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I would like to cast my vote to keep the I.O.O.F. building intact for the following reasons:
My mother lived in one of the apartments for a number of years after my father died. My brother Bill and I sold and delivered the newspaper, Alaska Daily Press, which was located on the ground floor. In my case, I spent many hours in the press room during the eight years I worked there.
The Serbian community, of which my family was a great part, celebrated Saint Sava's Day (Jan. 27) on the top floor. Ethnic dancing, children's programs and plenty of good ethnic food were part of the program.
There is a solution to the legislative and neighborhood parking problem. The city or state or both could build a two-level parking garage on the land that previously housed the Fifth Street School. Access to the second level could be from Sixth Street. A small parking fee could be charged to recoup the cost over a long period.
I believe this would be a far better solution to the problem rather than razing a building that is of great historical importance to so many people.
John E. Dapcevich