When I heard that a commercial fisherman from Juneau was running for the U.S. Senate, I figured I’d better check him out. I couldn’t believe it. I called Dan Foley of the F/V Stellar, an old friend who lives in Juneau. What do you know about Al Gross? Dan said, “I remember him at 14 trolling and longlining for Stan Redikoff.” Hmmm. Some people in Sitka think I’m a hardass. A relative of Captain Blyth, or worse. Well, Stan makes me look like a nice guy. Not quite a Care Bear, though. Stan was tough. Old-style tough. My opinion of Al Gross went up substantially.
Al worked his way from Stan’s back deck to his own boat. I’m not saying that he will get rid of the horrible wording and implementation of the international Pacific salmon treaty between Canada and some western states in the U.S., but we will have someone who will fight like hell for us. He’s got close friends trolling. When you meet him in Juneau, Anchorage, Petersburg, Sitka or wherever, he’ll listen to what you are talking about. You can talk like a fisherman, and he will listen to you even if you just came out of the engine room or fish hold. And he’ll understand.
In his talk on Raven Radio the other day, he brought up that he was going to get the 3-mile state jurisdiction off our coast extended to 12 miles. That would be great. Then I would not have to listen to one of my friends complaining about another one of my friends who went 500 feet into the federal waters in the winter. Al thinks like a fisherman. He’s cleaned king salmon and cohos. He’s like what you would like your kid to grow up to become. A fisherman. A doctor. A senator.
Vote for Al Gross. He’s one of us. And home grown.
Mike Mayo, F/V Coral Lee