Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Attempt to Like the Kachemak Bay Tour Boat Project

I have been thinking about that Seldovia Native Association/Seldovia Village Tribe (SNA/SVT) ferry project again. I haven't kept up and I may not have all the facts exactly correct, but should that stop me from having an opinion! I think not. Anyhow, I am trying to like the newest incarnation of the project.

It is no longer the “fast-ferry" that provides transpostation infrastructure for the entire south side of Kachemak Bay. Now it is the one that only goes back and forth from SNA lands to Homer, only during the summer months, and is primarily transportation for tourists. It is a shift from the initial proposal, but as in life, to evolve and progress, we all need to be flexible. So I have to get over the issue that the project has changed; that is life.

So we are left with the prospect of people stopping by, wandering around town and spending their disposable income. No longer is daily transportation being offered for citizens on this side of the Bay to access medical care, merchandise and opportunty. But still, it sounds OK (remain flexible, evolve.)

Tourism is one industry we can grow here, it is a natural. Especially if we don’t have transportation infrastructure. This SNA tour boat development could stir some people to get all entrepreneurial, move to town, create a bit of a business. Primarily, I think the Tribe and Native Association will have to develop more businesses to entertain these tourists and we as the local color, might be able to get service sector jobs. (We will all be issued a nice green aprons and vests. Do we have to wash them?) Also, it has been promised that the boat, once in place, will be stationed here, with the crew and their families (it is a hoped.) We will get some infrastructure, with a new dock in town (sure the dock is being developed on SNA sovereign land so they don’t have to pay the city fees, get over it, it is business. They won that one. Note: this is why sovereignty has come up in other issues around town, it is important.) So it appears as a WIN-win situation.

Another item I have to remain flexible about is the idea that this will benefit everyone equally, or even benefit everyone. That isn’t the way things happen in this world. And the fact that it is federal money used for corporate profits, oh the horror!!! (If these things bother you and you have voted for the current AK congressional delegation and the Administration in the White House, you are a tool.) If some benefit more than others, such is life and SNA is doing the work. (See past post here.) And everyone is still benefiting. (It may be said that having a bunch of people gawking at us, walking in the middle of the street as you are trying to get to the airport and all those other unattractive tourist behaviors isn't a benefit. I say you have find ways of entertaining yourself with the tourists. I always try and get in their photos and when I take photos for the people who want to have everyone in the picture, I focus on their crotches. Too funny! I am just glad that they are all digital photos now and not wasting much mercury or whatever. Also who hasn't had a good time watching the wild turkeys of Seldovia chase some poor unsuspecting ass who was gobbling at them. CAUTION: them turkeys will fuck you up!)

The thing that has me worried about the tour boat project is not the income disparity part (This project isn't where the SNA will get rich; this one is) it is that I won’t have a say in the situation. I can’t vote on members of the Tribal Council or the Association’s Board of Directors. I am cast in a powerless situation. Power will be further concentrated in the hands of a few and away from me. Intergenerational payback is a bitch. Get over it.

Does it even matter if I support the project? No. They don't even have to show up to city council meetings. SNA has a load of cash and they have to spend it. Lets hope that they spend it someway that benefits Seldovia, but with all the pissing, moaning and egos involved it may go the way other economic development projects for Seldovia have gone, which is to Anchorage. We will continue along with a Main Street that has more and more crap parked in the front yards looking more and more like Nikiski (also known as the Oklahoma of Alaska. Personally, I am down to 2 dead cars in the yard!!!But I live out the road.) The project will change again I am sure. I just hope they get better looking aprons, in xtra-large, please. Thank you, I love you, can I stay, please? Amen.

Tracy's blog update.
Yesterday she just linked a video that everyone on earth has downloaded and viewed. It is funny, but not worth the effort.

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