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Here we are several months from the election polls and already there's been a whole lot of mudslinging going. I've seen some issues addressed. But no one's tackled certain issues. No one seems to want to offer solutions to our city's and nation's problems. I admit mine may not be the best, but I'll offer them.
First, here on the local level, we've just had a special election to decide if Juneau should have a new high school. Well, the answer, as well as the solutions, have been kicking us in the face since at least the beginning of the year. We found out that our kids were having a whole lot of problems with bigotry. This was going on right under our noses in the current high school. Also, teachers have been threatening to strike.
On the morning of the election, I saw on each corner of the Douglas Bridge and Egan Drive intersection people with signs. They were waving, smiling, and shouting "Vote no!" The only coverage I'd seen the Empire give to the issue was to the no side. I hadn't seen any advertisements promoting the yes vote. Yet, when all was said and done, Juneau said yes, we need to wait on building the school.
The day after the election, a bunch of the city officials got together to do what they seem to do best - talk. They started to talk about what's to be done now. Well, here's an idea. Let's finally listen to our children and their teachers. Some of the students have stated that there are too many problems at JDHS. Why should we double up on the problems that we already have by building another high school? Some of the teachers have said that there's room to be had at the old school, so clean it up as opposed to spending all the money that was spent giving the school a face lift. Why not pay the teachers a decent salary to teach our kids? Why not spend some money on the rent for a building that we have right in front of our faces?
Later, when all the bigots have dropped out because they can't stand to be around classmates that aren't to their ethnic liking; the school population will be under control. Then, when the population grows to 2,100 students who've received a good education and have had the proper things taught at home, address the issue again of building a new school. Until the problems at home can be fixed, you can't try to mend them at school or attempt to run away from them by building a new school. As my grandfather used to say, "That's putting the cart before the horse." The cycle will just continue.
As to solutions on a statewide level, in my mind there are also simple solutions. First, get the Murkowski duo out of office. Then maybe we can get someone in there who will quit trying to spend money that we don't have as a state. Get that woman out of office that has gotten into so much debt with big business. And she still wants to keep giving them more money. Forget POMV. It will never work as long as we're spending as much as we use. If we had an income tax, we'd only be spending what we have earned. Perhaps when there's been a spending cap put on the POMV, then maybe it will work.
As for the nation's woes ... we've elected an official who is no more than a terrorist himself. He used scare tactics and strong-armed the nation into placing our children and families in harm's way. If you use The American Heritage Dictionary to define words such as terrorism, goon, and guilt, you could definitely apply those terms to President Shrub, most of his family, and Mr. Ashcroft, and have them locked up using the Patriot Act that he helped institute. He's "detained" people for less. All these guys can be called are political criminals. At least when Clinton lied, no one died.
Samuel Lee is a Juneau resident and parent of a soon-to-be student of the Juneau school system.