Juneau needs to take notice

Posted: Sunday, July 09, 2000

Anyone who does not think that Juneau is suffering a black eye around the state from our current isolationist salvo should read the Voice of the Times editorial from the Anchorage Daily News. It is titled ``Juneau in Neutral.'' In this piece, the Peace and Quiet Coalition's attack on flight operators and tourism is highlighted as the latest ``close the door now that we're here attitude'' afflicting our community.

Also highlighted are the cruise ship head tax and the strangulation of the logging and mining industries. Juneau is painted as a hot-bed liberal environmental activism with no regard for the needs of the rest of the state, let alone our Juneau economy.

While that may upset some of you, those of us who travel and work around the state have seen the growing disgust with Juneau for some time. The most interesting point made is that 30 years ago there was far more noise generated by the takeoff and landings from the Grumman Goose and PBY flying boats working out of Merchants Wharf. At the airport, we had ``four engine Connies'' and ``Boeing Stratocruisers'' which made far more noise than all the current flights do on their busiest day. The author is right. I remember the sounds from the Grumman Goose being so loud during the takeoffs you had to cover your ears. However, the community also knew that it was the sound of our friends and neighbors making a living. We were good neighbors to other communities and proudly served Alaska as its capital.

The article ends by pointing out that Juneau is completed isolated from the rest of Alaska by the lack of a hard link road access and by our anti-business philosophy. Therefore, the capital should be moved to Anchorage or Wasilla. It is implied that Juneau doesn't appreciate what it has and does not recognize its role as a city that belong to everyone in the state of Alaska.

Looking at the issues raised by our fellow Juneauites, those who are tearing apart the fabric of our local economy because someone else's livelihood inconveniences them, leads me to believe our friends up North may have a very good point.

Bruce Abel

Juneau Chamber of Commerce past president

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