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Old 05-13-2017, 06:01 PM
 
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I think it depends on how you want to spend your time. People always emphasize that you've got to love outdoor activities to be happy on POW, but I think it's more important to have enough inner resources to be able to happily pass the time indoors when it's blowing 60 and raining sideways the way it is more often than not. There aren't a lot of social outlets on the island beyond the churches and the bars, and it can be a lonely place. There's always summer work for a sober jack-of-all-trades type at my business, and I'm sure others can say the same.

There are retired people there, but they're the wealthy summer home crowd or RVers. Very few people stay on the island during winter unless they have no choice.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:58 AM
 
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How bad is the drug problem in the panhandle? is any one area more affected than another? I realize drugs are not isolated to the AK. panhandle, the meth/opiate epidemic is a nationwide problem, but is it any worse in the panhandle?

I despise drugs and drug users and the last thing I want to do is end up in a place that's over run by druggies and all the associated crimes that go along with the drug trade.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,085 posts, read 10,457,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMC1967 View Post
How bad is the drug problem in the panhandle? is any one area more affected than another? I realize drugs are not isolated to the AK. panhandle, the meth/opiate epidemic is a nationwide problem, but is it any worse in the panhandle?

I despise drugs and drug users and the last thing I want to do is end up in a place that's over run by druggies and all the associated crimes that go along with the drug trade.
That's why you go and visit each place first. Talk to the locals, talk to the cops. Get your own feel for the vibe.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
That's why you go and visit each place first. Talk to the locals, talk to the cops. Get your own feel for the vibe.
I wish I had that luxury but it's not in the budget, that's why i'm on a forum like this asking current/former residents.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by USMC1967 View Post
I wish I had that luxury but it's not in the budget, that's why i'm on a forum like this asking current/former residents.
If you are coming up on the ferry with your truck, can't you spend a week or so in each locale? Camp out. You are a Marine...I know you can handle a little hardship.

The thing about former or even current residents' feedback, is that you may get a totally different vibe or experience.

When we moved to our current location, we were advised against moving here, b/c of the drug problem. Is the problem here? Sure. Has it impacted us? not really.

I don't do drugs, and don't hang out with those that do, so I have very little immediate experience with the negative aspects of my community.

The hospital, is a different thing all together.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Haolejohn View Post
If you are coming up on the ferry with your truck, can't you spend a week or so in each locale? Camp out. You are a Marine...I know you can handle a little hardship.
I looked into doing just that, from my understanding of the ferry system if I were traveling without my vehicle I could disembark and stay in any community along the way and catch the next ferry when I felt like leaving. Is this also possible when traveling with a vehicle? I was of the understanding the vehicle stays on the ferry until you reach your final destination?

Unless you're referring to buying a new ticket for every leg of the trip? I have looked at the AMHS website but i'm still uncertain exactly how this would work.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMC1967 View Post
I wish I had that luxury but it's not in the budget, that's why i'm on a forum like this asking current/former residents.
POW for example. Drive up to Prince Rupert and take the ferry to Ketchikan and then onto to POW. Now you can use your vehicle to campout in and visit each community on the island without breaking the bank. There are more places then Craig/Klawock.

Check out the Daily Dispatches from the Alaska State Troopers to get a feel for crime in the area. For southeast your looking for posts from "A" Detachment.

https://dps.alaska.gov/dailydispatch/
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:14 PM
 
18,614 posts, read 23,438,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMC1967 View Post
I looked into doing just that, from my understanding of the ferry system if I were traveling without my vehicle I could disembark and stay in any community along the way and catch the next ferry when I felt like leaving. Is this also possible when traveling with a vehicle? I was of the understanding the vehicle stays on the ferry until you reach your final destination?

Unless you're referring to buying a new ticket for every leg of the trip? I have looked at the AMHS website but i'm still uncertain exactly how this would work.
You'd have to make reservations for each separate leg of the journey while traveling by vehicle. The ferry is usually booked solid all summer long, so advance reservations are required when taking a car.

Or you could visit it in winter. It'll be cheaper, and you'll see the true flavor of these places. POW's population swells to about twice its normal size in summer, usually with respectable types who have summer homes. It's a whole different story in winter, and there have been plenty of people who've fallen in love with the place during a summer visit only to find themselves stuck in totally different type of environment several months down the road.

Quote:
How bad is the drug problem in the panhandle? is any one area more affected than another? I realize drugs are not isolated to the AK. panhandle, the meth/opiate epidemic is a nationwide problem, but is it any worse in the panhandle?
I travel a lot. In my opinion, yes, the problem is worse on POW than most other places (can't speak for the rest of the panhandle, but it's probably not nearly as bad in Haines, Skagway, or Juneau).

It's not always just a matter of keeping to yourself or keeping away from the bad element to avoid the effects of the drug/outlaw culture. For instance, an older couple came to my business last summer pretty shaken up by what they'd seen. What they saw was a couple of deadbeat locals in a truck run over a little dog in the road over and over and over again until the dog was dead. Yes, this can happen anywhere, but the problem is is that this type of sick behavior seems disproportionately well-represented on POW. And who knows, maybe these cretins weren't even under the influence of anything but their own messed up culture. They were supposedly from a "good" family.

Also, keep in mind that when you've got a sizeable outlaw population, you've also got a "code" among them not to call the law, so there's more to it than the Trooper's reports. There was some guy arrested last summer after 23 years of selling meth and you can't tell me that plenty of locals didn't know exactly what was going on.

Don't mean to be discouraging, but....anyway, yes, there is more to POW than just Craig and Klawock. Thorne Bay, Hollis, Coffman Cove, Port Protection. Those are better places. And a lot of it depends on you as whether a rather remote island in the Tongass is the right year-round retirement location.

Last edited by Metlakatla; 05-17-2017 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
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Met gave you sage advice. Southeast Alaska isn't for everyone. Visit in the winter when the wind is howling and the rain is coming down sideways. After I retired we moved from Anchorage to Ketchikan. I liked it a lot. Worked on the ramp for Alaska Airlines so we were always out in the weather. You either did it and liked it or life sucked.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:59 AM
 
Location: SE Alaska
1,825 posts, read 757,317 times
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I recently read a story in the Juneau paper that said crimes had doubled between 2014 and 2015, then doubled again the next year. It's believed to all be fueled by the opiate freaks.

IMO, consider Petersburg, Sitka, Haines, Skagway, and forget the rest. I'd narrow it down further to Haines and Skagway, but sounds like you want to check out some communities along the heart of the inside passage.
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