SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Wonders Will Never Cease
By Dave Kiffer


July 21, 2007

jpg Dave Kiffer

Ketchikan, Alaska - There has been much media hoopla lately over a new internet poll determining the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Seems that National Geographic and others feel that celebrating The Colossus of Rhodes and The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is really out of date, especially since those and most of the other Seven Wonders of the Ancient World have been gone since, well since the Ancient World.

So they polled the world and - drum roll please - we now have "The New Seven Wonders of the World":

The Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil

The Great Wall of China

The Coliseum of Rome

Petra Stone City in Jordan

Machu Picchu in Peru

Chichen Itza in Mexico

The Taj Mahal in India

They replace - in addition to the hanging gardens and the colossus:

The Great Pyramids of Giza

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt

The Statue of Zeus, Olympia Greece

The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

The Temple of Artemus

I like how all the Ancient Wonders have "The" in the title. It makes them seem just that much more wonderful.

The poll was conducted world-wide via phone lines, computers and text messages, ala American Idol (itself named one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern Television World" along with "Steve Urkel" Pamela Anderson's "personal floatation devices" and Donald Trump's "hair.").

You can draw your own conclusions about the scientific veracity of text messaging, but I feel much better knowing that such important designations as the "New Seven Wonders of the World" are being made by "Claymates" and "Fanjayas."

But I digress.

Rather than wonder if the Statue of Liberty is more deserving of inclusion than the Christ the Redeemer Statue, I think it's time to ponder the "Seven Wonders of Ketchikan's World."

Nota Bene, this list is only for physical wonders not philosophical ones like "I wonder why so many Ketchikan businesses don't post their hours" or "I wonder why people persist in trying to turn left across the terminally busy (see below) Tongass Avenue."

Nota Bene II, this list will also include proposed projects, that way it won't go out of date and have to be replaced by a "New Seven Wonders of Ketchikan's World!"

The Great Wall of Ketchikan - Also known as the Third Avenue Bypass, although it doesn't actually bypass Third Avenue. Currently one of the most expensive "miles" of roadway ever constructed in the United States.
(although that could quickly change - see Bridge below). It is not true that the "wall" can be seen from space, but rumor has it you can see it from Japan.

The Leaning Tower of Main Street - Currently proposed for the old Redmen lot, the tower may or may not be around 60 to 80 feet tall, it may or may not have an observation platform, and it may or may not ever get built. If it does, it will be like every other edifice in the downtown fill zone. It will lean.

The Tunnel - Yes, you can drive over, around and through it. Wouldn't it have just been easier to buy the houses at the top of the hill and blast the whole thing away? Yes, of course, but those houses belonged to bankers, attorneys, city council members and mayors. Besides when it comes to Ketchikan transportation projects, "easy" is a four letter word.

Tongass Avenue - It used to be the busiest two lane road in America until ADOT expanded it to "three and a half" lanes in spots. It still maintains its sense of wonder though. When some one asks for directions from the Federal Building to the West End, it is wonderful to say "Take Mill Street to Front Street to Water Street to Kennedy Street to Tongass! But don't you dare leave the main road."

The Port - Once upon a time, Ketchikan had a zillion little tiny docks. Pretty soon, it's going to have a zillion great big ones. And there will still be mega ships dropping anchor in The Narrows. Eventually Holland America-Carnival-Princess-NCL-Royal Caribbean Cruise Line will build a super-mondo-incredo-Panamax Ship that will never leave the dock in Vancouver. You will be able to reach Alaska just by walking from the stern to the bow.

Bench Henge - Sprouting up along "The Port" (see above) these odd stone edifices seem to have little function (who wants to sit on a wet rock?) but they reportedly line up with the sun at noon on the busiest visitor day of each summer causing a sundial-like shadow that points the way to the only available public toilet in the Downtown area.

The Bridge - Some say it will go Nowhere. Others say it will go Somewhere. I say going Anywhere is a good thing.

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

Dave Kiffer ©2007

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