Address pressing needs

Posted: Friday, November 05, 2004

Dan Hays' recent letter to the editor (Empire, Oct. 27) on the Juneau road was, to say the least, a bit mind-boggling. Based upon his ideas, I know that I would sleep well, secure in the fact that my tax dollars were being spent to ensure that every Alaskan could avail themselves of cheaper car-camping expeditions. Peace would be mine knowing that the road would provide solace to countless Whitehorse residents, pining their lives away, in the hope of consummating their lifelong dream of schussing the slopes of Eaglecrest.

Spending $300 million is a mere pittance in alleviating such suffering. What really warms my heart, however, is that by building this road we would secure the undying love and gratitude of those in the mining and timber industries for providing such easy access to our ever-decreasing wilderness heritage.

I think that there are far more pressing issues that $300 million could address than one's hedonistic pursuits. What about eliminating the need for time-stressed parents to be pressed into never-ending fund-raising projects so that their children can have proper playground equipment, an art teacher, and a viable PTA? Or, supporting the research and development of an environmentally friendly and sustainable timber industry, within the Tongass, which creates jobs and pays its own way instead of being subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of $35 million per year? Or, how about developing cottage and/or tourism industries in communities adversely affected by the collapse of their timber and fishing industries?

I am confident that there are far more pressing issues that are much closer to this community's heart that would be better served than by throwing away money to build a road to ensure cheaper vacations.

Timothy Miles


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