Eaglecrest an asset

Posted: Sunday, January 09, 2000

Over the past couple weeks I have watched with interest the Eaglecrest-bashing in Word of Mouth. It seems to me as if a few disaffected citizens have banded together to talk anonymously about a subject they obviously haven't a clue about.

As a longtime avid user of Eaglecrest, I can tell you that snowboarding and skiing in Juneau is neither elitist or racist. Sure, the gear costs a few bucks, but so does having a bike or a boat or a car or a plane. With the lower season pass fees, many more people are using the mountain. Disabled people, Native people, white people, very young and old people, gay people, straight people, rich people, poor people and a quirky hodgepodge of dirtbags all call Eaglecrest theirs. Schoolkids learn to race and be self-confident. Young people enjoy the outdoors and explore the geography and their own fears and abilities with their peers. Older folks just get together to stop in the woods and drink a flask and talk about how it was back in the day. Eaglecrest is remarkably egalitarian.

We are lucky as a community to have a long alpine skiing history reaching back to the early part of the century. Our friends and neighbors worked long and hard to make Eaglecrest happen. For such a small and remote community we are blessed with numerous outdoor recreation choices and heading the list for me and many of my friends is Eaglecrest.

Contrary to the spoutings of a handful of conservative knuckleheads, the purpose of government is not to make money. The few hundred thousand bucks that Eaglecrest runs yearly in the red is insignificant when compared to the over $100-plus million dollar operating budget of our fair City and Borough. Being a part of a community means working together and all of our tax monies go to pay for things we often don't use personally, but in the end result in our mutual high living standard.

Perhaps the people who are bitching about Eaglecrest could turn their attention to the huge amounts of money (and land and variances) that the planning commission and assembly gives away in sweetheart deals and tax exemptions to their cronies and secret business partners. Now that is something real to complain about or is it just maybe that the ones making the noise are the ones profiting from those deals?

Mark Farmer



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