I'm a 35-year resident of Haines. I've heard the same pros and cons of the proposed road between northern Lynn Canal and Juneau for at least as long as I've lived here. It was deemed too expensive then. Doesn't seem to have gotten any cheaper since. The ferry system at its best was marginally adequate to our needs. Add to the mix a self-serving, contentious, state bureaucracy and even more self-serving Inland Boatman's Union, and the public, for many years, is ill-served. We are currently held hostage by whims of the above-mentioned. It must end. The road will bring change, to be sure. Some good and some not so good. Long term, I'm willing to accept short-term problems. Right now, much of the negative debate comes from those who have a vested interest in things remaining as they are. They don't seem interested in the notion that a road and the commerce that will bring to the Upper Lynn Canal might actually benefit those families and business who are currently hanging on by their "economic fingernails." No one has spoken for those young, under-employed, sub-standard housed families. They are poor, and no one seems to care. Road construction will bring good jobs. Some of them to Haines. Mine development will bring more jobs. Again, some of them to Haines. 78,000 more RVs? Some of them will come to Haines too. Political change? Certainly in Haines, those who are against virtually everything, will indeed find themselves having to share our magnificent country with those they are loath to accept. Too bad. And the down side is? Build the road. It is long past due.
Terrance W. Pardee
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