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CBJ to settle destiny of fisherman's memorial

Posted: July 4, 2012 - 11:07pm

Along with its decision on a new Panamax cruise ship dock, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly could soon hear arguments to mitigate the affects of a proposed cruise ship dock on the annual blessing of the fleet and Alaska Commercial Fisherman’s Memorial.

CBJ Assembly Members voted to leave the memorial at its current downtown location in August 2011 (goo.gl/Es2zQ).

Planning Commission’s June 26 decision to pass the dock’s Conditional Use Permit and State Project Use Review to the Assembly came with a recommendation to consider the Fishermen’s Memorial a second time. The new dock, some commissioners said, could hinder the blessing of the fleet.

The new dock was shifted to accommodate offloading fish to the Taku Dock. At passing, commissioners recommended the Assembly take a second look at the Fisherman’s Memorial located in the shadow of the Panamax cruise dock (goo.gl/Blbiu). Commissioners were concerned that the new dock would block access to the memorial during the annual blessing of the fleet ceremony.

Other Juneau groups have also expressed concern (goo.gl/lma4y).

Speaking as the co-owner of the Fishing Vessel Mongoose, Linnea Osborne said she is in favor of the Planning Commission’s decision to recommend a second look at the memorial. Osborne is on the Commercial Fisherman’s Memorial Committee. She testified to the planning commission about the cruise dock’s potential effect on offloading fish to the Taku Dock. During a subsequent telephone interview she talked about the memorial.

She said the Commercial Fisherman’s Memorial is damaged and is sinking. The proposed cruise dock will hinder the blessing of the fleet.

“Where we come together on water and land,” Osborne said.

Plans for the new dock do not take fishing families into account, Osborne said. Attempts to move the memorial go back a long way she said.

Osborne said she has concerns about delivering fish at Taku Dock.

“It is going to be scary,” Osborne said. “Mother nature at her best can really blast us down there.”

Osborne said she was concerned that the Planning Commission heard public comments during salmon season, when many fishing families are busy.

“We are one of those families whose property tax I paid for by fishing,” Osborne said.

Hundreds of Southeast families are affected by commercial fishing, Osborne said. They’ve shown their support by making sure the Fishermen’s Memorial came to fruition, she said.

The next scheduled CBJ Assembly meeting is scheduled for July 16.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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