Fed up with poor analogies

Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2000

An industrial tourism mouthpiece calling itself Destination Juneau is accusing people who want one quiet day a week of ``Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg.'' Have they never read the story? The goose that laid the golden egg is about destroying good fortune through greed and avarice. The goose was not killed by the farmer giving her Saturdays off.

Six noisy days every week for five months ought to be enough for these industrial tourism folks. As recently as a decade ago, we had at least a day a week when no cruise ship came in at all. None of us starved. Since then our town's relationship with tourism has changed, but it is still a relationship. In most relationships, somebody demanding more than six parts of every seven is a strong candidate for counseling.

Has tourism cleaned up our town as it claims? South Franklin Street today is indeed a spiffy place to soak the tourists, but the local problems that were there have been merely displaced or put out of sight, not solved.

Pro-noise people have used full-page ads to emphasize negative aspects of Juneau's past. If we are going to talk about the past, let's also talk about last year when the Wall Street Journal placed Juneau, Alaska and the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Site in the same tourist destination category. Let Destination Juneau put a spin on that. The Journal article specifically cited herds of tourists downtown and helicopters rattling the windows. Helicopter companies applied for triple their landings last year, and Juneau made international headlines with multiple helicopter crashes.

Also last year, the film ``Limbo'' was released, showing actual footage of our town as a tourist cattle call. ``Think of Alaska as a theme park.'' Last year, we were told cruise ships dump more sewage in our waters than the total sewage of the city of Anchorage, and we learned of reconfiguring ship's plumbing to dump toxic waste in our waters.

This is all symptomatic of a dying goose. I hope the quiet people can give her a bit of rest, and if Destination Juneau is going to use fairy tales, they should stick to the one that says the average Juneau resident would be harmed by a quiet day each week.

Dick CallahanJuneau

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