BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE
By Mary Ida Henrikson
September 19, 2005
I read today that Ketchikan, population 6,000, had funding for
a bridge to nowhere. It is a bridge from somewhere, to an airport
and to jobs provided by the largest non-government employer,
by a local employer. If the rest of the country would give up
their transportation money for Katrina reconstruction, then perhaps
Alaska should consider doing the same, but that is not going
to happen. It took decades for our Congressional delegation
to gain the clout stearing significant transportation dollars
to Alaska, we should not take this influence for granted, we
should take advantage of our situation. There is a bridge in
Sitka, Juneau and Fairbanks has quite a few bridges, so Ketchikan
is not breaking new ground here. Personally I would like to
see a shorter span from the already elevated site near Wal-Mart
to the northwest end of the airport runway, but in any case
I think we need some positive marketing for our fair town.
It is a BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE
in a town of 15,000, a town that serves nearly a million visitors
in just the summer months, a town with what could be the largest
collection of totem poles in the world, a town with world class
fishing, world class art and music and theater. We are a destination
to a favored class and knowlegable bunch of independent travelers.
Ketchikan is a place to learn Northwest Coast native design
from world renown artisans, a resort town that is quite simply
a place of beauty and opportunity for everyone.
Ketchikan is also all about
change, nothing ever stays the same here, it is contantly reinventing
itself and attracting new challenges. "Keet shan han"
means "white-spot-on-a-fin-creek", which is a spawned
out salmon, which means cycle of continuing life, which means
change, which could easily symbolize Ketchikan.
Mary Ida Henrikson
Ward Cove, AK - USA
spotlight has Alaska town uncomfortable By SEAN COCKERHAM
- Mike Salazar, the Ketchikan borough mayor, had just fielded
a call from Reader's Digest. Another reporter wanting to talk
about "the Bridge to Nowhere."
The proposed $315 million bridge
from this small Alaska city to a neighboring, nearly uninhabited
island has become a sensation. It's made Ketchikan famous, but
not in a way Salazar likes.
"It makes me frustrated
that we haven't been able to communicate our need well enough
for the rest of the United States to understand it," said
the mayor, who was first elected to the town council in 1976.
"Everybody calls it a
bridge to nowhere. ... It's a bridge to our future." - More...
Monday - September 19, 2005
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