OPINION

Just vote
“Wow,” you must be saying to yourself. “There’s never been an election like this in Skagway.”
Well, certainly not in the past 27 years that we have been putting out this little paper. We’ve never seen so many campaign ads and posters around town, we’ve never seen so much debate, we’ve never seen so much... you fill in the blank.
Like it or not, this is the way elections are in most places.
One might ask, “Well, why don’t you edit those ads?” If we did, that would be censorship. In the news columns, we are commited to get at the truth by stating both sides of a story as best we can. But campaign ads are a different forum. They are designed to raise certain issues, stir the debate, and, make no mistake about it, influence your vote. Read them, enjoy them, learn from them all, but do yourself a big favor. Educate yourself on the issues, attend the candidate forum, ask questions if you are unsure about something you read in the paper, and confront the candidates personally with those things that matter the most to you. And don’t stop after the election’s over.
Skagway traditionally doesn’t see much in the way of campaigning. We have no registered political parties.We don’t like being pigeon-holed into one camp or another. We are a pretty independent lot that loves a good debate, but normally doesn’t like being told how to vote.
When we started this paper, we decided against endorsements of candidates. In our mind, everyone who declares as a candidate deserves a vote because it takes guts to stand up and volunteer your time for a year or more of public service. Even with all the campaigning, this election is a simple matter of deciding who will best serve the community, and that’s your choice as a voter. That part of the process hasn’t changed. Just vote, please. WJB

Dewey Lakes Management Area: It’s all in the title
After the dust rises from the Oct. 5 vote on how Skagway really feels about the proposed road to Juneau versus better ferry service, the cloud will certainly settle on Lower Dewey Lake.
The first major decision by the 2004-05 City Council will be whether to pass an ordinance establishing the Dewey Lakes hillside for special management as a recreation area. Regardless of the road versus ferries issue, there is a need to protect this area’s traditional recreation uses.
The special committee has done an admirable job of coming up with a plan that preserves all uses, from hiking to hunting. All that’s left is to put a title on it.
The Oct. 5 vote will help the Council decide what it should be. A vote for better ferries means Council can stick with the 4(f) recreation area language in the title. A vote for the road means they can take it out.
But whatever happens with the title, the city needs to establish the Lower Dewey Lakes Special Management Area. This is our land, just like the Dyea Flats, and the state needs to know how special it is to us and treat it with the respect it deserves. WJB