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EDITOR, Daily News:
What the heck? Why do a few ruin the efforts of many to engage our youth in meaningful outdoor activities that teach them leadership and how to run a business?
When arriving on the paintball worksite Thursday morning, the AmeriCorps NCCC work team was greeted by evidence of a major assault on the Ketchikan Youth Initiatives paintball headquarters building that totally destroyed the entry door and damaged other parts of the building.
When discussing this situation, two members of the team mentioned hearing gunshots along the road above their worksite the day before. Ketchikan Youth Initiatives concluded that it is not safe to work here and pulled the team off the project.
How unfortunate! We bring up a team of six volunteers from the Lower 48 for six weeks to accomplish an important program that will expand the opportunity for our youth to play with friends and/or family in a woodsball setting. There is a high level of excitement around paintballers in town about having this legal and safe place to undertake their favorite pastime. And now?
We are trying very hard to keep our youth and young adults involved in drug-free, healthy, outdoor activities to ensure their future as productive members of society.
There must be a no-tolerance policy about people shooting guns and vandalizing private property, thus violating the rights of others who use this property.
We appeal to the state troopers to seek out and arrest these offenders who are frequently shooting along the Revilla Road and endangered passers-by. We ask members of our community to tell potential offenders this is not OK. It is a major public safety issue.
Ketchikan Youth Initiatives