Valley high school is needed now

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, February 06, 2004

I wish that the Juneau Empire would print the expletives that come to mind when I read about the malcontent brigands trying to block construction of the second high school. In 1999 I voted "yes" on a bond issue to fund a renovation of Juneau-Douglas High School "and" to build a new high school in the valley. If the bond issue had been voted down I was prepared for that decision, but the issue was voted in and I've been eagerly awaiting construction of the new valley high school. Now, five years later, the JDHS construction has been completed (good, great, terrific), but the malcontents have emerged from their lairs to change the rules and halt construction of the new school. Is this a democracy, or what? If our policies are open to daily change, let's go back and have revote on Bush, Murkowski and others.

I've lived in Juneau since 1974 and have had five children attend JDHS. I was in favor of a JDHS renovation 30 years ago. Two of my boys played basketball under Jim Hamey and George Houston. I attended ball games and track meets, and was a big supporter of JDHS athletics and I still am. However, for 60 years I've been taught and believe that the first duty of schools is to provide a scholastic education for their students. Athletics and extracurricular activities are of tertiary importance.

One troubling statement that I've read was "two high schools will kill the goose." During the Clinton era everyone was concerned in defining the word "is." Now I guess the question is what is the meaning of the word "goose?" Does goose refer to college scholarships for gifted athletes of does it refer to college scholarships for gifted students or just what does it refer to? I would guess that you could count on the fingers of one hand the names of JDHS athletes that have gone on to careers in professional sports while 99.999 percent of JDHS students have used their scholastic training daily in their careers and everyday lives.

I believe that two high schools will give Juneau students a better chance in life than will one school.

It irritates the expletives out of me just thinking of the gall of those do-nothing malcontents that are trying to block the construction of the new high school. Juneau is not going to dry up and there will be a second high school. I say 2004 is the year to start the construction of that school, before the cost becomes even more prohibitive. Please do not sign the block construction initiative being initiated by a few malcontents.

Lowell S. Barrick

Juneau



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