Once again the residents of Juneau are under attack from the "aesthetic police" as the Harbor Board considers a proposal to ban the use of blue tarps or canvas on boats during the summer months, except with harbormaster approval. Is there a safety reason for this because it smacks of the self-appointed "it doesn't look good for the tourists" committee? I would hope the harbormaster has more pressing issues than policing awnings. Why would one receive approval and not another?
These coverings are a valuable and often necessary part of boating in Southeast Alaska. Summer in Southeast does not bring sunny balmy weather. It is wrong to take away from people the freedom and the ability to protect their property, its value or themselves. There are many unsightly things in this town but we live in a harsh climate and the things that have evolved have come about because they work, not because they look good. If we are going to continue in this vein then let's address the dog poop on the docks despite the doggie bags provided or the overgrown boats that are obviously not seaworthy and taking up valuable dock space or the illegible dock markings. We urge the Harbor Board to dismiss this proposal as inappropriate and frivolous. We ask you to apply your energy and resources toward real improvements for the people who are paying the moorage fees and who are being asked to pay more for what appears to be nothing but harassment and "feel good" services.
Harry and Melanie Fluharty
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