Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions



By Marie Monyak


August 05, 2005

Mr. LeCompte, please help me understand this correctly. The quote: "somewhat seedy business frontage" you spoke of north of the tunnel would be what.... Burger Queen with the best burgers in town, the Arctic Bar that tourists just love, or how about Raven's Roost, owned by KJ who is the most vocal and active person when it comes to anything that benefits our local kids. Or could it be the Keene and Currall office, or the Penny Man, or is it the Chamber of Commerce and Easter Seals building? Seedy? Urban Renewal? Where do you live Mr. LeCompte? This is Ketchikan, a small fishing/logging town, not New York or Detroit, in need of urban renewal. But of course, if it's an urban area you want, we still have the ferry to the airport if you so desire. I think you owe those businesses and owners north of the tunnel an apology. They are hard working folks that contribute to our town in many ways.

Then look up the definition of "quaint". If you really want to know what the tourists want to see, come visit with me on the dock where I work and talk to the tourists and see what THEY like about our town (and dislike). (This is a serious invitation to anyone.)

I speak with hundreds of tourists every day and have for many years. The most repeated phrase, corny as it sounds is: "I want to see where the REAL ALASKANS live and work". They repeatedly ask where our real town is not the "touristy stuff" and now in the most recent years we hear the constant complaint about too many jewelry stores. It seems that our city council keeps telling us what the tourists want yet I never see THEM on the docks talking to the people. I don't see the city council trying to explain to a tourist with walking problems, close to tears, that we don't have any place for them to sit. I don't see them telling the visitors how far they have to walk to get to a public restroom, or that the KVB has 5 toilet stalls per gender, to serve 10,000 people a day. Maybe the council can set their sites a little lower and start with something small like restrooms, trash receptacles and seating, preferably covered areas or small gazebos.

I invite anyone to come down to the docks and stand with me and greet the visitors and answer all their questions and ask a few of your own. It might just open a few eyes.

Thank you Sitnews for a chance for all of us to voice our opinions and views.

Marie L Monyak
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

letter Please vote yes! By Tom LeCompte - Ketchikan, AK - USA




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