What's up with that?

The Empire ponders Juneau's puzzles, unravels its mysteries and contemplates its conundrums.

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2002

Q: I went up on the Mount Roberts Tramway for the first time last week and really enjoyed the trip, the food and the trails. I got there late in the evening (7:30) and was warned by the ticket taker that the last tram (trip) down from Mount Roberts would leave at 9:30, "so don't miss it." My question is this: Has anyone ever missed the last tram and had to either walk down or spend the night on the mountain?

A: Short answer: "Yes, there have been people who have had to walk down," according to George Reifenstein, vice president and general manager of the tramway.

He said their goal is to get everyone on the tram in time for the last trip, but sometimes there are stragglers who show up late. While the view is awesome, it is still no place to spend the night.

"One time last year, we had three children with their parents who showed up late. We got a crew together and made an additional run to get them," he said.

If you do get stuck there, be careful walking down at night. The trail is steep, takes about an hour and a half and ends way up on Sixth Street. It's not something to do at night.

Q: Hello. I was wondering "why in the heck" there are no current street maps of Juneau? With all the new subdivisions and whatnot it's almost impossible to find an address! Do you know if there is one in the works or what?

A: The source we use for street maps at the Empire is the CBJ Community Development Department. The last map printed by that department is dated 2000. When contacted, they said they are converting to a new map software and are working on an update.

Q: Why does the Mendenhall Valley post office fly the POW/Missing in Action flag?

A: According to military sites on the Web, since World War I more than 200,000 Americans have been listed as prisoners of war or missing in action. More than 125,000 American servicemen and women are missing in action since the beginning of World War I.

The POW/MIA flag, usually printed with a black background and white image, was designed in 1971 and has precedence over state flags when flown together. It serves as a visual reminder that somewhere there are soldiers who have not been accounted for and may, in fact, still be held against their will.

The U. S. Postal Service is required to fly the POW/MIA flag on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day and most importantly on the third Friday of September, which is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The supervisor at the Valley post office said that even though it's required to fly it only on the six mandatory days, it has chosen to fly it each and every day.

Mel Cheek can be reached at mcheek@juneauempire.com. To get the answers to your "What's Up" questions, call Andrew or Mel at 586-3740, or send an e-mail to whatsup@juneauempire.com.

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