Having just returned from a trip to New York, I am proud to say I am a Juneauite. Leaving town gives such great perspective, which is something I wish more people would open their minds to.
Yes, I was a visitor to another city - aka a tourist. I believe in expanding my horizons through travel and exploration. Part of life is experiencing. When I talk with folks who are not from Alaska, this natural exuberance comes over them as they are so interested in learning more about our state and way of life. I can't tell you how many times I've been told by individuals that their lifelong dream has been to travel to Alaska. I love it here; why wouldn't I expect to hear others say that to me? And as long as their desire is only to visit (I appreciate our small community), why not share a bit of our heaven on earth? I expect the same from any other place I visit. When I travel, I take tours because I've usually paid a healthy amount to get there - why not see as much as I possibly can by having a guide show me around?
The talk about helicopter noise is getting outrageous. I know many people who live directly across the channel in Douglas who say the noise has gotten much better over the years and who actually do not ``hear'' it anymore as they've grown accustomed to it. To those anti-tourist groups, I have only one question: What drew you to come to Juneau and live?
We have a great community, but unfortunately, I've seen it divided on many issues over the last few years. I wonder when these anti-tourism folks will quiet down and appreciate what they have. Probably not until they've either closed down tourism in Juneau, or they retire and move to Sequim, Wash.