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By Valerie Brooks


November 01, 2005

Another Halloween has come and gone. After a decade residing on Jackson Street and handing out thousands of pieces of candy, our family decided to take a break from the "festivities" and go to dinner and visit rather than standing at the permanently opened door, dispensing candy. Over the years we have counted the candy and kept track of how many children (and others) come knocking at the door between 4:00 and 9:00 pm on Halloween. Last year was the record with over 900 kids. Even on the nastiest evening several years ago we topped 700.

A couple of friends over the years have generously donated some candy, but the city of Ketchikan never has. Nor has the city offered any Jackson Street resident, to my knowledge, any financial compensation for what has become a city sponsored and sanctioned event. When the street was blocked off to vehicle traffic a few years back it was for the safety of the many children dropped off in front of our house, and others, by the van-load, who narrowly escaped death under the wheels of speeding motorists. No one on Jackson Street, to my knowledge, disputed this move for safety. Still, the city never offered financial or any other compensation for the additional trick-or-teaters this move resulted in.

This evening, after our relaxing dinner at a local restaurant, uninterupted by ghosts and ghouls, we returned home only to find our way blocked. Two unmanned city police cars blocked Jackson Street at the corner of Jackson and 7th, and the corner of Jackson and Monroe. I waited 15 minutes till the car was moved and the roadblocks removed. Maybe I missed the notice in the paper, but I was never asked if I minded my street being blocked off and losing access to my home, nor, to my knowledge, was anyone else on this end of Jackson asked.

Enough. Perhaps Jackson was once the destination of choice for trick-or-treaters because of the many families here... or whatever. Get over it. Go to the mall where it's warm, and go home.

Valerie Brooks
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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