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Despite fiscal uncertainty in Juneau and political turmoil in Washington, D.C., daily life continues in Ketchikan.
On Thursday, our downtown streets filled with visitors brought by four cruise ships. Vigor Alaska continued ferry construction and maintenence work at the Ketchikan Shipyard. PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center staff cared for patients.
Local, state and federal government offices were open. State courts were in session. Ketchikan Gateway Borough Transit buses serviced their respective routes. Boats launched at local harbors. Folks used the Ketchikan Public Library and Gateway Recreation Center. The City of Ketchikan Solid Waste Facility processed local refuse.
All sorts of local businesses opened their doors and served their customers Thursday. Any number of Race to Alaska fans stayed glued to the race tracker as the leading boats approached the Thomas Basin finish line.
On other docks, commercial purse seine and gillnet fishermen were readying boats and gear for the fishery openings that start on Sunday. Work continued on the North Tongass Highway lighting project, and on home construction, renovation and maintenence projects throughout the community.
In those regards, Thursday in Ketchikan was much like most days in Ketchikan. It’s not Disneyland or a blissful utopia, but it is a functional community with many people who work hard and care about making this as good a place as possible for themselves, their families, and their friends and neighbors.
Is this news? Perhaps not. Yet it is something to ponder — especially when the news from Outside can feel like a tsunami of contention, fear and uncertainty.
The outside world and its events can and do affect Ketchikan. We’re reminded, though, of a former reporter at the Ketchikan Daily News who often noted the benefits of taking care of one’s own backyard. Cultivating and maintaining what we have, the things we can affect directly, helps to strengthen the community and increase the likelihood that days like Thursday in Ketchikan — days that work — can continue for a long time to come.