SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Ken Bylund


September 09, 2008

Startling, this surge in our mob of 'me firsts'. Remembering the arguments here when the two hundred million dollar Bridge to Gravina Island was in the planning stage, many others in Ketchikan were pushing for a bridge to the mainland so ground transport & commerce could flow onto Revilla Island; a lot of us raised our eyebrows and nodded, more ROI there than an air/sea traffic hazard across to that sparsely populated shoreline. Today we might all focus on a reasonable argument for a hydroelectric source at Mahoney Lake, a shelved project that would provide ROI for all of us, every family on the grid. But we continue to argue 'it would've been nice to have a bridge to the airport.'

We're still paying that diesel surcharge and those who run KPU say this winter will be more of the same. So, what if someone in Colorado or California says, 'it will take five years to bring a project like Mahoney Lake dam/power line to fruition'; are we all just going to 'go away' in that specific amount of time? Your kids will be... how old in four or five years? Power is the critical issue here, just like Colorado and California - not that bridge to Gravina, so real estate can be jacked up on more muskeg and rock. We have plenty of that on this side of Tongass Narrows. Sell power to the cruise ships at dockside? Good idea! But next time we burn millions of dollars planning a capital project, be smart - start with a concept that benefits everyone, not just 'me first'.

Now, that two hundred million dollar estimate on the bridge to Gravina has doubled, think the ferry system isn't a bargain? Perhaps if you own some of that muskeg or figure you'll get some of that $400,000,000, but that's too often what it's all about. How many of our local citizens got those jobs on building new docks in Ketchikan? A bridge to the mainland or even to Gravina might happen yet, but not if we keep acting like misbehaved teens who didn't get our way, and think if we scream loud and long enough... it really is time to move on.

We need energy to survive; hydroelectric is what we have in abundance, waiting to be tapped, our rain and mountain lakes are the low fruit. Rather than a new + $20,000,000 swimming pool, or + $20,000,000 library, and Schoenbar, another + $20,000,000 disaster, and not forgetting that $25,000,000 jobs fund that went down the rabbit hole at Ward Cove and the Veneer Plant - would've gone a long way to alleviate today's diesel surcharge... and the next disaster - it is possible to come together to build a long lasting bridge to somewhere that brings benefit and pride for us all - can we just pull together, stop embarrassing ourselves with more puerile behavior? The Egyptians built the pyramids with less than we have going for us here in Southeast Alaska!

This morning we see Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being "rescued" by the government; the amount - $5,400,000,000,000. Most of us didn't have any idea there is 5.4 trillion in paper money in circulation. Wildly inflated home prices and no collateral - gives new meaning to 'collateral damage', and the next rant will be that the Bush Administration is at fault; many will believe it, that first strike, like a first impression, will leave few doubters. But like that obscure Social Security Scandal, or more recently the Looting of Savings and Loans, this was caused by them 'me firsts' who feathered their nests or bought votes by encouraging monetary institutions to give loans to them with little or no collateral - an ongoing policy since money and power overruled principle.

Here's why we should vote for adult style change that Sarah Palin and John McCain advocate; not a day passes when someone says "entitlements need to be discontinued". That would be President Roosevelt's Social Security Fund. Lyndon B. Johnson and them elected leaders of ours [crooks on both sides] decided to siphon all that existing money into the General Fund, words like, 'SSI was over-funded', and we got LBJ's "Great Society"; now drug addicts receive benefits along with many other fraudulent slackers creating nothing more than mischief - and that vulnerable generation of seniors that worked for their day in the sun... get "dissed" - that was CHANGE! Good move, jerks! We need someone with guts to go to Washington and expose career thieves on both sides of the aisle, living like royalty on our blood and sweat.

A show of hands, how many think Washington insider's gluttony, pork, and irresponsible earmarks, like a multimillion dollar museum for Woodstock, is worth more than energizing a healthcare system, or improving the quality of education and counseling students that haven't the perspective to know what course to fix on and follow. It isn't about laptops or more teachers... it is about FOCUS! And we seem to be losing that; screaming about government money, our money, is missing what is important... potential. If we don't clear our heads and work on something positive, we won't go anywhere but down - and that negative stuff is getting all the attention it needs by the talking heads on network news.

Ken Bylund
Ketchikan, AK

Received September 07, 2008 - Published September 09, 2008


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska