SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



How about an alternative?
By Rick Grams


December 27, 2005

Regarding the bridge, let me lay out the concerns from my own perspective.  Ketchikan is full of people who want to work all year long for at least middle class pay.  Unfortunately middle class pay is not the norm for a Ketchikan resident.  It is important to remember that Ketchikan's primary economic base is tourism ­ wow, a whopping 3 to 5 months out of every year we get to have an economy that makes a profit (and watch it leave towards the Caribbean). 

For those of us under 40 who look to spend the rest of our lives in Ketchikan the lack of middle class pay is a problem.  At the same time, we see our children reaching the age of 18 looking at a home town community atmosphere with a job prospect of making about $8 per hour.  YET WE WONDER WHY OUR KIDS SEEK HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE MAINLAND ONLY TO STAY WITHIN THE CONTIGUOUS 48 STATES OF THE GREATEST NATION ON EARTH (America)!

 I'll admit, a bridge alone does not constitute an expanding economy.  However, since we are in a location that obviously does not deem any property as "condemned" or "outdated" compared to the realms of normal society we only have one true alternative ­ to seek land elsewhere within our reach.  Once we can promise access to such land then we as a community can seek other corporate investments into the local community.

WHAT?  Corporate investment?  You don't want corporate investment in Ketchikan?  Then what do you call the tourism industry?  I believe that with the right leadership, corporate investment and ecological awareness can all be a positive step towards economic prosperity with the same effort. 

Do I have the silver bullet answer?  Nope, but I am trying (as an individual).  I have yet to see any response that provides new opportunity, potential job growth, or any type of concern towards the positive economic growth for the community of Ketchikan as a whole.  If you want to change my mind and the many people who believe as I do, then it is your turn to provide the community a viable and workable alternative for the benefit of economic opportunity and potential prosperity.

The Bureau of Labor does not list Ketchikan as a location worth gathering statistical information.  As such, please check out the following web sites that do focus on Ketchikan and come to your own conclusions: 

Workforce Information

Overview of the Alaska Economy (2002)

Ketchikan Gateway Borough Economic Overview  

Finally, although not directly targeted, I had to chuckle at a previous comment regarding running for office.  The fact is, I've had a few people approach me in the supermarket, Mall and Wal-mart to ask me if I would run for office.  I do not intend to speak as a political person; instead I intend to speak from the heart with the basis of my opinion justified by external resources.

Happy New Year!

Rick Grams

Ketchikan, AK - USA


Editor's Additions....

Related Information:

Public Comments/ Letters (41 pages)

Gravina Access Project

Gravina Project Documents

Ketchikan Group:

Support Our Bridge


Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


Write a Letter -------Read Letters

E-mail the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska