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Dock extension issue
By Mark Tollfeldt


August 05, 2005

I intend to vote "no" for bonding a cruise ship dock in Ketchikan. But wait, I am a borough resident, I am not eligible to vote! Never mind that I have lived in the borough for 27 years and feel I have a stake in the direction this community is taking. I will submit a questioned ballot, if that is even allowed, as a protest against the megalomania of the cruise ship/tourism industry. I invite anyone else to do the same who feels as I do. The number of "questioned" ballots will also have to be tallied, and thrown out, but also reported. Perhaps I am "tilting at windmills" but I feel I cannot just sit idly by, watching Ketchikan once again be manipulated by an industry out of control.

By the statements in the previous paragraph one could deduce that I am anti-tourist industry. Well, I am not. I only feel that Ketchikan has let the tourist industry define the town. Long ago there should have been some sort of local tourism planning body that allowed Ketchikan to control its own destiny, and the growth of the industry. But it is way to late for that now. We have completely sold out. We have "soiled our own nest".

Some how we have to take back our town. The visitors industry needs to have controls on its growth so that a quality visitors experience can be maintained and quality of life for permanent Ketchikan residents can be reclaimed. Limiting dock space is one way to do that.

To finish up, just a note to Walt Bolling. I agree with most of what you had to say but you are wrong about local boats not using the cruise ship docks. I work for a business that supports the fishing industry directly and indirectly, charter fishing and other tourism destinations. The existing dock has been of great benifit to our operations. The fishing industry also uses the dock, both transient and local. I do not feel that the proposed extension would be more of a benifit to fisherman. It is quite likely to displace some dock space used by fisherman.

Mark Tollfeldt
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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