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April 18, 2014
Friday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - So I was having a chat with Vlad Putin the other day and he said something very interesting.

“You know this ‘give back’ is not really our idea,” he said. “We have enough trouble with our own environmentalists.”
jpg Dave Kiffer

“How so?”

“Sure, we don’t have anything like NEPA that can they whack us upside the head with every time we try to cut down a tree in Siberia,” he went on. “But the last thing we need these days is to be tarred with ‘destroying the last temperate rainforest.’ ”

He had a point. Crimea is one thing, but there are some battles you just don’t want to get involved in.

Of course, that reminded me that the “deadline” for signatures on the petition for returning Alaska to Russia is rapidly approaching.

The folks who posted the petition on the web site (Putin assures me they are not Russian, although the language of the petition points to someone for whom English is not a first, second or fifteenth language) have to raise 100,000 signatures in a few more weeks in order to ensure a “response” from the White House.

A similar attempt to get “Independence for Texas” did get the required number of signatures and elicited the following White House response.


But I digress.

Anyway, last I checked there were about 45,000 signatures on the “ditch Alaska” petition.

An interesting number.

Either that many people really, really, really dislike us (probably Texans) or there are a bunch of a people who think the Russians would be BETTER environmental stewards of The Last Frontier. Go figure.

It would be interesting to see how many people with Alaska internet addresses have signed the petition. I gotta figure that despite our general sense of revulsion at all things Washington, D.C. one would have to be truly “off the grid” mentally to think we’d have better luck with Moscow.

So, we just get to sit around and wait to see if the there is a late rush of signatures that would lead to a “response” from the White House.

“Dear Petitioners.”

“See Petition from Texas.”


So while 45,000 of our “fellow Americans” would apparently like to deport us, we did get a bit of little better news from our national news media.

Y’all know that I am sucker for those top ten lists that USA Today is always coming up with on slow news days?

A while back our roads were deemed spectacularly isolated and our airport got a shout out for particularly adventurous landings.

So, natch, I cringed when I saw the latest list: 10 Most Disappointing Destinations in the World.

Hey, we get nearly a million folks a year “destinating” on these shores. And sometimes the press isn’t all that good.

Remember last summer when some marooned cruise passengers made it sound like three days in Ketchikan was one of t Dante's inner circles of hell?

Heckfire, we don’t always get good press instate.

A few years ago there was a book called “Alaska For Dummies” produced in Anchorage that basically said. “Skip Ketchikan. Sitka has everything Ketchikan has, only better.”


So natch, it was with more than a little trepidation I started to read the story.

Skip Gibralter. Okay, that’s fine, other than a big rock and bunch of angry monkees, why bother?

Skip Temple Bar in Dublin. Roger that. Been there, done that. Not even the hangover was particularly worthwhile.

Skip Hollywood. CA not FLA. Yeah, the “American dream factory” is pretty nightmarish these days.

Skip Nassau, Bahamas. They say that any place with a million cruise passengers a year who are “constantly harassed for money” should be avoided like Legionnaire’s Disease. Hmm, that was a little close for comfort..

Skip Liberty Island. Yes, too many lines. Too much standing around. What do you expect? Lady Liberty has been standing around for nearly 130 years. She does not look happy.

Skip Frankfurt, Germany. Well, duh. Who ever says, yeah Frankfurt, that’s on my bucket list?

Skip Walt Disney World. My 13-year-old son would like to register a dissenting opinion on this one. I suggested a petition at

Skip Casablanca. Apparently, there is NOT enough real gambling in Casablanca to make it interesting. Shocking, simply shocking.

Skip Las Vegas. Well, plenty of gambling there. But it’s all just a big shell game intended to separate you from your cash. Shocking, simply shocking.

Skip Niagara Falls. Why? What could be a better metaphor for modern marriage than a million gallons of water careening over a cliff?

Whew, we made it to 10 and Ketchikan was not on the list. And not a moment too soon, the visitors are on their way.

And , as of now, they still don’t need Russian visas.


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