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This is no time to mince words. Republican Gov. Sean Parnell will be in town today to take on challenger Bill Walker, an independent candidate, and Libertarian Carolyn Clift in Ketchikan's 2014 Alaska gubernatorial debate.

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Anne (Davidson) Caskey, 73, died Sept. 27, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Don L. Scruggs, 86, died July 15, 2014, in Sun City, Arizona.
Christine Marie Edenso, 70, died Sept. 22, 2014, 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.