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PUBLISHED: 4:33 PM on Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Random thoughts for the holidays
If you haven't had your photo taken with Santa yet this year, there's still time!

The Capital City Weekly, Mendenhall Mall, our own personal "Santa" and Rotaract have teamed up to hold 10 "Photos with Santa" sessions.

The photos are offered free. All we are ask is that you consider making a donation to the Christmas Gift Box for Needy Families campaign being sponsored by Rotaract.

Rotaract is the new service organization of young working people aged 18-30, associated with our local Rotary clubs. And this Christmas box campaign is dedicated to providing a gift box of holiday food items to 200 deserving local families.

Even if you don't want a photo with Santa, do consider making a donation. There are hundreds of families in Juneau who will thank you for making their Christmas brighter.

And if you need a good boost of holiday spirit, go to our gallery of Santa photos at www.capweek.com or www.shopjuneau.com and look through the hundreds of photos from this season already posted!

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As winter has slowed down construction on Juneau's Highway, we've talked about the hazards the "Sunny Point Ice Rink" will pose.

But beyond the construction, how about adequately marking and lighting the length of Egan and Glacier Highway?

Right now most of our main artery through town is barely striped, without reflectors on the shoulders or marking the lanes. The only portion where it's possible to see the shoulder and center line of the road is that stretch under construction!

For the price of the paint and manpower to re-mark those lines on the asphalt, every one of us who travels that roadway every day could be safer. This really is "the road" that makes all the difference to Juneau! If you don't think so, wait until the next time you're trying to get home or to work at rush hour when an accident has shut down both lanes.

It's not realistic to ask in the middle of winter that the city re-stripe the lanes now. But it sure needs to be at the top of the list for next spring.

In the mean time, if you see me creeping along in the right hand lane night, it's because I can't see where I'm going!

•••

I sometimes kid coworkers about "finding the black lining in every silver cloud," when they look for the worst part of any good news.

The fact is we have some challenges in the coming year, but we also have a lot for which to be thankful.

Despite dour predictions, the first months of this winter are hardly a shadow of last year's blizzards.

Our state's leadership seems to be moving forward to address, if not completely fix, some of the biggest issues facing our future. Alaska is headed in a positive direction.

We only have 11 more months of presidential politics to survive!

Eventually, Eaglecrest will open and we will be skiing.

And for Juneau retailers, the holiday season seems to be rocking along at a strong pace, with shoppers willing to invest in gifts at a strong pace. Despite predictions that major new retailers in town would hurt the local little guys. So far that does not seem to be the case. So maybe it's just possible that new box stores have created a larger market place, by bringing more shoppers to town, and every merchant offering value at a good price is getting their share of a larger pie.

Time will tell.

•••

If you didn't make it to downtown Juneau for this year's annual Gallery Walk, you did miss a large holiday time. In a couple of hours Friday night, every shop we visited was jammed with holiday shoppers in fine holiday spirits.

If you didn't make it, there's still time. There's a full two weeks left for you to visit downtown, see our downtown merchants, grab a meal at our downtown restaurants. Catch the spirit - you'll be glad you did.

And if you're downtown, drop by our office at Franklin and Second. We'd love to see you!

Leschper is general manager of the Capital City Weekly and advertising director of the Juneau Empire.Email him at lee.leschper@juneauempire.com.


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