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Forget The Earplugs
By Barbara Diamond


August 26, 2005

Where would Ketchikan, or Alaska for that matter, be without bush planes? I dare not think. Bob, where would you propose these planes take off? Since they are float/amphibious planes it's obvious they take off from the water. Should they move out to Herring Cove, or maybe Clover Pass? Would that make you happier? I doubt that would be a viable solution for the floatplane industry in Ketchikan.

I was born in Ketchikan and lived there for 40 years. At one point I lived at the end of Millar Street with a front row seat to everything that went on in the channel. I had many interrupted phone calls and TV shows. To me it was just a part of life. I grew up with it and had a great life because of it, as my father was a pilot for Ellis/Coastal Ellis/Alaska Coastal Ellis/Alaska Airlines.

It's part of the romance of any bush community. I now live near Hood Lake in Anchorage, which is the busiest floatplane facility in the world. Whenever I hear a plane (which is almost constantly) I have wonderful memories of home. Whenever I hear, yes hear long before I see, a Grumman Goose, I run outside to see it, even at 30 below.

I also have to listen to the trains that run twenty-four hours a day and the tracks are only two blocks away from my house. So be thankful you only have planes from 6:00am to 11:00pm (summer hours). It could be worse.

I can assure you the tourists are not flying at 6:00am, they aren't even off the ships yet, if the ships are even in port by 6:00am. So please don't blame this one on the tourist industry. There are plenty of other things to blame the tourist industry for. The long daylight hours are only a few short months of the year. You can hibernate during the winter.

Wait until you have to listen to a floatplane engine revving up all night long to flush the salt water out after it either flipped on landing or stalled out on take off. Believe me it happens.

I have heard your argument before and have kept my mouth shut. I don't know where you came from, but it was obviously from a different environment than the romance of the Alaskan Bush. If it is really too much for you to bare, maybe you should move to Herring Cove, Clover Pass or somewhere out of civilization and noise.

Life is all about choices. I choose the floatplane noise. It is my comfort zone. Maybe you should find your comfort zone.

Keep the romance Ketchikan.

Barbara Diamond
Anchorage, AK - USA


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