The truth about Alaska's swift boats

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2006

How amazing is it to hear somebody blame the Murkowski administration for spending $66 million for fast ferries, despite known failure of those kinds of boats in British Columbia?

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Ketchikan writer Rob Glenn states that informed marine workers had said these ferries could not work in Alaska, but nobody listened. Instead, people with "no maritime knowledge" were in the "head positions," and now the state is stuck with these swift boats, according to Glenn. (Juneau Empire, "Ferry system was set up to fail," March 3, 2005).

Former Navy destroyer squadron commander, now Juneau Assemblyman Bob Doll, should take great offense at that characterization of his maritime background. Doll served as general manager of the Alaska Marine Highway and later as Southeast regional director for the Department of Transportation, when the first plate was cut for the first Alaska Marine Highway System high-speed ferry in July of 2002. Capt. Doll helped make the fast ferry boondoggles part of the legacy of former Governor Tony Knowles.

Appropriately, the Murkowski administration has refocused state transportation resource allocation toward highway construction while having to figure out what to do with the Democrats' expensive swift boats.

Donn Liston


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