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

Rocking the Boat


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

Resurrection Bay KAYAKING... Seward is headed for another big start of the 1987 tourist season. After an extremely successful first annual Alaska Sea Kayaking Symposium held here last year, they’ll be back. And all indications are there will be more of them eager to enjoy the rigors of kayaking in Resurrection Bay.

Last June, twice as many people registered than were expected. Over 450 participants journeyed to Seward from all over Alaska, plus even a few from Outside. There was also an undetermined number of others who just came to watch the happenings. The visitors enjoyed a wide variety of activities from square dancing to attending a trade show, slide shows, and heard lectures on many topics from bears to the Kenai Fjords and Caines Head areas.

The kayakers will also dine in local restaurants, shop in local stores, and sleep in local motels and hotels. Their impact on the community is definitely positive.

The kayakers are coming back because they like Seward. They are among a growing number of satisfied visitors who have discovered the recreation wonders of Resurrection Bay partly bordered by two parks, one state and the other federal, and surrounded by the sharp beauty of towering mountains abruptly rising from deep blue waters teeming with fish and sea mammals like seals, otter, sea lions and even whales.

The organizers have said good things about Seward and its residents. Doug Van Etten has praised the spirit and cooperation the visitors received from the city and AVTEC administrators. The business people were warm, cordial and helpful.

We would like to see the kayakers come back year after year. Perhaps the surest way of anchoring the kayakers in Resurrection Bay is to continue to be ourselves. Friendly, helpful and cooperative.

IT AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER... In our case, it ain’t over till it constructed and occupied.

We were disappointed in the governor’s proposed budget which contained only a month’s operating funds in FY 88 for the Spring Creek prison. Disappointed, yes, but not a bit less determined to overcome yet another obstacle in the continuing Spring Creek saga.

All of us can quickly recall the numerous hurdles we had to get over before the first yard of concrete was poured across the bay. From competing with other communities to getting it financed, was all part of the big battle.

Now we’re faced with yet another delay in what is considered to be an economic boon to the area. Opening the prison will mean an $8 million payroll impacting the private sector and more people moving into the community.

We fail to see the rationale behind the proposed budget. We have heard countless politicians talk about creating local jobs for local people. The governor himself championed the cause.

Delaying opening the prison simply means spending Alaskan dollars in Minnesota. It means helping to keep their economy going while ours gets more and more sluggish.

To jump this hurdle, we’re just going to have to let the numbers speak for themselves. As Sen. Kerttula pointed out, every “fresh” dollar circulates three and a half times in the Alaska economy. Let the process begin!


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