Assembly Holds Off Tennis Court Decision

Supporters of building the Northern Lights Recreation Center which would house six indoor tennis courts wore stickers with the words 'Yes on Tennis' scrawled across a green tennis ball at the regular meeting of the Anchorage Assembly Tuesday night.
Supporters of building the Northern Lights Recreation Center which would house six indoor tennis courts wore stickers with the words ‘Yes on Tennis’ scrawled across a green tennis ball at the regular meeting of the Anchorage Assembly Tuesday night.

A decision on whether the Anchorage Assembly will accept money from the legislature to build a rec center with indoor tennis courts was put off at Tuesday’s regular assembly meeting. Dozens testified mostly in favor of building the facility.

For several weeks now the assembly has been considering whether to accept about $10 million from the Alaska legislature earmarked for the construction of the Northern Lights Recreation Center which would include indoor tennis courts.

Dozens wearing green tennis ball stickers reading ‘Yes on Tennis’ testified that indoor courts would make the sport more accessible for people of all incomes, including Gary Cox.

“Do something good for the health of the children and the people of this town. Build this rec center. I’ve been a PE teacher here for 26 years now. I think it’s time to not just say we care. And that would be to push the button. It’s time to do something. Vote yes on accepting the money that is there. I think if you don’t do this you’re in danger of damaging the relationship with the state legislature,” he said.

The Anchorage Tennis Association lobbied for the project and Anchorage representative Lindsay Holmes who holds a seat on the finance committee reportedly secured the money for it.

A handful of people, including Phil Isle, testified against the project saying the city should focus on taking care of what they already have.

“I’d like you to spend this money on the other things to upgrade what we have and take care of them,” Isle said. “And if you can’t do that for some rule, then give it back.”

Testimony lasted about two hours.The Assembly put off a decision on the issue until it’s next meeting on Nov. 18.

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Daysha Eaton is the News Director at KBBI in Homer. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.