Re: Ferry Administration Move
by Dave Kiffer
March 30, 2004
I wanted to take a minute to thank Sitnews for allowing Ketchikan
residents to follow the coverage of the state ferry administration
move in the Juneau Empire. It is always interesting to see how
stories play out differently in other communities.
Regarding the debate in Juneau - in which Juneau officials seem
to be throwing all manner of mud at the wall and hoping some
of it will stick - I just wish they had been as "outraged"
when the ferry system decided to "move" the new fast
ferry from Sitka to Juneau. That decision dealt Sitka a significant
economic blow and only marginally improved the Juneau economy.
If my memory serves me correctly, a Juneau official was even
quoted at the time as saying that the fast ferry decision would
have only a small impact on the Sitka economy anyway. In reality,
it represented around the same economic blow as the ferry headquarters
move to Ketchikan, which one Juneau legislator has called "devastating."
I have to give Clark Gruening and the Alaska Committee (the group
that fights against the capital move whenever it bubbles up from
the Rail Belt cess pool) credit, they alone in Juneau are not
leaping to denounce the relocation. Rather they are saying more
information is needed. That's because, unlike the mayor and the
borough assembly, the Alaska Committee remembers that 40 some
odd jobs is less important to Juneau than the continued support
of towns like Ketchikan when the capital move comes up again
- and you know it will.
I guess I've just grown tired of Juneau's frequent tugs on the
"regionalism" heartstrings. In general Juneau thinks
that regional solidarity is only important when it comes to Juneau
issues like the capital move and not when it comes to Ketchikan
or Sitka issues such as the timber industry or the ferry system.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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