Petersburg Pilot -


Letters to the Editor


Thank you

during our time of loss    

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the town of Kake for their unbelievable support during our time of loss and to everyone from Kake that showed up at the ferry terminal in Kake with my auntie Kathy Friday. My mom Charlene Jackson didn’t know her mom had passed away shortly after she had left Petersburg to get her older sister Kathy to go be with their mom Martha Jackson.

Thank you Kake for being there for my mom and my auntie, and thank you to all that attended the services in Juneau and Kake and traveled to get to the services and for all the prayers and support. Thank you to all the churches in Petersburg and Kake and Saint Vincent DePaul for helping get family to the services and home and for the prayers and support as well. You will be in our hearts and our prayers forever.

I remember when I was little I used to hate eating pancakes. My grandma would make this unbelievable blueberry sauce and jar it and give it to all the family members. I would pour it on my pancakes. Thank you grandma for making it easier for me to eat pancakes when I was a little girl, there are so many things I can thank you for, grandma I love you.

Tonia Grant

and the Jackson Family

 Outlier vs. Tourist    

To the Editor:

What would you say if a tourist family got off the ferry and spent 3 days in Petersburg and during their stay they ate a couple of meals at local restaurants, filled their gas tank a couple of times and spent $20,000 at local businesses?  Would you think they are freeloaders and want to tax them for stopping and utilizing city businesses and services?  Or, would you be pleased that they came?

Here is a breakdown of our (outlier) family’s last 5-year relationship with Petersburg.  We are generally in town long enough to check our mail, buy groceries, do some banking or grab a bite to eat.  Sometimes we are in town for several hours but usually we only stay long enough to complete our errands.  A normal stay is between 1 and 2 hours.

Following is information from our daily logs.  In 2007, we made 36 trips to town averaging 2 hours per trip for a total of 72 hours or 3 days.  We spent $15,678 at local businesses.  In 2008, we made 24 trips at 2 hours per trip for 2 days and spent $17,685.  In 2009, 48 trips for 4 days and spent $28,466.  2010 saw us make 33 trips to town for the equivalent of 2.75 days and spent $13,655.  In 2011, (the last full year of our records) we made 42 trips to town for 3.5 days and spent $27,158 in local businesses.

As you can see, each year we spend the equivalent of about 3 days in Petersburg and spend just a bit more than $20,500 annually supporting local businesses.  We have no more impact on Petersburg and its infrastructure than a 3-day visit by a tourist family.  We are no more freeloaders than the prospective tourist family and you should be just as happy to see us as you would be to see them.  Maybe happier because we keep coming back.

George Cole

Keene Channel

A statewide borough


To the Editor:

Changing from a city to a borough form of government has been an issue in Petersburg for some time, as you well know.

I became curious as to the status of boroughs in our state since we joined the Union as a state in 1959. I googled “Alaska boroughs” and came up with lots of information.

I learned that presently there are 18 boroughs and one unorganized borough, to which Petersburg belongs. In the first decade after statehood six areas became boroughs. In the 70’s, four more joined as boroughs and in the 80’s three adopted borough status. In the 90’s two more adopted borough status. In the 2000’s two became boroughs.

It is interesting to learn that Ketchikan, Fairbanks and Kodiak were in the first group. Juneau, Sitka and Anchorage were in the second group in the 70’s. Then in the 80’s three areas called Lake and Peninsula, Northwest Arctic, and Aleutians east adopted borough status. The 90’s saw Yakutat and Denali became boroughs. In the 2000’s Wrangell and Skagway took the big step.

Over the course of these 50 some years it is interesting that not one borough has attempted to change back to unorganized borough status, as allowed by the state Constitution. In these fifty some years all eighteen boroughs seem to have found that their problems and difficulties can be resolved within the legal framework of borough government.

From this perspective I believe that concerns about taxes and fair representation and future development can be resolved by the people of the future Petersburg Borough.

Polly Lee


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