As business owners and community members, we wish to commend the Empire for publishing the article, "The Art of Tricking Tourists," by Riley Woodford.
We have battled the problem of misrepresentation for the entire 10 years that we have been in business. We have seen it get worse every year.
Customers tell us what is said to them in other stores. Hundreds of times every summer we witness instances of visitors purchasing imported items which they believe were made in Alaska by Alaska Natives. They believe what they were told, or led to believe.
Many people ask us, "why do you care?" As Michael Hunter stated in the article, misrepresentation by any shop in the community makes all of us look bad. If people are lied to or misled in one shop, they become leery of all shops. In addition to creating a climate of suspicion, misrepresentation is simply wrong.
The Empire did not invent this problem; you merely reported it. That is your job. The operation of a free press in a free society is a beautiful thing to see. Congratulations, Riley, for a job well done. And thank you, Juneau Empire, for having the courage to print the truth.
John and Kathy Ellis
The Raven's Journey