Win Gruening’s “facts” in his Friday column are nonsense.
To avoid the divisive nature of the over-tourism issue it would help if Gruening would stop claiming we need more “facts.” This condescending clap trap is an attempt to dismiss the concerns of some very thoughtful people by shifting the discussion from valid observations to his “facts.”
Gruening is correct about the need to promote discussion and solutions, but then goes on to criticize that very discussion and proclaim “facts” instead. Whatever he is trying to claim about Hoonah is not relevant to Juneau. He incorrectly interprets the “fact” that there are fewer complaints on the tourism hotline as meaning things are well when a more valid interpretation of this is that many saw no value in making the complaint and quit calling the hotline because it achieves nothing. Am I to call every day? One of the most significant “facts” about over-tourism is that we, the Juneau community, have always been reactive, behind the game, as the cruise lines determine the future of our community without us.
We need many voices in working toward Juneau’s future concerning over tourism and thankfully there are many good letters on the Visitor Industry Task Force website. Unfortunately, Guening’s tired tourism cheerleading is not a voice that contributes. We are after all, dealing with a guy who thought “no harm done” in his assessment of the CLIAA lawsuit that cost Juneau $2 million in attorney’s fees.