Curtail the sacred cow: the cruise industry

  • Friday, June 22, 2018 11:05am
  • Opinion

The dairies of Juneau are long departed, yet there remains one cow in town — a sacred cow that grows fatter every year. Our cow-to-be-worshipped is the cruise ship industry. No elected official, no government representative, no news reporter, no business leader is willing to speak to this beast in any but the most reverential tones.

We, the citizens, hear only of the tremendous economic benefits this bovine bestows upon us: “Each passenger spends $160 in town!” But how much of that actually finds its way into city coffers to offset all the impacts?

For many Juneau residents, the one million, and counting, cruise-ship passengers have exceeded the number that our city can comfortably handle. Downtown shopping and trips to the glacier are curtailed by many locals. Those of us with friends in Thane cringe at having to run the gauntlet of South Franklin simply to visit our neighbors. A multitude of tour buses clog our roads, emitting the same toxic mix of sulfides and particulates that emanate from the ships’ smoke stacks.

I suggest it is time to put a halter on this sacred cow. Our CBJ Assembly should start a serious evaluation of carrying capacity. What is an appropriate number of passengers to ensure a balance between the jobs the industry touts (the vast majority of which are low-paying, seasonal positions) and the impacts to the citizens and our city?

Our Assembly members could pass an ordinance that simply states: “No more than three cruise ships in port each day and none on Saturdays.” I’m sure the CBJ Law Department can counsel the Assembly as to the appropriate wording, as soon as our attorneys are done defending the city in the cruise ship lawsuit.

Sue Schrader,


More in Opinion

Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

A sign outside the Mendenhall Mall directs voters to an early, in-person polling location. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: The facts about our presidential choices

Americans need to vote for the honest, decent family man.

This undated photo shows Dr. Al Gross. (Courtesy Photo / Dr. Al Gross for U.S. Senate)
Opinion: Gross will lead, and Sullivan has failed

Unless he is forced to speak out, Dan Sullivan remains near silent on major environmental challenges.

This photo of a by-mail ballot sent to an Alaska voter in October shows Ballot Measure 2.  (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: Elections Should be free, fair and open

By Bruce Botelho Ballot Measure 2 is about ending the influence of… Continue reading

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, testifies during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sen. Al Gross, an independent running with Democratic support, is challenging Sullivan in Alaska, a state that has long been a GOP stronghold. Across the country, Republicans are nervous about Senate seats like Sullivan’s they once thought safe as Democrats hope to capitalize on President Donald Trump’s unpopularity to retake the chamber. (Al Drago / Pool)
Opinion: Sullivan has earned my vote

If not for Sen. Dan Sullivan and our congressional delegation, we may have been forced to close.

”I Voted” stickers wait for Alaskan voters to pick them up during early in-person voting at Mendenhall Mall on Oct. 22. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: Sullivan has shown loyalty to party trumps the voices of Alaskan

Alaskans shouldn’t be surprised that it took Dan Sullivan a decade to say he opposes the Pebble Mine.

Opinion: Why I’m choosing Gross again

Now, 25 years later, we are again choosing Al Gross, this time as our candidate for the U.S. Senate.

In this May 7, 2020 photo, Sen. Dan Sullivan wears a mask at a hearing in Washington. Sullivan's office released a statement Monday saying the senator would support a confirmation vote to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court even in an election year. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)
Opinion: Sullivan has earned my vote

Senator Sullivan has a proven record of furthering Alaskans’ need.

Les Gara
Opinion: Voting yes on Ballot Measure 1 is voting yes for Alaska

We should be partners with the oil industry, not junior partners.

Most Read