Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Xtratufs not so tough?


How are your rubber boots holding up?

Complaints about poorly made Xtratuf boots, published in coastal Alaska newspapers in recent months, also extend to Haines. The familiar brown and yellow knee boots with a grippy sole are favored by commercial fishermen, river guides and woods dwellers.

“I quit wearing them,” said John Winge, a Haines commercial fisherman who bought a new pair in April, only to have them start leaking a few weeks later along a raised, rubber strip that encircles the boot’s bottom.

He’s back to wearing a pair he bought six years ago that, he says, are holding up just fine.

A representative for Honeywell, the company that manufactures Xtratufs, told the Cordova Times last month that quality suffered after the firm moved production from Haines Borough Assembly is set to introduce the municipality’s revised comprehensive plan at its regular meeting starting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The 300-page plan is a summary of local economic and demographic information that taps sources including a scientific opinion survey of residents conducted a year ago. It also lays out community goals. It was written by Sheinberg Associates of Juneau and cost $100,000.

The borough website describes the plan as a “community blueprint” that will “lay out Haines’ desired future, goals to achieve this future, and describe specific ways the community can use and manage resources, land and investments to achieve this desired future.”

“The new plan will be action-oriented; the goal is to use it,” according to the website.

Recent criticism of the plan includes that community goals and strategies it lists are so wide-ranging as to appear unachievable.

For example, under a goal of “achieving a strong, diversified economy” are 15 objectives including “adding value to local fisheries” and “supporting mineral development,” with myriad strategies listed for achieving each objective.

Borough manager Mark Earnest said in an interview last week that the assembly by 2013 will develop a “strategic plan” to decide what parts of the comprehensive plan to pursue.

“That will be more of a working plan for implementation. We’ll set out a course for program priorities and capital improvement projects for the next three years,” Earnest said.


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