SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Between the Rail Belt Devils and the Deep Blue Cs



March 13, 2015
Friday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
The "Between Cs" season is always an interesting time in Our Fair Salmon City.

jpg  Dave Kiffer

"Between Cs" is the handful of months between Christmas and Cruise Ships.

It marks the doldrums where little of interest seems to be happening in the First City. Sure, there is the high school basketball season to keep folks interested. And there are always a few drug arrests to fill up columns in the newspaper. But, in general, not much happens during the “Between Cs.”

Which, of course, is why something always happens.

When I was in the news biz we used to always look forward to February and March because we knew that some issue would always rise up out of Nowhere and captivate the public attention for a couple of months.

Then, as summer made folks start getting busy again, it would disappear as quickly as it appeared and we would all understand that it really had just been an insignificant blip after all.

But one, of course, that got everyone all hopped up for a while and sold newspapers or got folks listening to the radio.

For example, one year, years ago, the Issue Entre "Cs" was Christmas lights.

It seems that some folks, who clearly didn’t have enough else to be offended about, were offended that lights were staying up well into the New Year. They even got peeved that the public decorations weren’t coming down soon enough. So they badgered the elected officials into making sure that the lights came down soon after the New Year.


Well, it’s mid-March and my Christmas lights are still up. Neener, neener, neener!

Another year, a bunch of well-meaning civic improvers got it in their brains that Ketchikan needed to have fewer bars and they went about trying to convince the “powers that be” that we needed fewer liquor licenses in Our Fair Salmon City.

First, a brief history lesson!

Once upon a time all those jewelry stores that you see Downtown? They were bars.

Wow, just wow.

Of course, efforts to limit Bar Nation during the long, dark, boring, slushy winter were fated to fail. If there is one time when Ketchikan needs more bars in more places it is in the “Between Cs” season.

And then there was that year in the early 1980s when we got all hot and bothered by the fact that our friends and neighbors up north decided we needed squish Alaska’s five time zones into two because it would bring us together.

Kind of like the way 12 people in an elevator feel closer together.

Anyway, a few locals were so peeved to be wrenched an hour away from our connections in Seattle, they insisted on staying on Pacific Time anyway. Eventually, they got used to it and decided it was possible to survive being an hour farther away from Washington D.C.

This year things are again pretty quiet, heck we didn’t even have winter (that’s the next column). The weather just went straight from Fall Rain to Spring Rain.

But fortunately for the pot (hee, hee, hee) stirrers at heart, our friends in the State Loserslature seem obsessed with time. AGAIN!

They don’t much like this new-fangled Daylight Savings Time.

What, you say, it’s not “new-fangled?” It’s been going on now for something like 200 years?

Actually, it’s been around about 100 years as Germany first went to DST during World War I.

Fat lot of good that did them.

They still lost!!

To the French.

How embarrassing.

But as usual, I digress.

Anway, our local knickers are back in a twist because our friends in the State Lugnutslature want to get rid of Daylight Savings Time because “their constituents” are calling for them to do that.

Just a word to the wise, any time a politician says “constituents” are in favor of something, what he or she really means is that his or her spouse and, maybe, a top campaign contributor or two are in favor of it.

Generally, actual “constituents” are only really in favor of 100 percent services and 0 percent taxes.

That and more sun in the summer and less rain in the spring and fall.

And lots of snow in winter.

But only if ”gubberment” uses someone else’s tax dollars to haul it all away.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, I’m not a big fan of Daylight Savings Time.

I agree with the apocryphal Native American, Chief Awesome Meme, who has been showing up a lot on Facebook lately proclaiming “only the government would tell you that cutting a foot off the bottom of a blanket and sewing it onto the top of the blanket will make a longer blanket.”

Plus, I really, really, really resent Springing Ahead and losing an hour of sleep each spring. I think we should just keep falling back (gaining an hour!!!!) each October. I can use 10 hours more of sleep in the next 10 years.

But as usual, what I resent even more, is our fellow Alaskans in the Rail Belt telling us that being another hour from Seattle is good for us, because their constituents are asking for it.

I will agree their constituents are indeed “asking for it.” After all, those constituents elected those imbeciles in the first place. The only true statement in politics is “you get what you vote for.”

Still, not all is apparently lost. They have thrown us a time zone bone.

They will go ahead and shift the state further west (eventually we will be on Siberian time) but we in Southern Southeast can petition to the Federal Government to let us carve off a section of the state and put it on Pacific Time.

Ah, back with Seattle where we belong!

Except, if we are five hours away from Washington D.C., perhaps we need to send our “petition” to Moscow, instead?

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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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