the prospect of Sitka, the scenic Southeast Alaska community tucked away on Baranof island, some 95 miles sorthwest of Juneau.

Why not? After all, capital-bound aircraft always seem able to land there when fog and bad weather regularly make Juneau as accessible as the back side of the moon. Think about it. Alaskans actually for the first time in modern history could reach the capital more easily, just like in other states.

As a bonus, Sitka certainly is no stranger to being a capital. Founded in 1799, it was the capital of Russian America and was the U.S. territorial capital until 1906, when Juneau snatched it away.

On the other hand, it is only fair to ask, what has Sitka ever done to us?

The search continues.

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