For the good of all

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Monday, May 06, 2002

I've got to talk a little about what life is like up here on the hill. It's probably not necessary any more to say which hill. The minute I say "hill" to anyone, they know where I mean.

And I'm hearing all over town that we've had a wake-up call, that the damage at the Filipino Hall only gives further proof that the end of Gastineau Avenue is just about to blow.

The blue apartments at the end are now festooned with "monitoring" devices, shiny orange and gray rectangles to indicate vibration, huge levels to show changes in the foundation and gauges installed over cracks to register changes in size or location.

One of the cracks is in a concrete stairwell. It increased in size considerably during the sheet pile construction two winters ago. And then a couple of weeks ago, the end of Gastineau Avenue and the apartments' parking lot were dug up two feet deep and compacted. Just that vibration noticeably enlarged the crack, according to a tenant who kept watch on it before and after.

So how can anyone even contemplate vibrating sheet piling under the apartments, drilling for anchors and then excavating the entire toe of the hill out from under the people who live there?

Human life is at stake here, and not just because people might die in a landslide. The very threat of this project, and of the last one, is stressful. For the last project, I had to live with monitoring devices on my house and in my garden, a one-hundred foot long row of stakes tipped with red, a weird wooden structure and wire decorated with red ribbons, numerous other red ribbons marking survey points and black X's on both of my door stoops. I was constantly terrified, since the hill under my house moved, and it did not help to see these reminders of my fear every time I looked out of or at my house.

Now I can't look at the beautiful view of the apartments and the Channel, because the apartments are disfigured by reminders of fear.

But we no longer live in a society where Vikings can swarm and destroy the homes of our citizens for their own shortsighted profit. We have a right to defend ourselves, and a mission to win, for the good of all.

Page Bridges

Juneau



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