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Thread: Kenai dipnet fees

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default Kenai dipnet fees

    http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/201...ts-dipnet-fees
    So the city of Kenai has raised there fees. I have no problem with that.
    They also want to look into the feasibility of a free pass for Kenai residents. I agree with that 100%. This in my opinion is warranted for all the trouble and hassle Kenai residents have to put up with come dipnet season. For not being able to walk their dogs on the beach or take their families there like they do for free the other 340 days a year.
    For 20 days they loose the use of their local beaches to the wave of dipnetters that mob the beach and leave it a wreck.
    The State of Alaska created this fishery with out giving the city of Kenai a method or means to maintain and controll what goes on on city beaches. They do now give the City some money but it is far short of what is needed to properly manage this area and keep it from being completly destroyed.
    Yes these beaches are public property but they belong to the City of Kenai not the State of Alaska or the federal government.
    If people don't like the fees there are other beaches without fees to dipnet on. These Would include the dipnet and setnet on the Kasilof beach,The dipnet at Chitna and the Homer setnet fishery.
    Anybody could become a resident of the city of Kenai and get the free pass.
    IMHO if people don't like the fees or the residents free pass then they can go elsewhere or stay home.

    Quote Originally Posted by sh View Post
    if anybody gets a free pass, then everybody gets a free pass. its public property
    Just a guess but I doubt you live anywhere on the Peninsula? Correct? Your profile doesn't list it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/201...ts-dipnet-fees
    So the city of Kenai has raised there fees. I have no problem with that.
    They also want to look into the feasibility of a free pass for Kenai residents. I agree with that 100%. This in my opinion is warranted for all the trouble and hassle Kenai residents have to put up with come dipnet season. For not being able to walk their dogs on the beach or take their families there like they do for free the other 340 days a year.
    For 20 days they loose the use of their local beaches to the wave of dipnetters that mob the beach and leave it a wreck.
    The State of Alaska created this fishery with out giving the city of Kenai a method or means to maintain and controll what goes on on city beaches. They do now give the City some money but it is far short of what is needed to properly manage this area and keep it from being completly destroyed.
    Yes these beaches are public property but they belong to the City of Kenai not the State of Alaska or the federal government.
    If people don't like the fees there are other beaches without fees to dipnet on. These Would include the dipnet and setnet on the Kasilof beach,The dipnet at Chitna and the Homer setnet fishery.
    Anybody could become a resident of the city of Kenai and get the free pass.
    IMHO if people don't like the fees or the residents free pass then they can go elsewhere or stay home.



    Just a guess but I doubt you live anywhere on the Peninsula? Correct? Your profile doesn't list it.

    just out of curiosity, any estimates how much money is flooded into the Kenai/soldotna area economy from dipnetters each year? My family will probably spend at least $200-400 in gas, ice, food, etc. and that is before beach fees.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmg View Post
    just out of curiosity, any estimates how much money is flooded into the Kenai/soldotna area economy from dipnetters each year? My family will probably spend at least $200-400 in gas, ice, food, etc. and that is before beach fees.
    I honestly don't know. There may be a report somewhere but I imagine it would be hard to calculate because it is tourist season as well.
    A person has to realize though that many locals myself included do not make a dime on dippers or tourism and neither does any of my extended family.
    So for us it is frustrating having to wait 20 minutes just to get a seat to by a burger for lunch or getting held up in traffic for 20 minutes here and there just to run a couple of errands.It takes me 30 minutes sometimes in the store when all I need is a gallon of milk where in the winter it is 5 minutes max.
    Prices go up in the summertime as well. Especially since our borough has the grocery tax only in the summertime.
    While you may spend a few hundred bucks many people spend as little as possible.
    They camp where it is free or the cheapest and often leave a mess behind. They bring coolers full of food from Costco with nets bought there as well. They takecoolers full of fish fillets home and leave the gutpiles littering the beach.
    Our beach gets a fecal Choloiform outbreak every other year and my stepson isn't allowed on the beach for fishcamp because of it.
    Those who make money from dipnetting are happy but the rest of us well...not so much.
    I'll be blatently honest and say if dipneting went away my summer times would be much better and my pocket book wouldn't suffer at all. So I guess IMHO I could do without the circus we call dipnetting.
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    I think it would be great to have higher fees and better services. It would be great to see a big fish cleaning station, more dumpsters, more bathrooms, camping spaces, etc. This would eliminate a lot of the problems that Kenai residents have problems with.

