In the News

Alaskans seem to like their newspapers. Dailies from Juneau and Anchorage are found all over, even where they arrive days late.  The resilient Skagway News only appears twice a week but it’s been around for more than a century and is a treasure trove of information on a tiny but civically engaged community.
Meetings are news.  Every gathering in Alaska is somewhere in print and often a news story with pictures follows the event.
The police blotters are comprehensive. While not always compelling reading, the police blotter says something about small caring communities.    The Juneau Empire of May 21, for example, reports that “At 8:07 am Thursday, a 75-year-old woman reported her binoculars missing in the Juneau Area [and] at 8:06 pm on Wednesday, a 48-year-old woman reported and unlocked Ford Explorer was rifled through in the 8100 block at Threadneedle Street but nothing was taken.”
Could it be that online news just hasn’t been able to give the  papers a run for their money?  There’s free wifi in all Alaskan libraries and a few other places but it’s slow and those who have it pay by the byte and it gets expensive.   iPhones and handhelds are everywhere in Alaska but they just can’t cover what print does.
Walter Hinkles has died. He served Alaska as Governor first in 197- and then in 199- .  As Nixon’s Secretary of the Interior in the interim he promoted drilling and extraction everywhere.  The he resigned in disgust over the Vietnam War and became the darling of the peaceniks.
in Sarah Palin’s New Low in the Huffington Post, Alaskan journalist Shannyn Moore compares the two former governors in the wake of Palin’s enthusiastic embrace of Arizona’s new immigration law.  “Palin became the spokesperson for the divisive voices in American politics. She dismissed the greatness of our immigrant heritage, indeed of today’s Alaska, where in Anchorage alone nearly 100 languages are spoken in the homes of the children in our public schools.”

There’s no place like Skagway

In 1897 Skagway was a town of several hundred that in the space of a year saw 10,000 people arrive. Then they left.  Today it’s a town of 800 people which in the space of one summer day sees 10,000 people arrive. Then they leave.
There’s no shortage of information about Skagway because the Gold Rush stampeders took photographs or kept journals or, like Jack London, wrote stories about it. And people still do.
Before throwing anything onto that messy pile documenting expectations, disappointments and travel for the sake of travel, let me digest the takeaways from our two day visit to this northernmost point on the Inside Passages. Here are some snapshots.  Consider this a placeholder post.  I’ll be back.