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Given the way this winter has gone, we shouldn't be surprised. It's Jan. 17 - the eve of an official visit by Arctic Winter Games officials to assess our bid to host the 2006 Games - and it's raining in Juneau.
No downhill skiing. No cross-county skiing. There's precious little winter recreation of any kind to show off to our guests as they tour and measure up our town against fellow bidders Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.
So to the AWG contingent, in hopes that you look at Juneau's potential rather than this year's weather aberration, I offer the "Ode to No-Snow Juneau" for your consideration:
Yes, we know, we don't need to be told;
Juneau's lacking in flakes that are frozen and cold.
Winter started out slow, then picked up at year's end,
But since, the weather's had a negative trend.
Want a passable ski trail? You'd best get Poirot
To find such a thing in our town without snow.
Despite coming up short in a covering of white,
We're holding our own, we're equal in height
To the two other cities that seek your affection,
Waiting, like us, for your thorough inspection.
But I think that you'll find they're all talk and no show,
When put next to us - even without snow!
Kenai has a bid, but I just don't see
Where in that borough can we downhill ski?
Fairbanks is better; they've got more stuff,
And in perfect weather, that might be enough.
But who wants to go out when it's 50 below?
So give Juneau a chance, our town without snow.
We've got a new rink; no doubt you'll be shown
The slick, shiny surface and Zamboni clone.
When snow is falling, Eaglecrest's a delight
For all downhill skiers and the mightiest Mite.
For compactness, for beauty, everyone knows
You cannot beat Juneau (just wait 'til it snows)!
Our snowshoe and cross-country ski trails abound;
Envision'em with white stuff, not just the bare ground.
The town's indoor venues are second to none,
Awaiting some soccer and great ping-pong fun.
Volleyball, wrestling - all sports'll go
In this friendly, good-natured burg without snow.
And last - but not least - we have basketball
No town in the world gives hoops its all
Like we do, in the place that forged Carlos Boozer.
No game in Juneau is ever a snoozer.
Crowds turn out in droves, cheer every free throw
In this hoops-happy town, regardless of snow.
We assure you, contingent, this snow drought is rare.
Did you see last year's Torch run? There was snow everywhere!
We've got so much to offer; please don't pass us by
Just because fickle winter's cast your visit awry.
Mother Nature's smacked us with a one-time low blow,
So forgive us, this once, our town without snow.
Finally, let me add to the mix
As you contemplate sites for double-aught six.
If our venues haven't won you, then channel your pity
Toward the soaking wet dwellers of Capital City.
We've suffered for months - make that years - of hard rain.
CCR's minds were here when they wrote their refrain.
Please award us the Games; a long ways they'd go
Toward taking our thoughts off our town without snow.
Andrew Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.