Palmer has an abundance of hopes and dreams for 2021. Over the last few weeks, “The Palmer Buzz” solicited and collected hundreds of individual community wishes, delivered through social media and messages. Some are vague and some are specific. Some are at odds with others. Some I agree with and some I don’t. Regardless, it is clear that the Palmer Community loves its town and surrounding areas. Here are your collective comments and suggestions, all collated in one spot.
Palmer Area Wants Unity—This goal was stated over and over in many ways. There are desires for better communication, meaningful discussions, listening posts, talking benches, and a peaceful transition of power. There is a demand for justice for all—regardless of race, age, nationality or orientation. There is a fight for freedoms, mutual respect, patriotism, and all the while reduced tensions. Palmer wants a kinder world, complete with hugging, handshakes, and get togethers. Palmer wants less selfishness and more neighborly care.
Palmer Area Wants Good Health and Sense of Well Being—This was a primary concern. We want a virus free and vitriol free community. We want to meet, play, recreate and educate. And we want to do so safely. The happiness and laughter factor is significant. Some want a mask mandate. Some do not.
Palmer Community Wants Its Own—Palmer wants a reliable and stable food system, with more successful local producers, small markets, and stores. Supporting our farmers and shopkeepers is a big deal and loyalty counts.
Many Specific Requests Listed:—Homeless shelter; better care resources and responses for mental health and substance abuse; more community policing and communication; a theater with a food service, similar to Bear Tooth theater; bigger post office with more employees; limited trapping near neighborhoods and trails; no more M80 fireworks in town and a better location for the large ones at the fairgrounds or on the river bank; silent fireworks; more trees planted for future shade; downtown water feature; more community gardens, tennis courts, and playgrounds; a Palmer Dog park; No more Murders; more return of shopping carts; disposal of trash, masks and needles properly; construction, respectful use and preservation of trails.
Socialization Requests Listed:—More indoor public places “to hang out with people;” more public art and sculptures; small public stage for musicians or performers; public Palmer piano; another pavilion or gazebo in town; more sitting benches in downtown; more outdoor ice rinks and indoor swimming pools; more handicapped walking trails.
Retail Revival Requests—Palmer wants to see a full revival of the Alaska State Fair, Friday Flings, parades and tourism opportunities. Outdoor music, community events, concerts, happy runs, walks are all on the requested list. Palmer wants to see local businesses and shops grow and thrive. Palmer needs a Downhill ski rental shop; Indian restaurant, and a bakery.
Roads and Transport—Potholes and graffiti need immediate action; S. Alaska street needs more crosswalks; better traffic light management requested at the Glenn and Palmer Wasilla intersection; vehicle inspections for excessive lighting; sidewalk cleaning; more traffic law education; more crosswalk cautions in town.
2021 General Requests: More acceptance for new ideas and diversity for all ages; more harmony, love, light, peace, serenity, prayer, calm, community love, progress, prosperity, charity, repentance, revival, respect, recovery, and solid friendships.
Our Palmer Community is so fortunate to have the safety and beauty which surrounds us. There is nothing greedy about being grateful and wishing more goodness on everyone. Thanks for your contributions to this list. Here is to a remarkable 2021 in Palmer.
Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff in the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz Column in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group.. Contact at email@example.com or text 907.315.3222