The Great Alaska Craft Beer and Homebrew Festival is a credit to its organizers and an event that boosts the town in a number of ways. To keep it that way, changes must be made to ensure that out-of-town visitors know whether they can get in to the beer tasting before they book travel and hotel reservations here. The current system of selling some tickets at the gate promotes a last-minute rush, strikes too many as a bait-and-switch, and creates ill will for the event and the town. A better alternative may be to sell tickets only online. That way, visitors from out-of-town would know before leaving for Haines whether they would get in. Increasing attendance at the event probably isn’t wise for now. If last weekend is any indication, 1,000 people drinking beer at one time seems to be about the most the community can handle.
The Downtown Revitalization Committee has dropped its request for the Haines Borough Assembly to discuss the question of permitting trailers for permanent, retail use downtown, as it was going nowhere. Haines Borough leaders are apparently afraid of even discussing this issue, as they haven’t allowed it on the agenda for the assembly or planning commission, despite the concerns of business leaders, planners and residents. For the record, no permanent, retail trailers were allowed downtown for decades. These structures now stand as monuments to cronyism, lack of vision, and a willingness to disregard the spirit of the law to enrich few at the expense of many. A loophole has been opened that will be exploited, and when it does, a debate will come that leaders won’t be able to ignore. We have only postponed the day of reckoning on this issue.
-- Tom Morphet