By Randy Williams
October 03, 2005
I write in response to the many individuals that cannot see a different future for Ketchikan. I would challenge the long time citizens of Ketchikan to look at growth as a positive thing for their futures and the future of the community. How many of these same people saw the tour ship industry coming and were able to take advantage of it and make a better future for their families and the community by making the gift shops Alaskan owned? Not to many! Sometimes we have a tendency to look at progress as a bad thing when in fact it often breathes new life into a community. The bridge will not only create jobs when building it buy may create opportunities for future growth and increased employment opportunities after it is built. Is it a bad thing to create more jobs to keep your sons and daughters in the community, where can they work now? the gift shops?
Ketchikan downtown is very old and the face lift and revitalization of the area is good but it is not the Ketchikan I remember. Is that a bad thing, the answer is no, it has been a positive for the community, you may not like all the tourists but they have helped to improve the community. Sure it's not the way it used to be but is it supposed to be. The bridge may be a future that will allow your children opportunities to stay in Ketchikan and/or come back, isn't that what you want for your Ketchikan, to be a place where your children can raise their families, and know that your children's children are growing up in a beautiful (but wet) land. Where people still care about each other and you can find space for a picnic without having to get their at 7:00 am to reserve your spot? that is a good thing.
I don't care if the Governor or anyone owns property across the water, (sorry Don, can't agree with you here) someone has to own it, sure he and/or his family will make money but that is what money and economic foresight does, it allows individuals and families to invest but their investment could be an investment in the future of Ketchikan and a better life for many.
I will tell you a short story of future growth to illustrate the point I hope I am making, when the Muckleshoot Tribe decided to put in a casino there were town meetings against it and even some Tribal members saw it as ruining their community. Today many of those same Tribal and community members have well paying jobs and a better life because the Tribal Government could see a different future for their people. The community that was so against it has now embraced the Jobs and other industries it created. It was hard to accept this change but the change in the Auburn community has been positive and not unlike Ketchikan has started to see a different future for their community and citizens. I am not advocating putting a casino across the water, I am saying look at the possibilities this bridge may bring to Ketchikan and embrace a future that will keep our kids in the community and may very well create a healthy environment for controlled development of the community, that is a good thing.
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