    I think people would be happy to pay a few bucks for some decent services like this. A good fish cleaning station would reduce the bacterial problems that have been noted in recent years too.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakman View Post
    . A good fish cleaning station would reduce the bacterial problems that have been noted in recent years too.
    I am not sure on this one. If everybody used the cleaning station and the guts were properly dealt with then yes it would help.
    If the guts dumped back into the river then no it wouldn't help.
    The reason for the Fecal Choliform outbreak has been traced to an overabundance of seagulls crapping on the beach in a concentrated area.
    So all the guts or at least the majority of them would have to be removed and disposed of/used elsewhere.
    If the cleaning tables dumped the guts back into the river then the problem might not go away entirely as the seagulls would still congregate there to feed on the guts and carcasses.
    The problem the city has is the guts need to be either ground up to less than 1/2" pieces before being discharged or hauled out at least 2 miles offshore.
    Grinding poses a problem as the fish are loaded with sand which is very hard on the grinding aparatous. Hauling out to sea requires a special boat or some sort of floating trailer.
    One that would have to be purpose built or something as there isn't one currently in Kenai.
    The city attempted this before and couldn't find a willing contractor for the money they would have to offer so dropped the idea.
    There was an increase planned of $5 per person and that just wasn't enough to get a contractor to do it so the fee increase was revoked.
    This was 2 years ago or so.
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    Seward has a gut trailer that they haul off to sea to dump. Maybe look at who built that one. I am still not sure that will help with the seagulls though. They have learned over the years to be in that area for a buffet of god food.

    I think there is good points on both sides. The city does make a killing on extra revenue from the influx of people in the summer. And as you pointed out, the borough has a special tax for the summer that targets the busy season. At the same time, it makes sense to have people who use the beach for dip netting to pay a user fee to pay the costs of cleaning and enforcment. I don't agree that locals should get a free pass though. They use the area also and should have to pay there share. I understand the inconvience of summer on the penninsula. I hate the area in the summer for all the traffic, but the locals knew that when they moved there. This is nothing new to the area.
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    They already banned cleaning fish on the beach, so that shouldn't be a problem. If people are cleaning fish on the beach, they need to be getting ticketed. I understand there are multiple LEO on the beach at all times during the fishery and they are actively citing for littering as well as dipnetting-related violations.

    The kittiwakes and gulls have been using this area for nesting for eons, far pre-dating this fishery. You can't blame the existence of these birds on the dipnetters, however you can cite the dipnetters for leaving any fish waste on the beach which causes the birds to congregate in one little spot on the beach.

    What the City of Kenai needs to do is put in a beach access across from the soccer fields down the street with a stairway down to the beach and a small parking lot for beach walkers to use for regular beach access. Prohibit camping or access to the dipnet fishery from that location. Actually, since it is the state that screwed up the north beach access at the river mouth, it should be the state that puts in a new public access about a mile up the beach.

    Then, they need to prohibit camping and overnight parking at the north beach access at the river mouth. It's the tent city that is the real problem, not the people standing in the water. Get rid of camping and the place will be 100 times cleaner immediately. Let the campers use the south beach or go pay for space at other places or stay in hotels. The north beach needs to be designated day use only.

    Unless they changed the rules in the last couple years, it used to be free for anyone who is not dipnetting to access the beach at this location for an hour (IIRC) to go for a walk on the beach. So I assume that by local free access, you mean for locals to go dipnetting from there. I agree with that, but wonder where you draw the line on locals? Are you talking about Kenai city residents only? That's going to raise a lot of angst from the folks just on the other side of that line. The residents of North Kenai and Nikiski live just as close, but they are outside the city limits of Kenai. Soldotna is just down the street. And then there are all of us who live in between the cities of Kenai and Soldotna, paying city property tax to neither of them. Are we out? And then, if you let in Nikiski & Soldotna, well what about Sterling & Kasilof? How far north and south do you go?

    It might sound like a good idea, but I'm afraid it is extremely difficult to apply. For one thing, how do you prove who lives where?

    Ak bliss... most of us were here long before the dipnet fishery existed. It is a very new thing for the area. So don't tell me we knew what we were getting into before we moved. The state should have been working with local communities when they imposed this new fishery upon us. And they should be more involved right now with managing the side effects of the problem they created.
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    Yeah, I'm thinking of what you see in many small boat harbors where the guts go into a barge which is hauled out to see every so often and dumped....I know the halibut fishermen would like this one.

