SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Vote Yes
By Thomas Ferry


January 31, 2006

When I grew up here in the sixties, Newtown was a great neighborhood. We had our family grocery, Ferry's Food Store, which opened in 1923. Our other grocery store was called, Quality grocery. It opened in 1915 and was in the building that houses the current Long Shoreman Union Hall. Newtown also had the Ketchikan Steam Laundry, where Murray Pacific now stands. It was sad to watch it burn to the ground. The Crystal Dairy, Myrtles Confectionery and many other restaurants and a very cool health food and general merchandise store, the Paul M. Hanson Company. I spent a lot of time reading horror magazines and running amok at the Civic Center.

We had two automobile dealerships, Bucey Motors and Hanson's, that also had gas pumps. That is where my dad bought the family's first new car, a 1969 AMC Ambassador station wagon. My brother and I learned to drive in that car. When we were in high school we nicknamed it the mellow wagon. Newtown also had Harry's Boathouse, Jack's Beehive, the Sportland Arcades, the Ketchikan School of Ballet, Northern Machine and Marine, Alaska Watch Repair and on and on.

The people who were not here in the years before Newtown's decline cannot appreciate how vibrant it once was. I know every inch of that area as I grew up on Sayles Street. I lived in the Munson house above Jud's (formerly Ferry's Food) and in the little Jehovah shack on Chapman St. behind Ralph's Plumbing for six years. My goal is to make Newtown into a great neighborhood again.

In the old days Newtownites did not have to go to any other part of town, as we had it all right there. In meeting with most of the commercial property owners we are all on the same page to redo our buildings in a historical manner. The commercial property owners cannot afford to fix up their buildings right now, because the price per square foot for rental in that area is less than seventy cents. That just pays the taxes and keeps some buildings a piling away from crumbling into the drink.

Nothing is going to happen in Newtown without a YES vote. A YES vote means millions of dollars in payroll for construction jobs, hundreds of thousands of dollars in new tax revenue which finances non profits and the Arts community.

I am asking every voter to vote YES and help out small business people in our community and create hundreds of new jobs. If anyone has lingering questions about any aspect of this bond issue and the entire Newtown plan please call me. I can answer all your concerns.
Thank you,

Thomas Ferry
Ketchikan, AK - USA

P.S. Why would anyone vote no?


About: Thomas Ferry was born and raised in Ketchikan - fourth generation Alaskan - owner of Eagle Heights B&B - Autobody technician - artist - musician and partners with Apple Construction in California - new owner of the Beck building at 726 Water Street - Vice President of Historic Ketchikan. Ferry writes, "Some people come and go, I will be buried at Bayview next to my grandmother Marie, a true pioneer."


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Ketchikan, Alaska