SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

11 Things You Might Not Know
About the Proposed New Rain Gauge


November 27, 2013
Wednesday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The funds for Ketchikan's new $95,000 rain gauge to replace the Berth II rain gauge sign are not CPV funds (Commercial Passenger Vessel Excise Tax) as previously thought. One of 11 things you might not know about the newly proposed rain gauge. The Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council (KAAHC) learned of this funding change yesterday.The designated funds to design the rain gauge will be coming from the Maritime Tax. Knowing that the Maritime Tax must be used to fund projects for Ketchikan's ports/docks, the Council will seek out more information regarding this funding.

jpg 11 Things You Might Not Know About the New Rain Gauge

The new rain gauge proposed by Jennifer Townley and Bette Adriaanse of The Netherlands to replace the rain gauge on Berth II.
Graphic courtesy KAAHC

The new rain gauge proposed by Jennifer Townley and Bette Adriaanse of The Netherlands is a steel structure that holds cylindrical glass shapes that collect, measure and kinetically distribute the rain. By use of automated stepper motors and a mechanical construction of ball screws and lever taps the citizens and visitors of Ketchikan can keep track of all the rain that has fallen in the past week, month and even year. The drawings that will cover the base of the sculpture and surround the electrical components will be based on the nature around Ketchikan, serving as a celebration of the rain as the origin of the local nature, the identity of the area and the source of many visitor attractions. The scenery depicted in the final drawings will be chosen after the artists visit Ketchikan and take suggestions for the community.

Example of watershed graphic on nearby electrical components (will be customized to specifics of the local area).
Graphics courtesy KAAHC

Ten other things citizens of Ketchikan might not know about the new rain gauge released the the Arts Council:

1. The selection process was based on an industry standard procedure for publicly selecting art. It has been tailored to fit Ketchikan and has successfully selected the Rock, the glass mosaics on the promenade, Stephen Jackson's piling caps at Thomas Basin, the public art in the new library, and the Yeltatzie Salmon, as well as the art in the High School, Fawn Mountain Elementary, and Schoenbar Middle School.

2. Notice of the Call to Artists and the process was put out to the public via newspaper, email, hand delivery, Facebook, other Alaska Arts Councils, word of mouth, local radio stations, and the Public Art Commission on June 28, 2013.

3. A Pre-Proposal meeting/teleconference was held on August 8, 2013, from 1-3pm at the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. This offered an opportunity for artists to direct questions to the project/design team and KAAHC relative to design specifications for art pieces. 9 people were in attendance with another 7 via teleconference - 4 were local artists.

4. The selection panel was made up of 15 community members representing various parts of the community:

Matt Olsen - City Council
Glen Thompson - Borough Assembly
Steve Corporon - Ports and Harbors
Steve Peters - architect for Phase 4 reconfiguration
Carol Domme - Ketchikan Visitors Bureau board member
Katie Montgomery - Ketchikan Visitors Bureau board member
Laurie Pool - Ketchikan Historical Society
Katherine Tatsuda - Chamber of Commerce board member
Michelle O'Brien - School Board
A local Native artist who is averse to drama (p.s. he voted in favor of this rain gauge)
Kathleen Wiechelman - Arts Council Board
Ann Froeschle - Tongass Historical Museum, Totem Heritage Center
Deb Turnbull - artist who put art in the library
Dave Rubin - Ketchikan Public Art Works, "The Rock"
Dr. David Johnson - community member

5. The new rain gauge will not only provide a unique and original piece of kinetic art to measure Ketchikan’s rainfall, but also covers the nearby electrical components with a beautiful graphic illustration of our region’s watershed.

6. Thirty-one (31) proposals from all over the world were received as a result from the Request for Proposals. 4 of those are from year around Ketchikan artists.

7. Event planners in Ketchikan are already thinking about the potential for fun New Year’s community events surrounding the emptying of the large bottle that holds all the previous year’s rain.

8. The translucent bottles in the sculpture will be created out of the same materials that are used for police riot gear and for fighter plane and submarine windows.

9. Artists learn and are influenced by other artists. Ketchikan’s artists have artwork all over the world, inspiring artists in those communities of the unique Southeast style. For local artists to continue to grow, flourish, and be competitive internationally, it is important they are exposed to the same diversity of artwork as artists in other communities.

10. If the Ketchikan City Council approves the Arts Council’s request at the December 5th Council meeting (pdf), there will be a drop-in viewing and question and answer session on December 12th at the Arts Council from 7:00am to 6:00pm.

The City of Ketchikan put out a request for a new rain gauge that went world-wide. According to information provided by the Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council on their Facebook page, the world responded enthusiastically at the opportunity to display their work on Ketchikan's global stage. If Ketchikan chooses to not follow through with its invitation to ALL artists, our reputation as an arts community could be in question according to the Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council.

Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Rain Gauge Clarifications By Steve Corporon - The following clarifications and additional facts are provided in response to the article in Sitnews titled "11 Things You Might Not Know About the Proposed New Rain Gauge".

Clarification No. 1:  Funding for this project along with the description and justification for the project were in the 2013 Port budget as follows (word for word):  "The current rain gauge sign on the Port is a one-sided sign mounted to the vent stack for the wastewater lift station located under Berth II.  The vent stack abuts the current KVB Building; therefore, the back of the sign is not visible.  The building will be removed in the fall of 2012 and a new KVB Building will be constructed approximately 30 feet away.  The proposed replacement rain gauge sign will be a commissioned piece of public art that will surround the vent stack covering it on all sides.  The Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council would assist in soliciting the call to artists and selection of the artist and piece for a 7% administrative fee.  Funding would be from the Port Enterprise Fund but would be restricted to receipts from non-maritime related revenue such as rent monies from tour and food vendor leases." - More...
Saturday PM - November 30, 2013


Source of News: 

Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council

City of Ketchikan - Agenda, Minutes, & Information Packets

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