SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Let's Take Our Downtown Back to What We Are

By Susan & Michael Peters


March 31, 2015
Tuesday PM

Since August a group of local businesses and local community members approached the Governments about the increasing problem of Hawking and Barking in the downtown district and docks. You can call it soliciting, harassment outside of the business also. But what ever you call it, it is terrible.

Ketchikan has come a long way in welcoming our visitors to our community but this situation has taken back all that we have done. And as you know, this is our economic engine for this community currently.

If you do not get to the Downtown area in the summer you may not see it, but most community members have some reason to come downtown during the visitor season and most likely have experienced this. After many public meetings, the City of Ketchikan has drafted new ordinances to control this problem. The first Draft was passed and the second reading is April 2nd.

Years back, Juneau and Skagway had made changes to their ordinances to control this and Sitka never allowed it. Just passed in Juneau was an increase in fines for a violation.

The reason for this letter is to inform the members of this community and to give you a chance to express your feelings what they may be to the City Council and Mayor before the next Ketchikan City Council Meeting, April 2nd.

We know from first hand information that visitors do not expect what they see when they come to visit our town, what they should expect to see is the rich culture we have to offer - our Native Culture, beauty and Arts. We need to protect this viable business for the future, because Prince Rupert is just down the street and offers Totem Poles and native culture. And most important, would fill the requirement of stopping in a foreign port, the Jones Act. If you are not familiar with that a foreign haul traveling in US waters has to stop in a foreign port. So they could bypass Ketchikan to see totems, salmon fishing and beautiful country.

Hope to see some conversation on this important issue or at the next City Council meeting.

Susan & Michael Peters, o
Owners of Businesses Downtown
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received March 26, 2015 - Published March 31, 2015



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