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It can be better to let the other guy go first. After seeing how it goes for him, we might not want to go at all.

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Bruce Oliver Brink, 79, died April 18, 2014, at Life Care Center in Mt. Vernon, Wash.
Florence Elizabeth Prose, 90, died on April 14, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Charles Jasper Solomon, 94, died April 10, 2014, in Ketchikan.
10/18/2012
Alaska Day

Today is Alaska Day.

On Oct. 18, 1867, the federal government made a wise move. It bought Alaska, a territory rich in natural resources and destined to become a state of great wealth.

The feds raised the U.S. flag in Sitka, from where the land was governed, on this day 145 years ago. It was a small, but official ceremony for what would become the biggest state in the union.

The Russians decided to sell Alaska because it had become a less profitable trading outpost in the 1850s and 1860s. Concerned whether they could retain control of the territory, they figured they might as well get what they could for it.

Alaska is an American treasure, overflowing with resources and potential that promises well-being in terms of energy throughout the nation and, in some cases, the world, if only the feds would allow it to be more fully explored and developed.

But as time passes, Alaskans continue to work to develop the state, and as state and national — even international — needs for everything from oil to natural gas, rare earth elements and other minerals, seafood, and a beautiful place to visit grow, so, too, will the extraction of the resources and Alaska's economy.

Alaska is a great place to live and work. Alaskans appreciate this land, developing as well as protecting where appropriate. The arts and culture are incomparable. The schools safe, and the friendliness among Alaskans remarkable.

For $7.2 million, the feds got a bargain.