Harbor board to give input on possible memorial move

Alaska Commercial Fishermen's Memorial. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

The Docks and Harbors Board is expected to make a recommendation to the Juneau Assembly tonight on the location of the Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial, now that a floating cruise ship berth is to be built in front of it.

The memorial’s board of directors believes it should be left where it is, but not with a dock there, citing concerns over impeding the annual Blessing of the Fleet.

Port Engineer Gary Gillette says there would be enough room for fishing vessels to pass in front of the memorial once the dock is built, though it will be tight. But Juneau commercial fisherman Dick Hoffman told the Assembly on Monday the new dock will make it difficult for commercial fishing vessels that participate in the May blessing ceremony.

“We all gather, we’re drifting around out front. We’ve got the whole harbor to float in,” Hoffman said. “That’s now going to have this dock in it. The area that we’re going to be allowed is going to be very limited. We’ll have some little keyhole that we can look through to see what is being performed right in front of the memorial. And we’re going to have wait our turn to go into that cul-de-sac, instead of having a sort of a parade of vessels following fairly close together and keeping a continuous flow going.”

The memorial board says if the monument does move it should go to Marine Park. But the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee recently recommend the memorial stay at its current location.

The Docks and Harbors Board meets at 7 o’ clock tonight in Assembly Chambers.

The Assembly will make the final decision, probably at next week’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

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