I woke up Sunday morning, picked up the Juneau Empire and got hit with both barrels on Juneau access. Headlines stated "Haines seeking a voice on road," below it an article titled "Native tribal leaders worry about road access to cultural landmark," and finally the Empire editorial, "Road is a local issue too." All negative articles on Juneau access. Now, do you think this is coincidence or all planned out in advance?
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Is the Juneau Empire trying to script Juneau access into a Hollywood production? Picture a movie about a meek little town, isolated in the wilderness, being controlled by a mean-spirited industrialist played by Gov. Frank Murkowski. His unruly gang of bullies and thugs are the employees of the Department of Transportation. Their plan is to take over Juneau and make it more accessible to the rest of the world who want to rape, pillage and rob the good citizens, then inundate the community with recreation vehicles.
But wait! There are heroes in this story. Alas, out of the woodwork appears a small, rag-tag, new-to-the-area band of environmentalist lawyers and reporters. They disclose their truth, then throw out these thugs, thus keeping Juneau isolated, inaccessible and very costly for travel. And of course, the community is forever grateful and lives happily ever after.
There is, however, another story that could be told as well. This movie could be about a mean-spirited capital that loved its isolation so much it was unwilling to share itself with the rest of the state. This selfish little community does everything in its power to keep other good Alaskans from visiting their own capital. This is accomplished by keeping travel too costly and difficult for anyone to come and visit. Nevertheless, there are heroes to this story as well. A grass roots group of activist capital-movers from the far north discover the plot and start a capital-move petition drive to take away the town's main economy and move it to Mat-Su. In the end, they win, and of course the rest of the state lives happily ever after, or so the story goes.
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