Today, I write this letter not to preach to the choir (the majority of Haines, Skagway and Juneau residents who have repeatedly voted and testified against a road out of Juneau). Nor do I write this letter to Alaskans across the state who are crying foul at the misappropriation of money and time being put towards a road to nowhere. I write this letter to our delegates and representatives, especially those that represent my neighbors and myself.
It seems that our elected officials aren’t listening to the people that they represent. I wrote to the members of the Senate and House Finance Committees in hopes that they would at least respond. Representative Beth Kerttula was the only legislator who honored my letter with a response via e-mail. Representative Weyhrauch, my very own representative, didn’t even bother dignifying me with any sort of reply not even an automated, uniform e-mail.
Maybe our elected officials have forgotten that the three communities affected by this road don’t want it. Maybe they forgot that a road would interrupt two of only a handful of Steller sea lion (an endangered species) haulouts left in the world. Maybe they forgot that nationally Alaska ranks twelfth in school drop out rates and in the bottom ten states for teacher pay after adjusting for cost of living. Or maybe they forgot that with roughly an avalanche chute per mile, a well-maintained ferry system would have to stay in place due to abundant road closers. This means it would be more cost effective to improve existing ferry service, rather than managing both a road and a ferry system in Lynn Canal.
The Juneau road to nowhere is a waste of state money and time. From education to soaring rural community heating costs, there are a plethora of other worthy causes across the state to spend these potentially wasted dollars. A road that randomly stops in the middle of Lynn Canal is not one of them.
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