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    The P.O.S who leaves piles of fish guts 'hidden' in the sand, leaves a torn bag of his camp trash on the beach, literally craps all over the toilet seat in the porta-johns, and drives their wheeler around the beach at 2:30am drunk - is the same P.O.S who is NOT going to pay a 55 dollar a night camping fee. That article is right 100% when it said people will find ways aroung that fee, its easy.

    55 dollars is a shocking fee to pay for a law abiding joe when you get ZERO services from the city of Kenai. I do not use the disgusting porta-johns, the dumpsters are overflowing at all times anyway so I throw my bag of trash in the back of my truck, and exactly what services are provided on the beach (south beach) for camping? There is no fresh water access, designated road-trail-path-nothing, and any 'camp' site is a makeshift one anyway. So basically if I stay the weekend, I will be paying 110 dollars for the right to stick a dipnet in the water and catch a few fish, which doesn't sit right with me as a born and raised Alaskan.

    You guys want changes? FLOOD the beaches with law enforcement for one season, (In the 3 seasons I have made the trip to Kenai and stayed on south beach, I have yet to see a LEO) Cite the people leaving the campsite and the pile of trash/guts behind, nail the people gutting on the beach, arrest the drunk ATV drivers racing around at 2:30 AM, check fishing permits all up and down the beach, check/cite each camp for its permit/pass, TAKE AWAY THE FREE-FOR-ALL-PARTY MENTALITY, and the P.O.S' will go away.
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    Hell! If the troopers can set up a mobile office at Arctic Man, i'm sure they can figure out how to set up at Kenai for the 3rd weekend in July, one can argue its just as big a party.
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    The city estimates that 40,000 people use the dip net fishery and so one should think about that. A city of 5000 goes to 30,000 or so on the peak weekend. The infrastructure required to handle this is extensive. Everytime the City deals with one issue it creates another. So they raised the fees and that resulted in people parking all over town and walking down. They park in residential areas, fill city park parking lots, use business parking areas, and park along roads that block or impede traffic. The City is constantly playing catch up and frankly they do not have the resources or infrastructure to handle this very well. As a result it creates tensions between locals and out of town dip netters.

    The State needs to work with the City to provide some planning and control on this fishery. It cannot continue to grow unregulated relative to these social issues. The City went to the Board of Fish and asked that the fishery not be opened between 11pm and 4 am so they could clean the beaches. The BOF said it was the Cities problem and left them hanging out. The BOF forgot that the City owns the land and the river bottom. So if the City gets pissed off they can close the beach to everyone and stop this fishery dead in its tracks. So it is in everyone's interests to provide the services and cooperation needed to keep it at a reasonable level.

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    Is cleaning fish on the beach entirely illegal even if the guts are hauled away in trash bags?

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    Additional funding could also come from instituting a permit fee. with 35,000 permits issued, $25 would bring in $875,000. Any gutting or cleaning of fish on the beach could be banned if it would help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post

    Ak bliss... most of us were here long before the dipnet fishery existed. It is a very new thing for the area. So don't tell me we knew what we were getting into before we moved. The state should have been working with local communities when they imposed this new fishery upon us. And they should be more involved right now with managing the side effects of the problem they created.
    Don't get your panties in a bunch. The tourism has been there for many many years and that includes fishing on the Kenai river and tourism. The dip net fishery just adds on top of an already busy area. Lets not forget that the fishery imposed on you is also used and benefitted by the locals.

    I agree that the city and state do need to plan things better to ease the impact of the influx of people. What do you suggest would be a good first step?

    It seems you can't have your cake and eat it too. The city is making boat loads of extra revenue from all the tourism and the dip netters from the summer tax. Do I agree that locals should have to pay the tax? No, but that should of been an issue battled out when the bill to allow this was brought up. The positive is the city is able to do improvments and keep property taxes down from it and so you actually do benefit from it to a point. The argument that some don't directly make money off the tourism or dip netting fishery is a void point. The economy it self is being boosted by such and once again everyone benefits from that as well.

