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Public opinion can still make a difference
By Loren Prosser


September 20, 2005

I am in agreement with the majority of those on this site who voice a support of spending the earmarked Ketchikan bridge funds elsewhere.

My recommendation would be to look to other areas around the state that benefit more individuals than Ketchikan. I live in Ketchikan and believe that a bridge to Gravina will certainly provide an opportunity for the city's growth, but at too great an expense. Spend the highway money on larger communities such as the Matsu-Valley, where those dollars will benefit more Alaskans. Or look closer at the proposed highway from Wrangell into Canada, which will benefit all communities in southern southeast looking for a more direct route into Canada.

There may also be other ways to divert the these pork dollars outside of Alaska, such as toward repairs in the Gulf Coast. In this regard I strongly disagree with Mayor Weinstein's logic.. .just "because other states do not offer to donate their highway dollars" is no reason we should not consider doing so. Who wants to live in a community where we don't help each other just because someone hasn't done it first?!

I only wonder if there is any way the project can be prevented at this point in the game. Even though many public comments are emerging this late in the pork planning process, perhaps it will inspire us to look closer at other propositions around our communities and state and voice our opinions earlier. I'll optimistically think public opinion can still make a difference.

Loren Prosser
Ketchikan, AK - USA




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