Road won't solve capital debate

Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I was very interested to read Ione Ackerman's statement that a road from Juneau to Skagway/Haines would be beneficial to all three towns. If this is so then I would love Ione to spell out these benefits, especially those to Skagway and Haines.

The call for the capital move will always exist as long as it remains in Juneau. Neither a road, improved ferry service nor cheaper flights will change that. This has never been an issue of physical access, but one of psychological access. The problem lies in the fact that the political heart of Alaska is not located where the majority of citizens live. A small group of interested parties in Juneau continues to perpetuate the myth that the road will save Juneau. Joe Citizen is not going to drive 800-900 miles in January to meet with his legislator just because there is a road. The safest, easiest and cheapest means would be to fly. Something that will quieten the call for the capital move is to build a new capitol and secure a long-term lease with the Legislature. I wholeheartedly support keeping the capital in Juneau, but a road is not the solution.

Ms. Ackerman complains about showing her ID on the ferry. In the future this may be the least of her worries. In 2005, I believe that we will all have to check out of the country whenever we leave it as well as when entering it; even on the highways. This of course will mean showing your ID more often. At least on the ferry you will not likely face the possibility of being strip-searched. As for mountains causing claustrophobia, then could I suggest some place like Kansas as a possibility for your next move.

Mike Catsi


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