Road rage

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2002

I thought we voted against a road out of town already.

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Now our home newspaper publisher, and a very simply majority of the Assembly and some other influential types are saying we will have that road, like it or not, or else the capital will surely migrate north or another terrorist attack will force us all to swim Lynn Canal to escape Armageddon and most likely against a minus tide, in the dead of winter.

Well, personally I can't see much value in ridiculous black humor, but I do know there are a whole bunch of irritated folks around town who have found very little humor in the non-participatory and non-democratic method used with the 5-4 coalition road-vote down at town hall.

I came here over 30 years ago to this "mainland island" a secluded town hemmed in by water, with big Taku winds, lots of rain and snow and those occasionally, gorgeous sunny days. The backyard was wilderness with about 30 miles of roads north and south. It's changed over the years but not all that much, really. One controlling factor is that usable land is relatively scarce to none. Mega-tourism has had the greatest measurable impact on our summers here, but things do settle down come fall.

Now there is business frenzy to punch a road through the pristine Berners Bay wilderness, and on through mile upon mile of major avalanche country up to a lukewarm Haines reception. Where, after connecting to an "escape route" to the outside world, we would also be inviting, to our town, every conceivable set of four-wheel-combos in North America. But I suspect that's got to be very good for business. But the road-barricades remain. Folks already said they like our "island home" just like it is.

Alan Munro


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