Last Visit to Alaska
By ML Dahl
August 29, 2006
Regarding the letter from Peter James, the former Alaska tourist
who promises never to return, I have some salient comments to
Those greedy Alaska communities who want to tax the tourists
provide real Alaska towns, populated with real Alaska residents,
who provide real Alaska adventures that cannot be duplicated
anywhere else in the world, no, not even by Disneyland.
Alaska towns, via their municipal governments, must build, repair
and maintain the infrastructure that supports the visiting tourists.
Without roads, streets, public restrooms, clean water, public
information kiosks, city-funded public museums, fish hatcheries
and eagle rehab centers, bridges from which to fish and gawk,
street guards to protect the walking tourists, a fine hospital
to treat the sick tourist, pristine and undeveloped scenery and,
oh yes! docks for the big cruise ships to tie up to, there would
nothing for the tourist to see or do.
Give me a break, Mr. James; how much wear and tear do you think
is done to a little Alaska town of 8,000 people when nearly a
million tourists disembark from cruise ships every summer to
fill our streets? How well would your town fare if your population
exploded by 125 times itself in a couple of months? I imagine
your town or state would have to figure out a way to pay for
the wear and tear on its own infrastructure, too.
Alaska is able to provide $1,000 to every full-time Alaska resident
because Alaska has been smart enough to set aside most of the
money it receives for selling her own oil and has invested it
for dividends which are shared with Alaska residents. If California
was as smart, she would have been more careful in developing
her own resources instead of spending herself into bankruptcy.
Yep, Ketchikan is that place where the bridge to nowhere has
been proposed and if we could have built if for a million dollars
it would already be a done deal. However, it is important to
correct the perception that the purpose of the proposed bridge
was to get to the airport or connect 50 people on Gravina Island
to the town of Ketchikan. In fact, most of the people on Gravina
Island emphatically do not want to be connected to Ketchikan.
That s why they moved to the island in the first place. The
purpose of the bridge was to open up Gravina Island for development.
Without land on which to develop industrial, residential and
recreational areas, Ketchikan, as the center of southern Southeast
Alaska, cannot grow. Greedy entrepreneurs that we are, we want
to work and build businesses, employ people, pay taxes and see
our communities grow and prosper.
I am sorry that you do not plan to visit Alaska again, Mr. James
but then, I am not planning to visit California again either,
so I guess it is a wash.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
About: "A certified financial planner, business owner, writer,
sailor and dog-lover living in beautiful Ketchikan, Alaska who
has been here long enough that I am no longer a cheechako. "
last trip to Alaska By Peter James - Coronado, CA - USA
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