    My main point was I didn't agree with the suggestion that local people would not have to pay a fee to use the area, even if dip netting. My reasoning is that if you use the area you should have to pay what everyone else is. You are no different then someone who lives in Anchorage when pulling fish from the river. Locals make the same foot print. To do so would also imply that residents of the area have exclusive rights and access to public land that residents of the state would not. In no other area in Alaska do you have that, in regards to user fees, and for good reason. It needs to be an across the board fee

    I can understand the frustration that summer traffic brings though. I don't fish the area because of it. I can't even camp in most campgrounds do to it. I spend as little time as humanly possible in the area in the summer. It is a zoo. But with the crowds brings wealth to the economy. Double edged sword
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    I don't wear panties.

    The dipnet fishery is not tourism. Your comparison to tourism is like trying to make a claim that the state's adding of the RC-566 caribou hunt to Unit 13 has just added a little bit of tourism on top of the existing blue hairs from Ohio out taking pictures of fireweed. It's not even in the same magnitude, and for some reason that I will never be able to understand, mobs of Alaskans on a meat hunt are the sloppiest "all about me" SOB's you will ever find. I've never seen our great state get so destroyed with trash and ignorant jerks than I have in places like the Kenai dipnet fishery and the Unit 13 caribou slaughter; both of which are 100% Alaskans with no "tourists" involved. You can go to every single state park on the Kenai and collect up all the trash left by the out of state tourists for a season and it doesn't begin to compare to what Anchorage can do to the mouth of the Kenai in one weekend.

    And go take a look at the city financial reports. The city is making ZERO dollars off of dipnetting. The fees brought in are a wash with the expenses of cleaning up after the slobs. The potties, dumpsters, toll booths, extra cops, and beach cleaning operations all cost a lot of money, which is only recovered by the user fees.

    Cleaning fish on the beach inside the Kenai City limits is banned by an ordinance passed last year by the City of Kenai. Will have to dig up the actual text to see if it was banning all fish cleaning or just leaving fish carcasses on the beach. I can't recall for sure, but I seem to remember it was tied into the littering ordinance and specifically classified fish waste as litter for purposes of issuing a citation for littering.

    I'm very surprised to hear someone say they didn't see LEO on the beach, since the end of season report provided by the Kenai Police Dept after the dipnetting season for the last couple years states that police officers were on the beach at all times while dipnetting was open. Last year they even hired extra officers specifically for beach patrol during the 3 weeks of dipnetting.

    Again, unless they changed the rules, people who are not dipnetting are allowed to access the beach without paying a fee. If you try to claim you're taking your dipnet for a walk in your chest waders, it ain't gonna work. If you show up in your car and tell the toll booth you're taking your dog for a walk for an hour, they won't charge you to park. That's how it was being run, but they may have changed that if there have been a bunch of those jerks trying to get in to dipnet for free.

    The fee schedule wasn't complicated, but you'll notice that they changed the fee structure because of JERKS who were bullying the toll booth operators. There is a parking fee. Then there was a camping fee on top of that. Now, instead of having anyone who is camping also pay a parking fee, they get to pay both fees as one line item so they no longer have room to beatch about having to pay two fees. But they are still paying the same; it was just reclassified into a parking fee of $20 and a parking/camping fee of $55. Still, there are JERKS who are parking on the sides of the roads and sneaking down onto the beach to get around the toll booths. They need to take a lesson from night clubs and start stamping people's hands at the toll booth. Anyone without today's hand stamp gets a trespassing citation.

    These are all good "first steps", but what would really help is for Alaskans to learn a little effing respect for other people and public property. I would happily fish beside 40,000 fellow Alaskans if they would be patient, show respect to others, stop throwing trash on the ground, take their fish home before cleaning them, and quite frankly, act more like out-of-state tourists. Until that happens, I'll have to continue to go to the beach during the middle of the week and mid-day when most folks are at work so I can participate in the fishery in my own back yard.
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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    JOAT, you make some very valid points and I agree 100% on the lack of respect these days. We see it everywhere and it makes me sick. This in itself would eliminate a lot of issues we have discussed in this thread.

    My point on combining tourism and the dip netting fishery and bringing in extra money for the economy is based on the sales tax increase in the summer. That is where the city makes extra coin. I understand not all dip netters are spending a ton of money while in town, but they are spending some. every bit helps.

    You make some good points on how trashed unit 13 has gotten the last couple years and the beach in Kenai. I don't get how we can trash our own state the way we do.

