By Tom LeCompte
January 21, 2006
So I am somewhat confused by the statement by the Chamber. Is it an apology for what happened? Is it the Chamber dis-associating itself from Mr. Conley's outburst? Much of the energy seems to be complaining at the news for reporting the---News.
Like Ms. Flora as a member of several non-profits I am offended by what was said in the heat of the moment. JC by now has publicly apologized. It's OK to disagree with honor and without name-calling or public personal and political assassinations. Nobody's mind has to be changed, or can be made to change. You don't have to agree with anybody, but I respect an honest opinion even if I don't plan on changing my view.
The idea as I understand it is to spruce up the neighborhood as it stands, either via new construction or re-model/repair. Parts of Newtown are pretty seedy/shoddy/decrepit, along with some really cool updated and newer sites.
Think of Leavenworth Washington, which molded itself into a Bavarian Ski Village, Cannon Beach Oregon, with the coastal classic shingle siding look, or Solvang, A Danish Community in the middle of Southern California. Newtown can certainly be just what it is and have that old time cannery look about the neighborhood. As Dave Rubin says, you can put whatever you want inside the buildings, but kind of keep them looking like the theme of the neighborhood.
Cannon Beach wouldn't allow Red Robin to bring in a shiny chrome, brass and brocade restaurant into the town proper unless they built it into a building to reflect the look that the community has engendered. If that's the idea for Newtown it could be a pretty funky (cool) little neighborhood the tourists would find attractive and unique.
If you read the travel guides Ms. McCreary cites in her statements there's a lot of old Ketchikan that people don't see anymore, and a lot of New Downtown that doesn't inspire them much, and the writers in those tour guides seem to feel it would be better if the old were still there. In some way that neighborhood can be visibly tied together, something akin to the rosemaling you might see in Petersburg.
Downtown as we knew it, (and I've only been here 18 years) isn't coming back, ever. An energized new area for commerce will be exciting and is sorely needed to accommodate our guests and spread out some of the congestion downtown. I hope we'd get stores other than non-local jewelry, but that's up to the entrepreneur with the better mousetrap.
With respect to all parties involved,
About: Tom LeCompte is an 18 year resident of Ketchikan, a teacher, and a voter.
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.