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Special Election Dock Bond
By Jessica Mathews


August 08, 2005

Regarding the Dock Expansion vote and the comments that are floating around. First, since I can't vote about this issue, I feel frustrated because it will impact me and so this just seems wrong. Second, the town really isn't about jewerly stores. It is about people. Tom LaCompte is someone I know by sight and I have seen him many times walking the tired and run down area that he spoke about. He is right, it needs help. I just returned from New York City and we don't want that, and it will nevr happen anyway so the comparsion is like apples to blueberries.

In talking with people in New York, they to have a tourist part and a "this is where we live part". Many towns want to improve their downtown, we should improve the strip north of the tunnel. In Ketchikan, people say hello on the new road when you walk past, that isn't feasible in NYC -- just plain too many hellos. This town is about the people here.

Our downtown has lots of jewerly stores, yes that is true and I miss the Ben Franklin, it was somewhere I went to often since I work downtown. It is gone. As far as businesses, there is a limit to liquor licenses, the city is saturated with jewerly stores so the city should consider capping them. The local businesses that I have seen try to get a footing here are nickle and dimed from what I can tell. The Water Taxi is an example of a business that feels that pressure. I remember a local fish rental store that was also badagered about his business as well.

The dock expansion south of town would create a traffic problem in front of Tatsuda's. You almost need a light there now. I can't even vote on this but will be hung up there, so much for the new road, as I won't be able to turn at Deermount.

Also does anyone remember that fowl, fowl smell a few years ago? It was from the outfall of the canneries. They now work to grade that off so the smell doesn't come back and the bubble of gunk is avoided. Has that been studied if they put a dock there? It would just about make a hole of stench in the eddy that a new dock would create. How many tourists are going to enjoy that? What are they going to buy around Deermount if they are trying not to hurl?

As I tell tourists if you want to see the real part of the town, start going uphill, that is the real part. People who can't walk, just can't walk uphill, not to mention the stairs. I hope the strip north of the tunnel gets a facelift, the city can limit the bling bling stores and put in some benches and restrooms. I would like a convenience store like JRs or Ben Frankin, I'd like local arts and crafts on display. Locals could do a lot to put something neat on the strip, it is cool just thinking about what could happen.

For me, it is the people that make this town special, the people that help out, that say don't drink and drive because it is really really stupid, that spend their time with kids, and running the Monthly Grind.

So I hope those that can, do vote.

Jessica Mathews
Ketchikan, AK - USA


On the Web:

 Ketchikan Port Berth Expansion Bond Initiative

Ketchikan Port Berth
Expansion Bond Initiative

 Ketchikan Port Berth Expansion Bond Initiative

Vote August 16, 2005

 The City of Ketchikan is proposing to expand and improve facilities along the waterfront to provide enhanced public use and additional economic benefit to residents, business owners, and the City. A bond initiative will be placed on the August 16, 2005 ballot to gain approval for up to $70 million to fund the project. - More... Port Expansion Project Information




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