SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Last Knot on the Rope to progress.
By Don Borders


May 17, 2009

While Ketchikan stands sliding on the slippery slope, fixated with both hands firmly grasping the last stop, it has its back to the deep waters. The cruise lines dropped one of its ships visiting our little town, while adding one more to Anchorage. Sure, they cited the cost of oil to run the ships, but in thought, it must take more fuel to get the added ship visit to Anchorage. The fact two of our local governments chose to spend the cruise ship passengers' tax on stuff not adhering to the imposed head tax guidelines must have been their problem. That is one aspect of the last knot.

As for electrical power, I am sure that the public is unaware there are a number of small power producing possibilities that would contribute greatly to the energy needs of the growing power demands of Ketchikan. In the past the Pulp Mill supplied power, when needed, to the "electrical grid" keeping the lights on during the tourist season. (Recent years, after the closing of the pulp mill, the tourist have experienced the blackouts in the middle of the summer, just like down south. Welcome to Alaska!) There is hydroelectric potential, which was proposed by several individuals, in several different locations, of the Ketchikan area. However, they have been totally ignored and shut out by the local utility company because they (the utility company) would not have the income from the power sales to the community and governmental control over their private operations. It's the power of hanging onto the last knot tightly.

The recent infrastructure project, which puts the residents in debt to for the next 20+ years to get eight to ten years of sufficient electrical power, is not long term thinking by the local utility company governed by one of the two established governments. While Wrangle residents are being advised to put in a second power meter which will power their home heating and be charged a much lower electrical rate for it, Ketchikan will be paying a higher electrical rate the next twenty years to get the electrical power that could have gone to powering its local Infrastructure Businesses. Private Business that pays taxes to the governing bodies is another aspect of the Knot.

In years past, the local culture of harvesting, one of the few renewable resources, has generated taxable incomes and supported many families sending their children off to college. That culture has been changing to a "greenie" one, which will not support nearly as many families and students. The new cultural change is not a new monies type but one of revolving funds. However, Government is still taking its bite out of the small and limited gains and is likened to a parasite organization feeding on its supporting Host. Eventually the Host either will die or will hold the last Tea Party in this two-government town. I wonder if the deep water is tea flavored and sweeten by the Feds? Doubt it, it all went to the banks and car manufactures. It is likely "all natural water" and bitterly Tannic acid tainted. So much for the local Governments having the solutions for the problems of the Ketchikan community. The knot looks like a slipknot.

Don Borders
Ketchikan, AK

About: "25+ years of living in Ketchikan"

Received May 17, 2008 - Published May 17, 2009


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Ketchikan, Alaska