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The Nov. 9 Empire included a nice long story, "Bullish about tourism," that told us what the tourism industry was doing to reassure tourists that it was safe to go vacationing in Alaska. Mr. Dennis Brandon was quoted as saying: "(In Juneau) the general public will not be allowed within 100 feet of the cruise ships and local armed police officers will offer escorts into and out of the docking area." He said this at a meeting of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, which had been held the week before in Juneau.
In light of that comment, I'm a bit confused about some of the things that Mr. Kirby Day, a representative of Princess Cruises, wrote in his My Turn column on Monday. He told us, in brief, that there is no process underway to close Juneau's docks to pedestrian traffic. Rather, the Coast Guard has requested that CBJ submit revised Terminal Security Plans to them, which they will review and approve. One assumes that these revised security plans may contain new security measures, such as closing our docks to pedestrian traffic when cruise ships are in town. One also assumes that representatives of the cruise ships industry have had and will continue to have input into the development of those plans. However, Mr. Day implied that the cruise ships industry would do what it could to ensure that we would continue to have access to our docks.
Perhaps Mr. Joe Graham, or some of the other folks over at the Harbor Department, could let us know exactly what is happening with these Terminal Security Plans and how those of us that use the docks for something other than making money can have a say in their development.
In the meantime, may I suggest that we put the plans to widen the Old Ferry Dock on hold? The bottom line is that city money, which could be used for any number of projects that will benefit the people of Juneau, shouldn't be used to widen a dock that will be closed to most of us.