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By William Tatsuda


August 26, 2005

IF I WERE A WEALTHY MAN... I would not be slaving away 6 days a week 9 to 10 hours a day working hard throwing freight, stocking shelves, and doing everything I can to make ends meet at the store. Mayor Bob Weinstein's characterization of opponents to the port bond vote as "wealthy"(KRBD 8/16) and "millionaire"(Daily News) Southend land owners was his way of discounting the no vote. It was like blaming the dog for eating his homework, which he may have heard when he was a school superintendent. Chuck Freeman was more accurate when he said something to the effect that there were as many reasons for the bond failure as there were no votes.

One of those reasons was that there has not been a satisfactory explanation to the public as to why the Thomas Basin T-Pier design was not chosen. This design was long recommended by the City's consultants, because it provided for more ships, had less impact on water views, did not impact City Float, cost significantly less, and did not screw up traffic and parking along Tongass Avenue. The cruise ship companies had already signed a memorandum agreeing to fund the cost of this alternative. This design was apparently shot down because North end property owners threatened to vote no, and more importantly the Trident cannery objected.

To my knowledge Trident has not given the public specific, detailed, and verifiable reasons why the T-Pier would force them to close the cannery or halt plans to further develop their site. What are Trident's development plans? Exactly how would the T-Pier prevent their operations? They should provide us with maps, diagrams, blueprints, or whatever it takes to show us what the problem is. Trident should not be allowed to shoot down the best port design by simply threatening us and telling us not to do it, just because they say so!

The City should not have spent all that public money on telling us how to vote. The City spent at least five times more telling people to vote yes than the No Vote people spent. The City should have gathered all the facts and presented them in a fair and unbiased fashion. The voting citizens are not a rubber stamp, nor are they as stupid and ignorant as some have implied.

William Tatsuda
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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