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My Turn: Man of many hats likes Marine Park expansion

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Expand Marine Park. Tough decision? Not really. Let's examine this from the personal perspective of a fella who wears a bunch of hats. Lest anyone be offended, please bear in mind that I'm just expressing my personal opinion and not the opinion of any of these fine organizations I belong to.

First hat: The day job in the trucking/transportation business My comment there is: Get the darn buses out of the roadway. Why? Well, first of all, downtown traffic congestion is a major problem for Juneau. It seems that removing the obstacles (buses) to allow free-flow through the area will help all road users transit more efficiently. Furthermore, it's much safer to pull the buses off of the road, thereby eliminating the need to swerve into the incoming traffic lane in order to pass by them. One final safety note: Eliminate backup alarms? Don't do it. Backup alarms save lives, period.

Newest Hat: As a recently appointed Juneau planning commissioner, I would have to say that in the long-term parking on the waterfront makes very little sense. However, in the short term, let's deck over this patch of stinking, non-indiginous, man-made, rocky, wasted space and convert it into some useful public space. (More on the long-term plan here once I put on another hat.)

Greenest Hat: Juneau Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee commissioner: WOW! What a great project! First, let's get 30 percent more green space for our park, then let's talk about a portable ice rink. Later we'll expand the shelter to accommodate more performing arts opportunities. Fantastic! And, yes, even later, we'll work toward filling in this decked-over space with more green space for our park. We'll jump on board with the long-range plan to move that bus staging area away from the park. But for now, getting those buses into the staging area gets them to shut down and quit filling our park with exhaust. This is a great park project. It expands the park. Pretty simple really.

Old Hat: Pres-Elect of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce. Hello! It's the economy folks! In fact, tourism is our only growth industry. Everything else; government, fishing, timber, and mining are on the decline. We need to take care of our tourists if we want them to come back. Efficient staging and movement of people are critical elements to a quality visitor experience. I don't know about you, but if I have to wait in long, cold lines I don't go back, ever.

Capital Cap: Board Member, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce. Hello! We are the capital of Alaska. We have a responsibility, no, a duty, as the capital to welcome our visitors to Alaska; in style and in comfort. They can rough it somewhere else. This is the capital. Let's show them we care about them and show the rest of Alaska that we can take care of business. We Juneauites need to be a shining example for the rest of this Great State of Alaska.

OK, enough hat-tricking. I'm taking a poll now. Would it be the fatness of my head, the thickness of my skull, or just the egotistical size of the thing that forces me to wear so many dog-gone hats?



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