SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Reply to "Sports"
By Karl Richey


December 14, 2007
Friday AM

I must take issue with Eileen Small's comments on our wonderful ballfields. Has she no concept of what a boost they give to the local economy every year?

Ketchikan General Hospital is now the largest employer in our borough, & the Emergency Room is a major entry point for all its departments. I have personally stitched, debrided, splinted, & casted our local atheletes, both young & old for over 17 years now. They're a mainstay of our department, not to mention the business they represent for Radiology, Orthopedic Surgery, & Physical Therapy. Then there are the pharmacies who supply the pain meds, antibiotics, crutches, braces, Neosporin, guaze, & Ace wraps - they have to make a living, too! What about the paramedics, whose ambulances respond instantly for concussions, dislocations, & compound fractures - is their training in vain?

This is Alaska, where real men (& some women) are toughened by suffering & deprivation. So the bleeding hearts in Coffman Cove have coughed up the dough for a "beautiful grass ballfield". Don't you realize what that could cost if we tried to do that here? Why, it might raise taxes. Besides the loss to the local economy, there could even be a BOND issue!

No, If the community can't even support our jobs with the sacrifice of their children's bodies, then what's the point of living in the Last Frontier? I want to thank the members of the school board, city council & planning commission, plus the borough assembly for their foresight & compassion in providing opportunities for us medical professionals & emergency personnel by keeping our athletic fields just about as dangerous as possible. I'd also like to invite each of them to visit the ER after a tournament to congratulate the parents, & perhaps pass out awards to the weekend warriors who've laid their heads & extremities down on the hard gravel of Alaskan public spirit.

So what if those repeated head injuries have shaved a few IQ points from that sophmore's potential. The fractures & deep, infected abrasions will heal, I've still got a job, & I don't have to pay too much of it out in local taxes. Thank you for your support.

Karl Richey, MD
Ketchikan, AK

About: "31 years in Emergency Rooms, at KGH since 1990."

Received December 13, 2007 - Published December 14, 2007

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Ketchikan, Alaska