    Your point on fee's for everyone except kenai residence still doesn't fly. I agree a user fee should be applied to all. Lets look back to unit 13 caribou. The road to maintain all the traffic on that road costs a lot of money. Lets start charging a fee to help cover those cost. But, since I live in the matsu borough I don't have to pay it because I already pay tax's and I have to deal with all the extra people in my stomping grounds trashing the place. We also have the copper river dip netting too. Man, that brings a bunch of headaches with extra traffic and it does take longer to get fuel due to the lines at the pump. Lets charge a fee there too! But not for me. The best approach is user fee's for users. Not for some people.

    I understand your frustration with all the people. I tried taking my son bank fishing on the Kenai a couple years back and you couldn't find a place to park half the time and the other half the river was full of non-res fisherman. I always got frustrated that I couldn't fish a river I used to fish as a kid anymore unless I hired a guide or knew a buddy with a house on the river. They need resident only day!

    Bottom line is I agree with 99% of what your saying and I feel your frustration. I refuse to dip net there because of all the people. Never heard a good story from a family after a couple days of dip netting. It's always complaints about LACK OF RESPECT
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    Actually, I'm not the one that brought up the idea of not charging user fees to Kenai residents. I actually don't care one way or the other on that particular issue. My point to the OP was asking about where they would draw the line on who gets the free parking and who has to pay the $20. Most people simply write off that particular beach for access during 20 days of July. There are other places to access the beach that are away from the circus.

    If they eliminate camping on the north beach, I think 90% of the problems that everyone is talking about will instantly vanish. It's camping, not dipping that is the problem. Let all camping center on the south beach where there is more room and it's further away from the residences of Kenai proper (sorry for those on Cannery Rd).
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to JOAT again.
    As for the sales tax issue here is the deal. It is a Borough tax on non prepared foods. The city doesn't receive it. As far as I know the city sales tax remains the same.
    The fees collected from dippers as JOAT said only cover costs associated with these fisheries. Dipnetting doesn't make the city any money on fees.
    As for the residents of Kenai discussion.... My mother in law has lived in Kenai over 40 years my friends dad has as well. When they moved here there was not a lot of tourism and certainly no dipnetting. They also both recieve royalty checks for mineral rights they still own on their property.
    They both pay city property taxes and have for quite a long time.
    We have a family friend in Kasilof who has lived there 80+ years on the same property. No he wasn't born here but I don't think it matters much. He tells me stories of the time when Kasilof only had one road and one truck. A guy bought a truck and used it to haul fish. The truck couldn't leave Kasilof as the road didn't go anywhere else I believe he said the road was 7 miles long.
    My wife has a client who was born and raised here she is I believe 96 years old this year. Certainly no tourism or dippers when she was born.
    We all have a choice to make as far as where we live. People want to live in Anchorage well thats fine that is your choice. You could always move to Kenai. Then you can fish/dipnet when you want to and if the city has their way you would be eligible to dipnet for free.
    I am sure they could find a way to work it out. Something along the lines of those who maintain their primary residence in Kenai and pay city property taxes would receive a card allowing them free beach access year round.Including dipnet season.
    While it is public land it belongs to the City not the state or federal goverments.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Actually, I'm not the one that brought up the idea of not charging user fees to Kenai residents. I actually don't care one way or the other on that particular issue. My point to the OP was asking about where they would draw the line on who gets the free parking and who has to pay the $20. Most people simply write off that particular beach for access during 20 days of July. There are other places to access the beach that are away from the circus.

    If they eliminate camping on the north beach, I think 90% of the problems that everyone is talking about will instantly vanish. It's camping, not dipping that is the problem. Let all camping center on the south beach where there is more room and it's further away from the residences of Kenai proper (sorry for those on Cannery Rd).
    My thoughts are that the City of Kenai should build a nice campground or two like Soldotna has. Then eliminate all camping on any city beach.
    The campground could have fish cleaning stations with running fresh water,gut wagons and all the amenities people feel they need like showers and flush toilets.
    Especially since the city lost a private campground or two in old town due to the new clinic.
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    My only comment is I don't agree with and am offended by lumping the problem of the trashed areas and attitudes as "all those from Anchorage".

    I don't trash where I go and even pick up others trash when I leave. And I have had more "attitude" from locals who feel they are entitled than from those from Anchorage and beyond. This has been my personal experience and not all locals or non-locals fit this description. I just am bothered by what always seems as a blanket statement and because I'm from the "problem" community visiting somewhere than I am automatically "one of the problem causers".

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