SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Beth Antonsen


March 19, 2008

Jay Jones' letter caught my attention because it brought up the revolving door at Gateway Human Services. Having worked at Gateway I felt I should respond and did. When I got to the end of Jones' letter I was taken aback by his statement about downtown Ketchikan being infested with non-profits. The main non-profits that I know about downtown are Community Connections and the Arts Council. I must protest his lumping those beloved agencies in with rats and roaches.

When my dad, Hans Antonsen, a lifelong Alaskan resident, logger, fisherman, pile driver was sick with Alzheimer's disease, Community Connections stepped in and helped us out. With respite care we were able to keep dad at home as long as possible and survive the ordeal. If Mr. Jones would pick up a copy of Ketchikan, Our Town and read some of the vital statistics on Ketchikan he would see that they are a substantial employer in this town. We all know we need jobs here.

Non-profits leverage much more money from out of town with the small amount they ask of us. In return we get much needed services when we are in need and much uplifting when we need to be entertained by something other than the garbage on TV. The Arts Council is like a healing tonic. If anyone doubts that they need to go to the Torch Night series of events. The one last week with the Turtle Island Quartet was out of this world. World class entertainment normally only obtained in cities like Seattle, New York, Boston, San Franscisco, etc.

With those wonderful non-profits we get more than our money's worth and jobs on top of it. I suggest griping about something worth complaining about like the veneer plant, ongoing Ward Cove issues. We were subsidizing that place to the tune of $3-400,000.00 a year before Jerry Jenkins and will more than likely be doing the same in the future. For my money I'd go with Community Connections and the Arts Council anyday.

Beth Antonsen
Ketchikan, AK

About: "lifelong Ketchikan resident (50 years)"

Received March 17, 2008 - Published March 19, 2008


Related Viewpoint:

letter Why is there high a turnover for Director at Gateway Human Services? By Jay Jones

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Ketchikan, Alaska