State Will Have to "Kill Grandma" to Remove Sign
Diamond Jim's Liquor and Gifts has been in Indian since 1964
INDIAN – At Mile 103 of the Seward Highway the neon lights of Diamond Jim's Liquor and Gifts flash for the attention of passing motorists.
Owner Mary Lou Redmond has been running the business since her uncle left it to her in 1957.
At that time the log cabin was in Portage, but the 1964 earthquake changed that.
Redmond said the massive quake didn’t destroy her building or her sign, but the ground sank so much she was forced to move.
“The tide would come in with big chunks of ice and come right to our building," said Redmond.
“When Governor Egan and the State of Alaska moved us all up here after the earthquake, all the people from Portage they moved them up here to Indian. My husband and I asked the DOT where we can put out sign, so we won't have to move it.”
At the time of the move the sign was relocated to a position consistent with law at the time. But the laws have now changed and business owners along the Seward Highway were given a July 1 deadline to move their signs.
The state said the signs must be moved off the public right of way land.
Some business owners in the Indian area said it’s the federal government putting pressure on the state because the Seward Highway receives federal money.
Federal law said all real property within the boundaries of a federally assisted highway project must be devoted exclusively to public highway purposes.
There is another law dampening Redmond’s cause. In 1998 Alaskans voted to support an anti-billboard referendum and the state said Redmond’s sign is in violation of that law.
Redmond has been offered $7,500 to move her sign back 68-feet, but she declined.
"I'm going to chain myself to the sign if they come down and move it and they'll just have to kill grandma."
“I’m not moving my sign.”