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

Rocking the Boat


The following is from the editorial page of the Oct. 29, 1987 Seward Phoenix LOG.

DROPPING ANCHOR... The Navy was in town last weekend, courtesy of Ted Stevens, Alaska’s senior United States Senator. Though the senator was forced to cancel out a the last minute and rush back to Washington D.C. we were pleased he had planned personally show the Navy the potential of Resurrection Bay.

Seward is just one of many ports in the state under consideration for porting ships from the 600-vessel fleet. It’s all part of an increased military presence in the North Pacific.

We’re not surprised about what the Navy liked about Resurrection Bay. It’s deep, huge and ice free 365 days a year. On top of that we’re one of the easiest places to get to in Alaska. We’re only 122 miles from Alaska’s largest city. And from there the world. It’s a short drive to Anchorage and even shorter hop by plane. And in the summer there’s regular train service. How many towns in Alaska can boast of similar transportation links which make access so easy? Water, rail, air and highway – we got it!

We have already shown we can accommodate, on at least a temporary basis, all the Navy has to offer. We’ve done that over the past two summers. From battleships to subs and tugs. Handling the Navy is no problem, none at all.

As the military builds up its presence in Alaska we will experience more economic benefits. But if we really want the Navy to homeport in the bay, we have to do our homework and show the officials we can and will work with them to get what they need to make Resurrection Bay a permanent station.

There’s a lot more to being a port than having a nice body of water. We have to have the facilities and accommodations. There’s electrical power, sewer, fresh water system and staging and cargo areas. We don’t know all that’s needed, but we suspect there’s more.

With the voters’ approval of Proposition 2, we’ve already taken the steps to expand our port facilities. The new dock to be constructed across the bay will be used primarily by the bottom fishery but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used to accommodate some of the Navy’s needs. It’s a beginning.

Then there’s the icing on top of the enticement cake. The private sector has to be ready to provide the services. Restaurants, cab companies, travel agencies, grocery stores, hotels, motels, gift shops and all the others will benefit.

What’s in it for the residents? A broader tax base and more job opportunities.

SPEAKING OF ICE... Who would have ever thought someone would pay $6 for one pound of ice? Seems an outrageous price to pay when you’re sitting in Seward in the middle of winter and the wind is driving the temperature to 20 below.

It’s not outrageous, it’s being done. Earlier this month a Japanese company sent 20 tons of glacier ice to Kushiro Hokkaido, our sister city. The company hopes to ship up to 300 tons of ice which could be as old as 10,000 years.

The chunks of Aialik Glacier will be made into ice cubes and sold to Japanese consumers during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The attraction, we’re told, is that is snaps and crackles as it melts.

We hope the venture is successful. We ‘re told its total impact on the balance of trade deficit is minuscule but after what happened on Wall Street the last few days, every little cube helps. It’s not only symbolic, it’s a start, though a cold one at that.

Here’s to ice!


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