SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Free travel for teams and coaches of southeast?
By Zig Ziegler


January 19, 2011
Wednesday AM


I am fortunate to have been raised in Southeast Alaska.  During my school days I participated in sports and was able to travel to many of the communities of Southeast as a result.  I know that those travels benefitted me tremendously.

Now that I am older, my appreciation for what those travels have meant have expanded.  Not only did those times mean a great deal to me, but also to the communities that we visited.  Each team member, coach, family member and fan brings much needed economic activity during the winter months, not to mention the gathering of old and new friends to share ideas and bond our common interests in this region.

The sad fact, though, is that travel has become so expensive that as athletics have expanded, the ability to afford the travel, especially by the smaller communities, has reduced the number of events that can be scheduled.  This has hurt us all.  Larger communities have the ability to fund raise outside of the schools while smaller communities have less capability to do so.  

How about this as an idea:  Because the state funds the majority of schooling and also subsidizes the ferry system, why not allow the teams and coaches of southeast to travel for free?  The ferries run whether they are empty or full, and once aboard, most spend money.  Wouldn't it be better to receive some money rather than none?  Others travelling with the team (parents, fans, etc.) would still pay full fare. The ferry system could see increased activity and money.  The communities that are visited would see more activity as a result of reduced travel expenses.  More activity would mean more economic benefit during the winter when most communities really need it.

I hope others will think about this and if worth discussing, pass it on to those that can do something with this idea.

All the best,

Zig Ziegler
Ketchikan, AK

Received January 17, 2010 - Published January 19, 2011



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