It’s no surprise that AIDEA and the Canadian miners want to “just hand Skagway the keys” and walk away from their aging ore facility. Industry has been doing that for well over one hundred years now. They’ll just walk away from their local employees, their overdue repairs, defunct equipment, decaying structures, and the millions of dollars of harbor dredging to clean up their poisoned mess. Naturally they’d rather come to Haines and get a fine new facility paid for by the State of Alaska. We have already paid to clean up the yards of people in Skagway who have had 50 years of toxic lead, zinc and copper dust blowing around. Count me among the many Haines residents who have no interest in having to clean up after them here.

Haines already has a major investment in fisheries which require absolutely clean water. It’s a big chunk of our tax base. We have also put a lot of public money into supporting local tourism which requires that we stay a charming small town without endless ore trucks hurtling past. Why would we consider putting fishing, tourism and our health on the line in order to support a bunch of foreign-owned corporations? You can’t have everything, and what we have already is priceless.

Sally McGuire