(Juneau Empire file photo)

(Juneau Empire file photo)

Letter: People seeking Saturday cruise ship ban sending unfriendly message to visitors

I flew in on the midday flight this Saturday to do some work with the Legislature. Beautiful view of the Mendenhall Glacier coming in.

The friendly cab driver on the way downtown told me “You are in luck, today is the Maritime Fair and there will be lots of activities on the docks today.

After checking in to my hotel I went to the fair. Upon arrival I witnessed a really nice scene. Lots of people, locals, tourists, folks from the Coast Guard and even the sailors from a U.S. Navy ship. Everyone having a good time, buying local crafts and food, and listening to live music.

I only saw one unfortunate incident. As I walked by the booth soliciting signatures for an initiative against the cruise industry and bearing signs “No Tourists on Saturday,” I overheard a small group of tourists asking: “Does that mean you don’t want us here?”

“No, we didn’t mean that,” was the answer.

“Well, it is Saturday and we are here, does that mean we are not welcome here?”

“It really isn’t about the tourists,” was the answer.

“What do you mean? We are tourists and we are here.” “We can only say that we are from Georgia and if you came there you would be welcome.”

I appreciated their attempt to leave things on a positive note. At the same time it made me sad to think that this is not the Alaska I know and grew up with.

Paul Fuhs