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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Yates building as Ketchikan visitors' bureau
By Mary Ida Henrikson


October 31, 2011
Monday PM

The demolition of the Yates Building is abhorrent.  It is the center of how Ketchikan identified itself.  It is place where the Alaska Sportsman magazine was edited and published, establishing a creative core around which Ketchikan rotated and thrives to this day.  There were writers who shared frontier experiences and words of wisdom and survival, many of which have become legend.  Artists like Beth Eberhart from Pennock Island created covers and our many local photographers shared their idea of place.  Later the Morning Raven Gallery and the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce were quartered there; both promoting Ketchikan. In front of the Yates Building is the original location of the Ketchikan Rain Gauge. The Ketchikan King Salmon Derby sign was there and served as a backdrop for the winners and their prizes.

I think the Yates building would be a perfect way to preserve history, and create a positive impression for visitors by making it the permanent location of the Ketchikan Visitors Association offices. It would be much more inviting than a 1.3 million dollar module which conjures up the silk purse from a sow’s ear image and costs how much???

Looking at current issues of the Alaska Magazine I often wonder why Ketchikan is never included in the “Around the State” column.  The recent shellfish gathering/convention isn’t even mentioned as an upcoming event, whereas Petersburg has three mentions. Perhaps the ghosts of publishing will whisper to staff that free publicity is always a bonus if it moves back to the historical marketing center of Ketchikan.

There is a city council meeting where these issues will be discussed Nov. 10th and would encourage any interested party to participate.  

Mary Ida Henrikson
Ketchikan, AK

Received October 27, 2011 - Published October 31, 2011



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