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SE Alaska--where is a GREAT place to live?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We have been in Pelican for a year, and will stay here another year. We love SEA, and want to stay in the region indefinitely...but Pelican is little (pop 70) and we want something a little bigger, with more opportunities for our kids and ourselves. DH is a school teacher, and will start looking for jobs this year, with the hope that next summer we will move to a new area...the thing is, we haven't had the chance to visit any of these places, so we don't know much about them! The internet can offer statistics, but that's not much to go on, you know? So I'm hoping maybe some mamas (and papas) here can help me out a little.
Thus far we're thinking about Sitka, Petersburg, Juneau, or Ketchikan. That's certainly not a final list though. Here is a list of our preferences--I would appreciate feedback on what things various towns do/don't have from the list.
Thank you!
  • Job security--meaning that the town isn't shrinkiing away (unlike here where enrollment is dropping and the school is likely to close within 5yrs) DH teaches secondary English, Math, and History, so he's got some staying power even in a small district...but there does have to be a school!
  • A public library
  • Opportunities for the kids (sports teams, music lessons, parks to play at, etc)
  • Land--as in, we'd like to buy an acre or two and build and homestead...
  • A ferry more than once a week (here we have once a month )
  • A health food store, or at least some organic/natural/alternative food options
  • Other crunchy parents
  • A midwife or two!
  • It would be really cool if it was still rural enough to fall under subsistance law (we do here in Pelican) because we enjoy being able to support ourselves with the deer and fish...I don't know quite what the policies on that are though. That might be mutually exclusive with having all the other things we want!

As I said, we are not committed to any of those towns I mentioned, although we like the look of them so far. We DO prefer Southeast, but would probably consider up into the Anchorage region.
post #2 of 11
I can address several of your questions in regards to Juneau

Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
Job security--meaning that the town isn't shrinkiing away (unlike here where enrollment is dropping and the school is likely to close within 5yrs) DH teaches secondary English, Math, and History, so he's got some staying power even in a small district...but there does have to be a school!
Population here is ~30,000 and is pretty stable. We will have a 2nd high school starting this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
A public library
We have 3!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
Opportunities for the kids (sports teams, music lessons, parks to play at, etc)
I think there is probably more of this here in Juneau than any of the other towns on your list.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
Land--as in, we'd like to buy an acre or two and build and homestead...
This is probably where Juneau falls short of the other options, land/housing is very expensive here (definitely higher than Ketchikan, not sure about compared to the other places).
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
A ferry more than once a week (here we have once a month )
I am pretty sure that Juneau has the most frequent ferry service of any town in SE AK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
A health food store, or at least some organic/natural/alternative food options
There is a decent healthfood store, two groups that order from Azure Standard http://www.azurestandard.com/ and the Fred Meyer's store has a pretty good natural food section.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
Other crunchy parents
Got 'em
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
A midwife or two!
We have a midwife run birth center (who do BC or HB) and another independent midwife (who I am seeing), who does HB and planned hospital support.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
It would be really cool if it was still rural enough to fall under subsistance law (we do here in Pelican) because we enjoy being able to support ourselves with the deer and fish...I don't know quite what the policies on that are though. That might be mutually exclusive with having all the other things we want!
I am not sure exactly how that varies place to place, but I know lots of people who supply their families with deer and fish through hunting/fishing locally.

Hope that helps, and I would be happy to answer any other questions you have about Juneau.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks norabella. We have been in juneau a couple of times on the way through to other places, but haven't ever really had the time to relax or look at things. It seems like a really nice place, but we have come to really enjoy the feel of a tiny place too. My dad's cousin (what's that make her to me?!) lives there, and I know she loves it, but she has a child with special needs and needs to be in a larger city for the medical/social help she needs for her son. Where we don't have that need, we could go a lot smaller, you know?
post #4 of 11
Well, Homer is not Southeast but it's got everything on your list!

Pop. about 5k (but more like 12k with surrounding communities). One awesome library, one hb mw, lots of kids stuff, land (but prices have gotten pretty high the last few years), cool families, a health food store, a ferry to Seldovia, Kodiak and Dutch (of course, Homer is on the road system so the ferry is for fun), and lots of fishing-subsistence dipnetting on the Kenai, Kasilof, and across the bay. Hunting is more scarce though...

Just a thought! Good luck in making a decision.
post #5 of 11
I am visiting Juneau right now (typing in a hotel room)... speaking of access to good foods....tonight I just went to the FoodLand expecting a typical crummy grocery store like the Eagle in Vadez but NO! Holy cow, I couldn't believe how good it was. I would have to go to 3 stores in Anchorage to find the goodies that I found. And the prices were comparable. They had FIVE different kinds of fresh salsa to choose from...kombucha, hard to find teas...tons of organic and natural foods throughout the regular part of the store including goat yogurt, RAW almond butter, etc... and THEN I came to the natural foods section! Amazing. This isn't even the natural health food store in town.

My hubby might regret taking me down here. So far I love this place.

The other thing I notice is that people look pretty fit. There are all kinds of people jogging around the streets. (Not like I do that kind of thing these days but it was pretty inspirational.)

And, here I am with baby in pack and girl in hand next to a super busy road and people stopped traffic to let us cross. Everyone is so nice. It's really clean.

That's just one day's impression, though.
post #6 of 11
I was going to post about Juneau, but Norabella pretty much summed it up. I like it here.
post #7 of 11
Another vote for Juneau! I grew up there and love the place. If you don't mind rain and clouds, it's a wonderful place to live... The clean air and the natural beauty of the place by far make up for the wet days.
post #8 of 11
The thing I love the most about Juneau is the sense of community.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Juneau also gets brownie points for having a birth center. DH is iffy on homebirth, but he's down with a birth center.
post #10 of 11
Juneau! :
Course i'm a little biased (born and raised here) but we love it here.
post #11 of 11

SE Alaska Where Is a Great Place to live

Hi,
this is George.I am form Arizona.And in Alaska there are so many places to see
and to live.Actually the people of the Alaskan's are wanted to live their rest of life on the shore of Sea.So it was a good opportunity for them to live on the sea shore.And thanks for this forum.
================================================== =
George.

Hawaii Alcohol Addiction Treatment
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