The Ship Creek trail has often drawn me to downtown Anchorage the past few years and I often stop at the statehood monument on First Avenue to enjoy the view.
But I am disturbed, also, because of the names on the plaques that, in the center of the monument, prominently identify five "Founders": Atwood, Hickel, Gottstein, Rasmuson and one Bill J. Allen. My enjoyment of the view at that spot corresponds roughly with the time the latter has spent in jail. Some of your readers may not know that Bill Allen managed to corrupt our legislative process for some years and may yet face charges of buying sex from underage girls.
I do not know who owns and controls that monument; nor do I know exactly what "Founder" means. Founder of the state of Alaska? Or someone who made a large contribution to the cost of the monument? I think I know what a wandering tourist would think.
Bill Allen, Founder. Right there under the statue of President Eisenhower. I'm still trying to figure out what to make of this. That the name persists in that place is disgraceful but maybe also instructive.
-- C. A. Crawford