What's Up With That?

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2002

Q: What's with the "No Parking" signs around town, particularly the ones around the Governor's Mansion? Every day and night there are cars and trucks all the way around it just about. I see the parking attendant going around town, but it goes unnoticed there.

A: "We do issue citations," said Capt. Tom Porter of the Juneau Police Department. "But those streets (around the mansion) are very narrow and it's hard to get around. We have one community service officer whose responsibility it is to enforce parking regulations, and he has a large area to cover. It's possible that someone occasionally might escape a ticket because we have only the one."

Q: What is the population breakdown for the different areas of Juneau, i.e., Douglas, West Juneau, North Douglas, downtown, Mendenhall Valley, etc.?

A: An answer to your question was supplied by Kathleen Bailey, a database specialist with the city's Community Development Department. The following is not federal census data, Bailey emphasized, but "in-house population estimates."

As of 2001, the population of Douglas is estimated at 2,115. The population of West Juneau is 1,583. North Douglas, 1,596. Thane, 172. Downtown Juneau, 3,707. Glacier Highway from Norway Point to Fred Meyer, 4,812. East Mendenhall Valley, 12,122. West Mendenhall Valley/Mendenhall Peninsula/Auke Bay, 3,430. Glacier Highway from Waydelich Creek to the end of the road, 1,318. Shelter Island and South Douglas, 47. That makes for a total of 30,903.

Of that total, by the way, 129 live on boats and 33 in recreational vehicles. The estimate counts only 5,323 single-family homes in Juneau. The average number of persons per household is 2.49.

Q: What's up with the boats/truck campers and garbage that's being dumped on the beach at the base of the hill on Thane Road? Who is responsible for enforcing illegal dumping there, and who is responsible for cleaning up after these slobs?

A: It's always hard to get slobs to recognize they are slobs - or to care enough to do something about it.

You'll be relieved to hear that harbormaster Chuck Westcott called to say he had (a) cleaned up the "My Fair Lady" that was sunk near the Yacht Club, and, (b) on April 4, was cleaning up the boats and other unsightly debris in the water off Thane.

"I have worked with the fire department and the Department of Environmental Conservation," Westcott said. "And when we get done, we're going to have a hot dog roast."

Q: What is the material in the swing area at Twin Lakes? It resembles bark, but it's rubbery. Who maintains that park? I am wondering how the material used there compares to other materials in terms of cost and effectiveness.

A: The material is called Rainbow Turf, said parks and landscape supervisor Bob Grochow. It's a stringy rubber product that stays loose and provides a good cushion for falls. The sand or pea gravel used previously needed a weekly rototilling to stay soft, Grochow said, so he thinks that, in the long run, Rainbow Turf will be cost effective.

"It's fairly expensive but we felt it was worth it given the safety ratings and the low maintenance," Grochow said.

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