Juneau residents express hope for new year

Sidewalk poll on last day of decade shows optimism, big goals

Posted: Friday, January 01, 2010

Peace and health; wilderness and exercise; promotions and capital-staying power.

Juneau residents' New Year's resolutions and hopes for the future span the urban and the rural, the personal and the political.

In a sidewalk poll the final day of the decade (assuming your count runs from 2000 to 2009) some had hopes for Juneau. Jason Hanna and Harry Williams said they're hoping it stays the capital; Carol Greenough said she hopes it stays "as good a town as it is."

"(I hope it) keeps trying to balance tourism and individual needs and rights of people that live here all year round. I think it does a good job of it most of the time," Greenough said.

Elva Bontrager, who volunteers at The Glory Hole, has hopes for Juneau's homeless in 2010.

"I would just like to see a more permanent solution," she said. "I think a lot of people think the same thing, but you don't know where to start. I'm hoping that we'll figure out the next step for the homeless. I think it's going to be essential, and ... none of us are that far from being in that situation."

Olga Makaily said she's hoping the war in Iraq will end in 2010. "I just pray for it every day," she said.

She said she doesn't have any New Year's resolutions. "Too old," she said with a laugh.

Greenough doesn't have New Year's resolutions, either, but she's got a different reason for it.

"I've learned not to. I try to start in September and if I'm doing well in December, I say I'm going to keep it going, which actually has worked pretty well this year," she said.

Her resolution in September was to lose weight and get out and walk.

Dirk Miller's New Year's resolution has to do with walking, but for a different purpose.

"My New Year's Resolution is to get out in the wilderness more," he said. Miller hopes to hike around Juneau and in California.

Lance Brown has a few resolutions that will be familiar to many.

"The usual - lose some weight, exercise more - the same one I do every year."

He also would like to see Congress "get its act together."

Melinda Daun's New Year's resolution is also health related: to give up sugar and white flour. She's done it before, and now plans to do it a little more in moderation.

A for her hopes, she said, "A promotion would be nice, and health and happiness for my husband."

• Contact reporter Mary Catharine Martin at 523-2276 or maryc.martin@juneauempire.com.

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