SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Public nuisance
By Harry Howard


September 08, 2009

I have lived in Ketchikan for a little over a year now.  One thing I can say is that this town is full of unusual people, but I quickly felt at home and fit right in. I love the ability to walk everywhere, and do so many things outside while being close to home.  I try to encompass my son in everything that I do, and while doing so I teach him good morals, ethics, and respect for himself and others. I am military and since joining I represent my service well at all times. I have lived in 3 major cities, and Ketchikan children stand out from any place I have lived in. 

I really enjoy fishing in Ketchikan, and on several occasions I have fished down at Thomas Basin with many other people who love to do the same. On 22 August, my son asked if I could take him to fish off of the docks, which I thought it would be a great idea.  When we parked I noticed 15-25 Ketchikan kids between the ages of 8 and 15 scattered throughout the area.  I really like the idea that Ketchikan is close knit enough that kids can walk the streets with little worry.

As we began fishing the Ketchikan Kids didn't disappoint. Without missing a beat myself, my son, and some 20 other people fishing were bombarded by all the Ketchikan Kids cursing in conversation, yelling curse words across Thomas Basin, and yelling perverted phrases to one another on opposite sides of the street. I have encountered this every time I have been there, but this is the first time I had my son with me so I was much more attentive. Several boys were starting to get into fights, and this is the only thing that made adults say something to them. Luckily my son was doing more fishing than listening throughout our time there.

Later, two mid teen boys decided to walk up acting drunk and start flirting and playing with some of your really young Ketchikan daughters. I thought about calling the police, but I had already seen 2 or 3 police cars pass without giving the groups of kids a second look. We left without being their very long, and of course we were greeted at my vehicle by a cursing young boy telling a young girl that another boy would not have sex with her or do what she was asking him to do. Now the hard part is that I know these kids. Many of them know my child from school.  He knows them by name, which means they are in 6th grade or earlier, and he is learning from these kids. They do not care if they are surrounded by tourist, which means the tourist do not take one ounce of respect for Ketchikan parents back to their home. What can I do without kids saying I threatened them or parents threatening me for saying something to their kid that is out running the street with no parental supervision. How many times do you call the police before they tell you to stop.

Even in big cities kids had some respect for others walking around especially with small kids. Parents, believe me, you and no one else is proud of your kids if they are part of this growing public nuisance. Now, I know that I will soon be moving away, and I keep my child close enough that he is constantly learning wrong from right, but for the non-active parents on this beautiful island, good luck raising the future of Ketchikan.     

Harry Howard
Ketchikan, AK


Received September 03, 2009 - Published September 08, 2009


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Ketchikan, Alaska