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This is an example of government overreach. Sitka's government has outlawed children in businesses that allow smoking, whether anyone is smoking at the time or not.

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It ought to be a holiday. Today that is. This is the official federal deadline for filing one's individual tax return. April 15 has been the deadline for Americans living in the United States since 1955. Before then, the deadline was March 15 and before that March 1. Other deadlines exist for Americans outside of the country, businesses and nonprofits.

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3/4/2013
Marching forward

Lions, lambs — who cares? March has begun a string of brighter months that require no abbreviation, offering the assurance of warmer temperatures and the hope of less moisture. (Not too little moisture, mind you; just the right amount, preferably falling while we sleep, to keep the water tanks serviceable.)

The March-entry lion-lamb conundrum seems but a minor detail on an island such as ours, doesn’t it? We know, having slipped in just under the 20-inches-of-rain radar for February, that we will have weather challenges here in the rainforest no matter how March rolls itself out.

But the visitors bureau building rises from the newly refurbished downtown dock; we can picture the eager tourists buzzing about it already. The shipyard is going hammer and tong. People are taking walks on the bypass without ducking into the wind; Ward Lake hikers have plenty of company.

The galleries are sprucing up; even in March, we anticipate the (almost-here!) spring art walk and the hummingbird festival. (Thank you, Jay Martin, for envisioning such a thing all those years ago when you worked for the U.S. Forest Service here; and thank you to all who have made it a reality and a continuing delight.) We look forward to a March-weekend performance outing with Patsy Cline. And, though it’s farther out on the calendar, we suspect unknown actors are working on their heroic or madamely chops, hoping to land roles in “The Fish Pirate’s Daughter,” our strictly homegrown farcical melodrama.

Spring is not all about weather; it’s about hope and renewal and knowing that, whatever has come before, good things are about to come now. Less than one week hence, our daylight will last an hour longer. We start to prepare our boats for catching king salmon. College kids are dreaming about summer jobs. Parents are thinking about seeing their children over spring break. St. Patrick’s Day, with its festival atmosphere, beckons from the not-distant future. Easter is around the corner, early and welcome.

Did March come in like a lion? No; that sprinkling of precipitation Friday — child’s play at less than a third of an inch! — certainly does not qualify as lionesque in our lush rainforest. A lamb, then? Well, maybe not.

Let us say it came in like March; like the herald of spring. Less than three weeks.