Juneau anti-cruise group says not enough people signed petitions, but group still has demands - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, July 25, 2021
HomePoliticsJuneau anti-cruise group says not enough people signed petitions, but group still has demands

Juneau anti-cruise group says not enough people signed petitions, but group still has demands

The anti-cruise ship petitions circulating in Juneau didn’t get enough signatures on them to submit by Wednesday’s deadline, the group said at a press conference this morning.

The group, Cruise Control, instead submitted a demand letter to the mayor and Juneau Assembly, saying those who had signed the petition want the city to limit the number of cruise ships in the city because “Juneau residents have real issues with cruise tourism impacts in our community that require a strong show of leadership from the Assembly. We have waited for decades for CBJ leaders to act. The time is now.”

The three petitions, if they had made it to the ballot this October, would have asked voters to limit cruise ships to 7 am to 7 pm, no Saturday visits, and no ships over 100,000 gross tonnage. Together they would have eliminated about 70 percent of the tourism economy of Juneau.

Three anti-cruise ship questions could be on Juneau ballot this October

McHugh Pierre, who has been at the forefront of a group opposing the ballot initiatives, said that in a recent poll his group did, 84 percent of Juneau respondents support the cruise industry, while 16 percent do not.

This year, only a couple small cruise vessels have reached Juneau, but the larger vessels will be making stops there from late July through mid-September. For August, Juneau might get one cruise ship a day, but much of the downtown, as with other port towns in Southeast, has papered-over windows of businesses that won’t return this year, if ever. In a normal year, the city could see four cruise ships a day, or even more, adding in the smaller ones.

Cruise Control wants the Assembly to adopt ordinances that restrict hours for cruise ships, and they want the Assembly to direct the Docks and Harbors Department to not allow ships on Saturdays and in evenings, the same ideas that the group could not get signatures for on their petitions.

Cruise Control also wants more port fees to be levied against the cruise companies, so that the city can more quickly pay off its revenue bonds.

The group needed just under 3,000 signatures on each of the three petitions in order to get the questions on the ballot. Cruise Control said that some people feared signing the petition because of retribution.

The Protect Juneau’s Future group that Pierre represents, issued a letter of thanks to the community:

Protect Juneau’s Future and our community of supporters share an icefield sized sigh of relief that Juneau Cruise Control has failed to collect the signatures necessary to add the anti-cruise initiatives to this fall’s ballot. In choosing to not sign, the people of Juneau have shown solidarity and support of a diverse and sustainable economy. From the start, we focused our movement on local support, education, awareness, and truth. The greatest outcome of this process has been witnessing Juneau’s undeniable dedication to a climate that fosters economic diversification – and honors the entrepreneurial spirit that has given birth to so many wonderful opportunities for Juneau’s citizens to thrive. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the community for the trust and support in our commitment to protect Juneau’s future for generations to come. We look forward to working in partnership with our municipal leadership, the tourism industry, our community including those who supported the initiatives, to best plan for a balanced future.”

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Greenies!

  • So Cruise Control are a bunch of spoiled brats who never worker an honest day for an honest dollar in their lives and have no clue that most people earn their way by any hard working job. There are two types of creatures on this Earth: producers and parasites. We can guess which signed the petition.

  • They couldn’t obtain the required signatures. The voting public apparently is not in support. Yet these people want control. Stuff and nonsense. This is not NAZI Deutchland, Fascist Italy, nor Communist China or Russia. This is the land of the Free. So speaks a legal resident Alien. I love our freedom here.

  • “…afraid of retribution.”
    Yup, its those darn greedy folks with jobs who want the tourists to return, you know the same ones that burn cities and seek retribution when things don’t turn out their way.
    “Projection” is the watchword of the decade.
    What the left does, it blames the right for doing… even when the right didn’t do it…yet! Im sure the torches will come.
    So keep projecting your behavior on those who frankly don’t have time to whip out spray paint cans hurt people.

  • The good people of Juneau have spoken. I hope this sends a message to all you folks up north that think Juneau is just a bunch of NIMBYS. Believe it or not we do have some level headed folks down here. Yes we could do better managing some of the tourism issues but this was not the way to do it and folks realized it. Now we can hopefully have some civil and rational discussion on the issues like we were in process of before this cropped up and tried to divide the community. Good neighbors work together, not against each other.

  • Good for Juneau! Now… perhaps you could do something about that stench in Lemon Creek?
    One option to stop tourism almost completely would be to stop dumping at the Land Fill in Lemon Creek, remediate said Land Fill completely so it stops belching stench and begin dumping trash in Evergreen Bowl! Why the folks “Downtown” would soon find nary a tourist, nobody wants to stop off at Calcutta North!.

  • Great.. all the seasonal employees can come up and go to work again. Then when the summer is over they can board up their shops, take their money, and run.

  • Robert Schenker, do you have an alternate plan for dealing with the trash? I’ve read a couple comments from you that reference the landfill problem but haven’t seen any alternatives. I don’t remember your campaign featuring this issue either and I don’t think you mentioned it at the debates either. It seems we can agree there is at least one problem with the landfill. Do you have proposed solutions?

  • What does Seattle want? They have run the show in Juneau for the last 150 years. They should be concerned about their transplants that are mucking up their money tree. Maybe they should send more money to candidates that are left but take better care of their interests.

  • Get the capital out of Juneau and see what they say then.

  • Congratulations Juneau! Well done! Fast and efficient reporting MRAK. This was a tiny minority that had its day in the sun (or rain!). Now let’s move ahead.

  • They didn’t sign are petition. So go to your room, if your going to standover there and cry.
    So you, the Assembly, you Have to do what we say, (WHY) Your not in control, like you thing you are.
    You lost, get over it.

  • Bill Foyle,
    Yes I have one solution. It turns out that landfills in wet soggy climates are methane generators. Hence the stench. For years an incinerator was successfully operated in Juneau, guess what? Vermin and stench were all but forgotten. Perhaps ” back to the future”?

  • Sounds like the system worked and a majority of residents appreciate the tourists, despite some of the drawbacks. I don’t know what cruise tourist season looks like there. I’ve only ever been through the airport, where the TSA agents outnumber passegers by about 2 to 1.

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