Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2006

Of the two choices, I agree that Thunder Mountain High School is a better fit than Capital High. Many commentaries expressed the importance of correlating the high school name to its locality and reflect the community to which it belongs, and Thunder Mountain is a good match. The choice of blue and silver as the school colors speak of our awesome glaciers, and sparkling streams filled with glistening salmon. But regarding the mascot, who the heck was responsible for choosing the falcon? I'm in agreement with Kevin Nye in his Nov. 7th Letter to the Editor.

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OK, OK, OK, I'll acquiesce that Juneau hosts a population of peregrine falcons, although according to an article circa 2003 by Riley Woodford, they have a tendency to leave for warmer climates during the winter. That might be a better mascot for Juneau's shop owners who leave town during the summers. To be fair, perhaps the mascot selectors were thinking of Peale's peregrine, a subspecies of the peregrine, which is a year-round resident if food is available. The peregrine falcon does have many fine attributes as a mascot: They are fast (they've been clocked at 200-plus miles per hour) and they have amazing aerial skill and agility hunting their prey. Also, they just look cool.

But - when you talk to friends, relatives, and associates who ask us to describe our wildlife, what percentage of Juneauites boast: "You just gotta see our falcons?" What about our bears, Orca, black wolves, ravens, eagles or heck, even our banana slugs? What choices were considered? I propose a do-over to select the mascot. My vote for school song: AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" (well, a lyric or two might need to be omitted).

Stacy Eldemar


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