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Who's looking out for the welfare of Ketchikan?
By Eric Muench


August 09, 2005

Who is looking out for the welfare of Ketchikan? Not the Northwest Cruise Association who told the City Council to put up a 70 million dollar project for them. They are just after more business, which is what business does. Not the Visitors Bureau. They are simply trying to create bigger tourism numbers, which is what they are paid to do. Not the City Manager. He has been persuaded by the tourism industry that dock expansion will add to the city coffers, and he probably thinks that is the beginning and end of his duties. None of those people's efforts and starry-eyed advice is surprising.

But it is sad that the Mayor and City Council, supposedly our representatives, seem to have swallowed those peoples direction in one gulp, apparently believing that what's best for the Cruise Ship Industry, whatever creates the greatest money flow, is what's best for us all.

So it is up to us, the ordinary folks of Ketchikan to sort through the easy promises of no risk, improved life for all and more cash flow at any expense.

Let's consider what else this project would do.

Newtown area from the tunnel to Talbot Square is home to 13 retail businesses, including a major building supply, a major marine supply, a major electrical supply and the Easter Seals store; to 5 professional and government offices, 4 taverns, 3 restaurants, 3 appliance, marine and sewing repair shops, 2 contractors' shops, 2 union halls, 2 churches, 2 deep water piers available for public loading through its owners, 2 air taxi and charter businesses including their maintenance hangers, a public storage building, the Senior Services Center, and 1 cruise passenger tour business. Except for gasoline and groceries, this is a pretty complete set of services for a small population area. Newtown may be old and historic; it may be in need of some sprucing up; but it not in need of urban renewal or conversion to a tourist ghetto. If the proposed dock expansion gets built those businesses will mostly disappear, forced out by higher rents and sky-high selling values, to be replaced mostly by Cruise Line owned 5 month per year jewelry stores.

We will have destroyed another large part of Ketchikan to fatten the mostly foreign owned tourism industry. In spite of possibly more money in City Hall, we will all be the poorer for it.

Please vote NO on the bonds.

Eric Muench
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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