What's up with that?

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

Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2002

Q: What's up with all the flags that are flying from the Juneau Yacht Club? There are lots of them. Are they from other yacht clubs? I noticed that the German flag was flying there until recently.

A: Ron Hanson, local civil engineer, is the person responsible for the flags. Ron, a member of the Juneau-Gastineau Rotary Club, furnished the following explanation: The Juneau Yacht Club flagpole was installed in April 2000 and dedicated amidst an array of flowers planted the previous fall. Donated by the (Rotary) club to the citizens of Juneau, the Harbor Department uses the pole to fly the National Ensign, the Alaska state flag, and the city flag and during the winter, small storm flags are flown and illuminated at night. Also displayed are the Juneau Yacht Club's burgee along with flags of countries of incoming Rotary exchange students and flags of countries where students are or have been. One outbound student is headed to Germany - thus the German flag.

For more information, log onto: www.juneau.com/rotary/gastineau.

Two weeks ago we ran a question concerning whether or not anyone had ever had to spend the night at the top of the tram. Here's a letter from a reader, who asked her name be withheld but whose facts checked out, concerning her daughter's adventure:

"I read with interest your Q and A's regarding the Mount Roberts Tramway.

"My daughter worked for the tram in 1998-1999. Toward the end of the 1999 season, after she closed the gift shop and shut the locked door behind her, she realized that the tram was gone. By this time it was about 10 p.m. She had been in the back of the gift shop finishing up her duties for the night and was left behind. All she had was a pager, no cell phone and no pay phone in the lobby. She even tried to break a door to the gift shop but they are made so well that she could not even break the glass out using a chair in the hallway!

"Anyway, she was locked in the building all night with no heat. Thank God it was not freezing cold outside yet. Fortunately, she had some other clothes in her pack that she was able to put on in addition to what she was wearing and just walked and ran up and down the stairs all night to keep warm. She did say that wrapping yourself in garbage bags does not work. She tried it with some clean ones left in the bottom of a trash bin in the hall.

"I was working the night shift at my job. When I came home the next morning I found the dog had been in the house all night. I realized that she had never made it home so I went looking for her. I found her car in the tram parking lot and panicked! About one hour after I arrived in the parking lot I heard a voice from above. I looked up and she was coming down in one of the tramcars yelling, 'Mom, I am all right!'

"It was too dark for her to have walked down the mountain, much less alone. We all survived but it was a rather hair-raising experience for me. As her worrying Mom, I was sure she had been abducted by some psycho when I found her car in the parking lot. It had never occurred to me that they had forgotten her on top. She did great and everyone laughed it off later. I really believe that they did change the way they conducted last rides down (at least for employees) because of this incident. However, it did make the paper in the police blotter as: An unidentified female was left on top of the mountain. ... We now affectionately refer to her as our 'unidentified female.' "

Send What's Up With That questions and comments to whatsup@juneauempire.com.

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