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Not having a bridge across Tongass Narrows is an advantage in one circumstance — Shell perhaps could have brought its damaged icebreaker into Ketchikan Shipyard and avoided bridge-dangling protesters trying to impede it.

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July was a bit of a weird month. Seattle, which set a record for most 90-degree days in a year, appeared to inherit California’s weather, Ketchikan got plenty of Washington’s pleasant 70-degree weather, and Juneau, which set a record for most rain in the month of July, inherited Ketchikan’s weather.

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Danny Jay Klotz, 63 of Saxman, died July 23, 2015, in Saxman.
Ellis John Buxton, 80, died July 12, 2015, in Ketchikan.
Kenneth L. Peters, 76, died July 21, 2015, at his home in Ketchikan.
7/8/2014
Land transfer needed

The feds should transfer land in Alaska to the state.

For Alaska to achieve this, it has kindred support in New Mexico and some other western states.

New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez is considering forming a statewide task force to look at the idea of that state accepting transfer of federal land. She wants to know the cost and the benefit in terms of jobs and the economy.

New Mexico expects it might be better able to address the threat of wildfires than the federal government. Martinez maintains the feds don't maintain the forests, allowing growth that creates fuel situations that spark fires.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert also is an advocate of the land-transfer idea.

The federal government owns much of the land across the West. That ownership limits economic development, and, as federal dollars decline, multiple uses of the land.

To solve the problem of being unable to afford maintaining its land, the federal government should offer the states and communities the opportunity to own and manage the land.

It might be the solution for the feds, Alaska and the West.