Be grateful for wheels to get to high school

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2001

This is in reply to Julie Smith's letter to the editor in the Nov. 15 Empire. Sweetheart, that was a great letter, you have great ideas, but I can tell you now it will never happen.

When I grew up here in Juneau (by the way, my mom went to JDHS, I went to JDHS and my sons went to JDHS) we all either took the school bus or walked to school. The school provides transportation for all grades, kindergarten through high school. I could only imagine how convenient it would have been to be able to own a car when I was going to high school and drive to JDHS. I had to wait out in the cold, rain, wind, (and in the winter the dark with no street lights) with all the other kids in the neighborhood and wait for the school bus every morning to pick us up. It's obvious that you don't know anybody going to high school back East. In New York alone kids have to take up to two buses to get to the subway station, wait for the train to take them to where they get off to walk sometimes up to four city blocks (despite the weather conditions) to get to their school.

I might mention also that there is no way that people are going to give up their homes, some of which they have raised their children and grandchildren in, to have a parking garage built for the high school. Their homes are more valuable with memories than any amount of money the world could offer. There are still families living in those homes that were there when I was going to high school 30 years ago.

I do have some suggestions. First, be thankful to God that you have a car to drive to school even though it's become an inconvenience for you to find parking. A lot of teenagers don't have food on their tables, a place to live or nice clothes to wear, let alone have their own vehicle to drive to school. Take the school bus; try car pooling with your friends (they encourage adults to do it); leave earlier in the morning than you do (this will avoid being tardy to school and a better chance to get a parking spot); or if you live in the valley and your parents work downtown, have them drop you off on their way to work. I'm sure you will be able to find a way home because I bet one of your friends owns a vehicle.

Hopefully you have acquired more information from this letter than you had before you wrote yours.

Ingrid Varness


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