By Tom LeCompte
August 14, 2005
Tuesday we'll find where the rubber meets the road. I enjoyed the very informative letter from Clay Keene and his explanation of the type of bonding used for this project. I also enjoyed, (as always,) June Allen's perspective.
I enjoyed Karen Lybrand's description of the Spruce Mill and the cedar smells, however, politics and many of Karen's (and my) friends in the local environmental groups have taken care of any large scale timber industry ever exisiting here again.
And throughout all these discussions in Sitnews about the cruise industry none of the dissenters ever offers an alternative to provide a local economy. June is right, without cruise tourists you could board up downtown all year round. For example, Jim Wingren did not close his excellent men's clothing store (Gaffney's) because cruise ships came to town, or jewelry and Little Switzerland squeezed him out. It was closed because there was not enough local business to keep it going. Downtown and our beloved Mom and Pop stores faded because we did not provide enough year round business after timber and fishing slowed. That side of Ketchikan is gone, and thank goodness for the Museum to help us remember, because it's never coming back.....and I miss it as much as many of you do.
I enjoy another opportunity as a citizen of this country as well. My right to vote. For over 230 years young (usually) American men and women have been off fighting and sacrificing their lives and time so we can have the option of making free and informed choices.
We currently have more than a couple dozen local kids in the service all over the world, including some in the hot zones in the Middle East. Out of respect for them I urge you to exercise your right to vote, not only Tuesday, but in every election.
This is your only duty as a citizen. Freedom isn't free. Regardless of how anyone feels about Bush, Iraq, and our current situations, please support these young Americans by getting out and voting. I hate to think that the service of our young folks might be in vain.
Over 2400 citizens signed petitions in favor of this project. I hope they all show up at the polls. Hundreds attended meetings over a three year period as this was all hashed out. I hope they also get out and vote. I hope every registered voter gets to the polls.
Some of my friends will vote no on this expansion. I still love and respect them for their opinions. But if you don't vote you lose the right with me to bitch about the outcomes.
People in my family are voting yes. I urge you to join them on Tuesday.
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