The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Rocking the Boat


The following is from the editorial page of the Sept. 28, 1989 Seward Phoenix LOG.

LET’S ALL VOTE... Even if you’re not sure you’re registered to vote, go to the polls and find out. If you’re not to entitled to exercise your franchise, register to vote and be ready for the next election, which by the way, is just around the corner. In November there’s a special election to decide the question of bar hours. Then 10 months from now we’ll all get a chance to nominate candidates for governor, the U.S. House, and two each for state senate and house.

As always, the ultimate say rests with those interested enough to take a few minutes out of their day to fulfill their responsibility of good citizenship that so many around the world lack and are fighting so hard for what we so easily take for granted – the simple right to vote.

If you don’t take the time to vote, maybe you shouldn’t take the time to complain. Anyway, the decision to vote rests only with you. If you do so, we applaud you – regardless of who or what you vote for. And if you don’t, well, maybe we won’t take the time to listen the next time you complain about the way they do things down there at city hall.

TIME TO START PLANNING FOR THE BIG TWO-O... Yes, folks, the Skill Center has been around that long. In February, AVTEC, as it is now called, will be 20 years old. For most Alaskan, 20 years is a heck of a long time to be around. Fact is, in 1969, when the decision was made to build a vocational training center somewhere in Alaska, our current governor was still a resident of Washington state.

Two decades ago diehard optimists were saying Seward had a bright future. There were a couple of industries on the horizon – fishing (The New Bedford scallop fleet had moved here) and Louisiana Pacific’s mill operations. The sleeper of the year was the Skill Center, as old timers still call the institution. After the scallop beds dried up and the scallopers moved away and after the timber became unattainable and LP shut its mill down, only AVTEC remained – big, strong and embedded in concrete.

Let’s all pitch in and give AVTEC a BIG TWO-O b-day party!

From Oct. 5, 1989...

TIME TO REFOCUS... The economic impact of the Exxon Valdez will linger on through early winter, but once spring arrives we’ll be back to normal. There’s no doubt that the financial affects of the spill were positive for the short term. What happens in the long term is now up to nature.

This is the time to refocus and redirect our energies to the diversification of our local economy. Since the Good Friday grounding, there’s been scant attention paid to our potential. It’s no fault of our local leadership; they’ve been too busy reacting to the massive social and services impacts of the oil spill.

Last March we were gearing up for what we hoped would be a very good tourist season. It was. But a lot of that probably can be attributed to the spill. If there’s anything positive that came out of the spill, it’s that Kenai Fjords National Park is better known. We suspect more and more people will venture down the Seward Highway to look for oiled beaches and sea otters in the years to come.

There’s also been little said about our other industries, the sawmill and ship repair. Little said doesn’t mean nothing was being done. The city administration has quietly been promoting the SMIC facilities and encouraging the companies that would complement Chugach Alaska’s facility.

As we reconcentrate our energies, let’s keep in mind that our greatest potential comes from the private sector. We ought to be leery of depending on state government spending. The sooner we realize that there aren’t going to be revenues to fund a continually growing state government, the better off we’re going to be.


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