SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions


By David G. Hanger 

February 17, 2018
Saturday AM

The four Ps of good local governance are power, plumbing, parking, and potholes. The first three are desirable in relative abundance; the fourth, potholes, none at all is optimal. Historically, with power and plumbing the City’s rep is so-so; plenty of power but plenty of power outages, too; with plumbing both in and out problems of potable water and problems with pollution that cause periodic health problems. But parking and potholes are our main concerns today.

Potholes. There are more than 25 people working for local government who are earning well over $100,000 a year. In a community where wages are $20,000 to $80,000 per year on average our pompous, yet otherwise incompetent, feather merchants have assumed an overlordship over us that apparently is based on doing nothing at all. Two of my clients have already relayed to me stories of $800 plus per event in damage done by local potholes. I am sure there are many more.

Now while I don’t begrudge our local tire and auto repair folks making a few extra bucks, I don’t think it fair that the victim has to pay for it. So if our overlords want to sit on their collective asses and let the potholes widen and get deeper, let’s start a “POTHOLE VICTIMS FUND” by reducing local government salaries to set up a fund to pay for all this damage out of their wallets rather than yours. Poor performance or lack of performance does not warrant full pay to begin with, so pony up or fix the damn potholes.

Parking. A local improvement district paid for by downtown merchants was established quite some time ago now to pay for the parking on the dock and elsewhere. Now the dipsticks dreaming about tourist dock expansion want to steal 50 or more of these parking spaces to give the tour operators more space. It is not even properly engineered to accommodate the extra weight of buses, etc., but it’s full speed ahead by these ‘kamikaze kids’ because nothing but a tourist vessel is in their mind’s eye.

Indeed, these ‘kamikaze kids’ are so nuts they are about to regress Tongass Avenue downtown to what it was 60 years ago, a narrow two lanes with no turning lanes from the tunnel to past the old Federal Building. You won’t be able to get a bus around a corner, and anyone turning left downtown will back up traffic clear to the West End. ALL OF THIS SO THEY CAN WIDEN THE SIDEWALK FOR THE TOURISTS.

In the meantime by next spring they want to spend millions more to build even bigger docks because the cruise lines want to bring in 1200 foot cruise ships; cruise ships lined inside with three to five times the number of on-ship shops currently where they want the tourists to spend their money.

So without any bonding proposals, without any public hearings, without any real effort in fact to involve the local community in what they are planning to do with downtown, from Water Street to Tatsudas, this bunch of overpaid bozos is planning on spending millions of your dollars to make downtown a hell on earth for locals and a bonanza for the cruise lines who assume no risk, no responsibility, no obligation, and are out to fleece local retail outlets of their business by increasing exponentially the number of on-ship shops.

I know these geniuses don’t think they need your help, and they clearly are doing everything possible to avoid your input; but maybe, just maybe, you and your neighbors ought get involved anyway.

David G. Hanger
Ketchikan, Alaska



Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received February 16, 2018 - Published February 17, 2018

Related Viewpoint:





Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor


Representations of fact and opinions in letters are solely those of the author.
The opinions of the author do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.

E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

Published letters become the property of SitNews.

SitNews ©2018
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.