By Neil Gray
August 08, 2005
Tom LeCompte makes some valid viewpoints about the cruise ship dock expansion. No matter where it's projected to be built, there will be those unhappy with the location. He's right about one thing. Move forward, or be left behind.
If nobody wants the cruise ship business to be picking up the slack for the timber and fishing demise, then why doesn't somebody come up with a different solution? I was told a long time ago not to complain about something unless I had a solution. It's too bad the "outside" souvenir type stores have to converge on a unique lifestyle like Ketchikan. I hope there are still some of the Tom Sawyer's and Authentic Alaska Crafts stores left. I did not at one time before I left Ketchikan in 1992, that even then some stores had items you could just as easily find at Yellowstone Park. That's sad. With that mind, I can sympathize with those who hate tourism.
But, done right it can save towns. Case in point are Julian and Solvang, California, and Leavenworth, Washington. And many more. You just try to keep the local flavor as much as possible. But even then, the vultures of fortune seem to prey on the opportunity.
If I still lived in Ketchikan, would I be in favor of the dock expansion? I think probably. I'm sure I don't get 100% of the pros and cons of it without being there. Whatever happens, I hope Ketchikan voters make the right choice. Vote your mind. That's why you can vote.
I wish San Diego's political problems were as simple. Instead, we have a mad Mayor who resigned, write in mayoral candidate legal questions, two councilmen convicted of bribery in our "Strip Gate" episode, and city pension plan that is a billion dollars in debt, plus the city has a near zero credit rating.
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