SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Quick hits
By Gregory Vickrey


April 24, 2007
Tuesday PM

1. The recall is ridiculous. Shall we recall an entity everytime we are dissatisfied with the result of a critical vote? If that is the case, we should have recalled the current Borough Assembly on several occasions. If we are to pursue a recall in this, we make the citizens of the Borough look like fools, inside and outside our community. A typical emotional reaction to a situation where there is no clear evidence of corruption or similar event is where I tend to find myself after nearly every Borough Assembly meeting. My dissatisfaction is best served, however, at the ballot box. Yours should be too. This recall effort doesn't even qualify for the discription of politics of fear. It is a fool's errand that will eventually bite us, and certainly sets no good example for our kids. (Personal hat.)

2. I do not know what measurable economic benefits the Gravina Access Highway will produce. No one else does either, beyond the ethereal. I do know that 8 million per mile is too much for a road without any defined purpose and need (no bridge) and I do know how poorly maintained and conditioned Tongass Avenue on this side of the Narrows is. I do know that 71% of the state agrees that this is a silly project when there are current maintenance needs here and elsewhere. I do know that the lack of sidewalks, the potholes, the soft and/or nonexistent shoulders, and the decrepit conditions of large stretches of road are issues we should not have to deal with on a daily basis in a state flush with oil and federal money. It is an embarrassment and a hassle. I do know that our local government priorities are skewed beyond the rational. (Tongass Conservation Society - TCS - hat.)

3. Jerry Cegelske deserves a raise, a plaque, and possibly a statue in his honor. He is an inspiration. Thank you Jerry! (TCS and personal).

4. I think saying the Tongass will "support" 450 million board feet depends on one's definition of support. One must also consider modern day timber economics and demand while planning forest management, and the effort displayed by the Forest Service to do so falls way short of recognizing the reality of current and projected markets, competition, and implementation of multiple use. It certainly isn't "proven" in the annals of science that the Tongass can "support" 450 million board feet a year. As to the reference of TCS breaking promises, can anyone send me an email listing those promises broken? I know that no promises have been broken during my tenure with this fine citizen organization. As for the Tongass Futures Roundtable, while I have my own concerns with the gathering, to say it is laughable is a shortsighted view of the reality of the gathering and I encourage anyone interested to attend the meetings. (TCS!)

5. Again, I am uncertain who, exactly, is working to destroy economic benefits for Ketchikan, unless you consider the Borough a candidate after neglecting to notice $200,000 in missing payments over six months, or continuing to be suckered into giveaways, or supporting the construction of roads on Gravina while letting our infrastructure on Revilla crumble, or missing the boat (haha!) on the Southern Gateway Shuttle for at least 3 years, or neglecting to commission a comprehensive study of development opportunities on this side of the Narrows, or neglecting to diversify funding sources for specific investments, or choosing not to pony up $50,000 for a small business development center. If we are to progress economically, addressing these issues and more seems to make measurable sense. As does demonstrating the ability to think and consider and analyze from a variety of perspectives instead of being unilateral when it comes to energy, production, and value. (Personal)

6. Should we create the maximum number of jobs per board foot of timber while minimizing the cut to promote other uses (traditional and cultural, tourism, fishing) in order to get the best economic "return" from the Tongass? If so, why do the Forest Service, the Borough, the State, Cape Fox, Sealaska, and others continue to prop up the practice of Round Log exports? (TCS!)

7. Major kudos to Ketchikan Youth Initiatives and Hot Shots Paintball League. If you haven't visited the paintball park on Revilla Road, I encourage you to do so. Ketchikan Youth Initiatives (KYI) is doing more and more with and for the young people of our community and I hope readers will take the time to check them out! Thank you, Bobby McCreary for pointing out once again this great outlet for youth!(Personal)

8. We need a new library. More books leads to greater opportunity, education, and knowledge for the young and old. A fine community like ours deserves the best reading resources. Let's work collectively to get it done in the most efficient way possible. Thank you Judith Anglin for your well-written piece!(Personal)

9. Thank you Glen Thompson, Borough Assemblymember, for continuing to be the one member of the Assembly who demonstrates consistently a sense of responsibility to the rest of us. Thank you for exposing the flaws of the draft budget via Sitnews, and for not pulling any punches regarding the financial failings of staff. I hope next steps are implemented to eradicate the problem. Please keep us posted. (Personal)

10. I really enjoyed the ideas shared by Ed Fry and would like to talk further with you Ed. Please feel free to email me at the address below. (Personal)

11. I am afraid the tragedy at Virginia Tech goes way beyond nationality and is an indictment of society on a variety of levels. (Personal)

12. Ty Rettke, I look forward to debating you when we next speak! (Personal)

13. Thank you Senator Ellis and Representative Thomas for working hard on establishment of the Renewable Energy Fund. (TCS!)

14. I am not certain it matters who commissioned the Gravina Access Highway poll. We see the question, we witness the results, we know the accuracy, and we then form our own opinions based on the output. I believe it OK to question the sanity of a 8 million per mile road when the infrastructure on the home island is crumbling, and when thousands of miles of road across the state are in disrepair. I would wager a poll done specifically in Ketchikan would demonstrate similar results. Perhaps we can state the question as follows:

"Do you prefer construction of the Gravina Access Highway at $25.7 million for 3.2 miles of road or would you rather state and federal dollars be used instead for repair and improvements of Tongass Avenue?"

Or, alternatively:

"Given current conditions, should the Ketchikan Gateway Borough support infrastructural needs, improvements, and opportunities on Revilla first, or should it continue to prioritize roadbuilding on Gravina?"

15. Faith!

Gregory Vickrey
Ketchikan, AK

Received April 24, 2007 - Published April 24, 2007

About: "Gregory is a good dad to two dogs."




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Ketchikan, Alaska