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By Mary Ida Henrikson


September 19, 2005
Monday PM

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


Related News:

Ketchikan: National 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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