The road that connects

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Last week residents of Thane expressed concerns related to the siting of a heliport on Thane to members of the Assembly's Planning and Policy Committee. They identified the technical limitations of the Baker Heliport study, the violation of public trust in the rezoning of residential land for commercial use, and the impacts associated with locating a "remote" heliport in an area that is not remote.

Mostly, they spoke of the road that networks a unique, rural environment - a neighborhood in which the road serves as a front yard as well as a back yard for residents.

Perhaps the poem that follows, written for the Gastineau Channel Historical Society for a two-part article on Thane printed in the Gastineau Heritage News, conveys some sense of the relationship between Thane residents and their road - a road that would be forever altered by a heliport at Dupont.

The Dog Walkers of Thane

It starts at 6 a.m.,

the daily ritual that binds

the neighborhood.

Bundled in parkas, with hoods, and boots,

unrecognizable, except for the dogs

that parade by their sides,

the neighbors walk The Road.

From Sheep Creek

to the end of the road

they walk, and walk

and stop to talk.

This "morning constitutional" networks the place

strung along miles

of coast, steep cliffs and running streams.

I, dogless, become acquainted

with the local custom at a party.

Introductions are made by pedigree,

no common "people" names!

She's the lab, she's the husky,

he's the trio of golden retrievers.

They hasten to identify the gathered crowd.

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