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
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.
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.