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Wondering why...
by Brandi Conway


April 29, 2004

Mr.Hoff, I am sure the fine people of Ketchikan are not going to hate you for your honest opinion about Governor Murkowski. Are we? I would sure hope not. I can not say I have followed his or anyone's political record or history. I am just a women who grew up in beautiful Ketchikan, one with lots of fond childhood memories.

Remember places like the "Little Dipper" where you and some friends could go in and have pizza or maybe ice cream? You could even browse through all the neat things they sold. Then there was Ben Franklins (Ketchikan Five and Dime). I remember going in and buying candy, toys - but most of all riding on the dolphin. I remember when going to the movies was something like $3.50 as opposed to the now $7.00 or $9.00 dollars. I remember Easter egg hunts in the grassy park. If you found the egg with stickers on them you got cash prizes. I remember all the neat after or during school programs like P.E or swimming. We had P.E daily or every other day or maybe something like one day was gym and the next day was swimming and on Friday it was free choice day. I remember learning water safety in elementary school (Valley Park) such as CPR, how to rescue a drowning person, and how to move about in a small skiff or canoe. Most of all, I remember learning how to swim in school (for free). Now we have to pay almost $50 for swim lessons. I remember music classes and learning how to play trombone in grade school and all the silly songs we learned. I loved music thanks to Mrs.Bruce. I remember school plays and getting ready for them. In art classes we would make props for the play.

I am sad to say I no longer see these programs, and if they are there, they are limited to so many days out of the year. I would like to know why this has happened? I know it has something to do with the budget - or the lack of it. I am wondering why is it that we can no longer afford these important programs?

When did education become the last priority? When did the best interest of our children become our last concern? Why is it that teachers go on strike demanding more money and better benefits when it may take away from the school's budget and programs? Why is it Borough employees get pay raises every so many years when what they are making is more then enough to live and survive off of plus some? What has happen to the old Ketchikan, the one that use to care about each other, the children? Why do we now have a downtown that is nothing or almost nothing but jewelry stores and curio shops? It seems this town cares more about pleasing the tourists than its own people. I use to love living here. I even love the rain. But with each added jewelry store, etc. part of my love for this town dies. I hate to say that I can not see much of a future in Ketchikan any more. Oh yeah, and I don't believe building a bridge is the answer. I am starting to believe that the borough just loves planning and spending without any real positive outcome.

I would love to see some of old Ketchikan come back, wouldn't you?

Brandi Conway
Ketchikan, AK - USA




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