SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Visitors to Alaska
By Jenna Phillips-Buster


September 20, 2006

I felt the need to address a recent letter to the editor from "Vic & Judi Vreeland" from Cedar Creek, TX, USA. I'm very interested to know if Mr. Vreeland realizes that Alaska is part of the United States, and Alaska is almost 3 times bigger than his home state of Texas, that he is so proud to point out. He stated that he and his wife visited our fine state over a year ago. He would like an explanation as to why "WE ALASKANS" were scared or coerced into passing a cruise ship head tax for our state. Mr. Vreeland made several remarks in his letter that basically implied that "We Alaskans" as a whole don't know what we are doing. His statement that we are trying to charge the cruise ship industry to pay for our "Bridge to nowhere" or "whatever" we need the extra income for is bogus. He also stated that a trip to the Carribean is a lot less expensive than visiting Alaska.

No, Mr. Vreeland, we are not trying to reduce the amount of travelers to our beautiful state! I'm sure that you pay taxes to help improve your state's highways, schools, and anything that Texas needs to improve both the state and local government projects. As you are now aware (hopefully), Alaska is much bigger than Texas and needs the added income to improve our docking facilities, added safety for our visitors, and improvements to make our visitors feel right at home. Also, if you feel that you've been given the "cold shoulder" by us Alaskans, you obviously didn't meet the local born and raised Alaskans, that pride ourselves in customer service. One comment that "I couldn't resist" is that Alaska pays its dues. However, our state does not see the funding and improvements that the lower 48 does. You apparently feel that Alaska is personally targeting you for the money that is needed to improve our state's travel industry. We all hope that you have a great time visiting the Carribean.

However, if you ever do make it back to our amazing state, I'm sure you too, will enjoy the added dock space for the ship you are traveling on. From what I understand, it's a lot better than waiting in line for 2 hours to catch a tender back to your ship anchored out in our channel.

Jenna Phillips-Buster
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: "I have lived in Ketchikan for over 20 years."



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Ketchikan, Alaska