In this Tuesday, April 9, 2019 photo, Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a press conference at the Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

In this Tuesday, April 9, 2019 photo, Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a press conference at the Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Creative solutions to Gov. Dunleavy’s bold vision for Alaska

Get on the bandwagon before it’s too late.

  • By DAVID JO PARISH
  • Thursday, April 18, 2019 7:00am
  • Opinion

It’s time for all Alaskans to unite behind the governor.

Our bloated government has brought us the ferry system that serves coastal Alaska as the main means of transit. Due to the high costs of union labor, masters, mates, pilots, deck crews, stewards and skilled captains, not to mention the high cost of fuel, it has got to go.

I believe it’s time for 30-foot-long oars to be fabricated by unemployed craftsmen, forestry workers and former ferry workers looking for gainful employment.

For too long now, the old, young and pregnant women have been getting a stress-free ride between coastal cities. It’s time to save on fuel and put people who want to go through the Inside Passage behind the oars. Honest work to propel humanity forward.

[Opinion: Dunleavy presents convincing case on his budget during town hall]

Manual crankshafts could also be connected to the props (reminiscent of the great Civil War). Remember the Tlingit and Russians traveled in much less stable craft with only modest loss of life.

When the ferries are gone, creative solutions must be explored.

Education has been another thorn in the flesh of the governor.

Perhaps we should take a lesson from the past, from Abraham Lincoln, who used a piece of coal to do his studies on the blade of his shovel, within the famed log cabin in Illinois. We could expand upon the idea by using the coal as fuel in burn barrels, which can be added to every classroom to provide much-needed heat when winter arrives.

When our governor decides even the modest cost of coal is too high, class sizes could also be increased to 75. Body heat will keep the children warm in the coldest temperatures if they’re packed in tight enough.

Teachers also need to step up to the plate and feed the children breakfast, lunch and dinner, including six bagged meals each for the weekends because the parents will be unemployed by the hundreds as Juneau’s economy collapses under the governor’s judicious cuts.

[Opinion: Misleading statistics don’t help fix Alaska’s ferry system]

Our elders are not forgotten in the governor’s bold vision for the state.

For the sake of unity, our families must to stand together in ending the subsidized state shelter that their parents and grandparents have enjoyed in the Pioneer Homes. To reduce the extraordinary cost of nursing home care, free shuttles will be offered to anyone over 65 who has lost their capacity to pull their weight in this free society.

This free transit will take them from their homes to rowboats, and then to the calving glaciers where our beloved elders, sick of subsidized housing, will be assisted to hop off onto the ice. Their final moments can be spent in dignity, knowing they’re not incurring debt for future generations.

As Alaskans, we are known to be resilient. So when our jobs vanish, our children’s educations are destroyed and our elders are priced out of needed care, will the next generation be dumbed down enough to be pawns to powerful entrenched, leaders who will have self-interest as their primary guiding star?

The obscenely wealthy brothers are showing the way to Gov. Mike Dunleavy and President Donald Trump.

Overt, blatant and unbridled violation of human rights has become the draconian standard that we all are required to submit to. Take affordable transportation from all of Southeast Alaska, take education from the children, take jobs from their parents and take housing from the poorest and least able, and our system of government with its socialist underpinnings will finally collapse.

Get on the bandwagon before it’s too late for us; you might be one of the lemmings left standing with the shredded PFD and even fatter oil companies. The choice is easy, affordable and within easy reach.

Stand for Alaska. Unite behind the governor and kick him out.


• David Jo Parish lives in Juneau. My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.


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