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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Is there some place we can relocate?
By Mike Shaffer


March 07, 2012
Wednesday AM

First, thank you Sitnews for this forum! When I first moved to Ketchikan my father, whom was born there, visited and we toured the town etc. My father was amazed by all the changes of course as it had been over twenty five years since his last visit. One of the things we spoke about was the development of Gravina Island. My father thought development should have taken place years ago by moving fish processors, small airplane business's, and high school etc. over there as it would have opened up area for just what A.M. Johnson suggests, kind of.

Back then a bridge to Gravina may have been a viable option..... but today??? I heard many discussions about bridge to nowhere before I moved from Ketchikan and I always remembered my father's comments from 15 years earlier. Since the pulp mill is no longer operating and logging is almost at a standstill, fish prices are fairly unstable (only commercial fisheries that's thriving is the charter boats), and mining will most likely never again have impact locally, Ketchikan population has decreased, my opinion is that it's too late for the bridge and "relocating".

Wages from tourism industry do not match what was earned from blue collar industries that once was thrived in Ketchikan and that doesn't equal more new homes etc. Plus, the private property owners near Blank Inlet would keep you in court for years trying to determine whose land you're going to confiscate. Yea, drive along bypass road, look over towards Gravina, and think of what could/should have been. Then look around during summer months and see how far we've regressed. Disney in Alaska. Maybe that aquarium/zip line/jeep cruise/horse drawn traffic hazard/aqua vehicle traffic hazard/etc. can keep Ketchikan's economy going.

Keep the ideas coming Mr. Johnson, as someone needs to come up with something. Go Elwood!

Mike Shaffer
Hoonah, AK

About: "Fourth generation of family to live in Ketchikan, my son born there was the fifth. I resided there 1985-2002."

Received March 04, 2012 - Published March 07, 2012

Related Viewpoint:

letter Open Letter: Is there some place we can relocate? By A. M. Johnson


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