Get the facts right

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, August 12, 2005

As an avid reader of the Juneau Empire I would like to point out the following injustice that you printed recently in the article titled "DOT: Road to Skagway will be shorter."

It is bad enough that we face such high hurdles to finally make it possible for all income groups to travel from Juneau and visit our neighbors to the north. But when the writer of an article cannot even quote facts which are plain as day, in written and electronic form and known to almost every resident of Southeast, it becomes even harder.

It is completely sickening to me to see numbers written by what most people over the years have come to trust as truth, that being the articles written in our local paper, and then have that paper either for its personal agenda or because of complete lack of journalistic follow-through, print a falsehood.

Check your ferry schedule or the online fare sheet. Your "facts" about costs to a four-member family with vehicle are completely wrong. One of the main reasons I have always backed a road linking Juneau and Skagway is the cost to those among us who cannot afford to travel to and from Juneau, and in one article you make it seem as if it is a reasonable charge. Have you ever taken the ferry to Skagway? Especially with the family?

By the fare sheet online I come up to an amount of $274 with vehicle one way, not counting the 10 percent surcharge. That is before paying for snacks and curios that most families buy for a long, boring boat ride. Plus the time inconvenience in case you are traveling beyond Skagway or Haines. If you just happen to be driving to Edmonton or south you have now wasted most of a traveling day and are 90 miles from your starting point.

I expect an article to be written that explains the misconceptions in this one. How about on the front page like the guy who apparently has plenty of time and money to swim, not to mention friends who have plenty of time, to Juneau. If I had nothing but time I would four-wheel to Skagway just to get the publicity to build a road. Let us not forget the facts. We have jobs and families to take up our time, we do not need to waste what little God has granted us trying to get to Skagway to start a trip to Denali or Jasper park and share with our kids the wonders of living in Alaska

Chuck Collins


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