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I am a proponent for the road out of Juneau. I don't care what access route is chosen, but we need a road to keep the capital in Juneau.
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It is hard for me to accept that a small town such as Skagway can hold so many captive. They have a road to go anywhere they please. Also, why are we locking up so much land when more than 90 percent of Alaska is wilderness and not used. I see conserving land is needed for our future posterity but not 90 percent of it.
I have worked with many people from the Haines and Skagway area and know that there are not many jobs available in these two areas especially during the fall and winter months. With an access road to either community, I feel this would create more year-round jobs even if we need a ferry to cross the channel to Skagway. Someone has to run the ferry. Someone has to feed and house the people coming through. There are so many things to see in Skagway and Haines that I wouldn't just drive through, and I am sure many others would take the time to stop in and visit these small communities.
I would like the opportunity to take off whenever I choose and not be bound by the ferry schedules. It would be nice to get off work at 4:30 p.m. on Friday evening and just drive. What we pay for a ferry could be a nice weekend in one of the small communities for two people.
I am not against the ferry but what I am against is the fact that it doesn't pay for itself, and the service isn't that great and how can it be called the Alaska Marine Highway as it sure doesn't help Alaskans get out of town unless they make reservations long ahead of time or go without a vehicle or during the winter months. If I need to get out of town due to an emergency, it costs me more by plane because I can't make a three-week advance reservation and there is a great likelihood that I can't get on the ferry either.
Having a road through Canada protects our town more than the ferries and airline, as they allow anyone to come into town. We have a lot of undesirable people come to town each year, who would not be allowed through if they had to come through Canada.
Please don't ask me to move, as I have lived in Southeast Alaska for 50-plus years, and my family is here. Please help those who can't afford to get out of town because of the high expense to be able to take their children to see some of our beautiful land.
Carol J. Fleek