Moving the problem doesn't solve it

Posted: Tuesday, May 07, 2002

The Juneau Assembly's effort to put a heliport in the Thane neighborhood is very unfair and divisive. We realize the Assembly has received a great deal of pressure from our community to do something about excessive noise generated by tourist-related aircraft activity. We also realize that politically this is not an easy thing for them to do. Moving the noise from one neighborhood to another is neither fair nor effective.

By using this "move the problem" approach to "solve" the noise issue, the Juneau Assembly is using the same logic as the "Move The Capital" folks. The "Movers" correctly assert that putting the capital in Anchorage would make it closer and more convenient to a majority of the state's population. What they don't acknowledge is that in doing so they would devastate Juneau. The same is true for putting a heliport in Thane. It may somewhat reduce the noise for a majority of Juneau residents, but it would devastate the Thane neighborhood. Such a divisive "solution" is totally contradictory to what we need to be doing in the wake of the events of Sept. 11. We need to be building and encouraging a sense of community, not destroying it. Our (Juneau's) aircraft noise problem will only be solved when all neighbors are equally protected.

Proposing such a divisive "solution" may make it appear the Assembly is doing something to solve the noise issue. But in reality it's just a transfer of the problem to a minority of the community. We believe the many friends and acquaintances we've made in this community over the past 30 years will look on this as an unfair and inappropriate solution. We urge everyone to join us in persuading the Assembly to protect all neighborhoods and not use "solutions" that pit one against another.

Jan and Eldon Dennis


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