Arctic Games a good idea for Juneau?

Posted: Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I said "Wow," when I saw Sunday's front page Empire article about Juneau bidding for the Arctic Winter Games. Two thousand young foreign athletes bringing, according to supporters, a cultural experience not to be missed. I just can't wait for the "throat singing and drum dancing" during the week-long melee.

And think of the opportunities for our young people, such as trading pins, flags and uniforms, according to the co-chair of the Arctic Winter Games Committee. Wahoo. We'll be able to collect pins right here in River City. Who needs eBay?

This is just what's needed to bring our "fractured community" together, says the committee co-chair. You don't believe Juneau is split? Just think of North Douglas, so far away. The Games would bring the rest of us closer to folks in North Douglas than building a causeway, and be cheaper, too. The crossing will cost $75 million or more. But to host the Games, only $5 million or so, plus another $7-10 million for another ice rink. Five years ago we didn't even have one; now we'd have two. I always wanted to take up curling. Good for the economy, too. Think how many more brooms Walmart would sell. Another Miracle on Ice.

Some people may ask if this is the best use of city funds, given an uncertain economy, city budget woes, and state jobs disappearing. Bah, xenophobic naysayers, I say. We can just keep voting to increase the sales tax. It's all worth it, isn't it? Think of the money we can make selling those pins on eBay.

Dean Guaneli


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