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On one thing, most congressional Democrats and Republicans agree — retain tax relief for individuals, small businesses and energy.

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It's wonderful to give — especially during the Christmas season.

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Phillip Dean Nehl, 59, died Dec. 10, 2014, in Ketchikan after a long battle with heart failure.
David Jmmanuel (Keith Gustaf Dahl), 50, died Oct. 28, 2014, suddenly of natural causes at home in Ketchikan.
Frank Chester Leask, 76, died Dec. 9, 2014, in Metlakatla.
4/3/2013
It's sprung ...

The mood is spreading all over town.

The longer days and higher temperatures are prompting thoughts of spring, particularly when the sun begins to appear pretty often.

With these thoughts comes the desire, if not the enthusiasm, to clean up and get ready for a new business season or just to dust off winter and prepare for a playful spring.

Downtown, where the tourists will be disembarking from cruise ships by month's end, businesses are sprucing up inside and outside of their buildings. Some remodeling projects carried on through the winter; others began in recent weeks. The exterior of more than one building is being replaced or washed down. Clean windows are on the to-do list of at least one enterprise.

As the cruise season approaches, more and more businesses will re-open their doors and begin to stock shelves for the tourist trade. It won't be long before the tourists are filling the streets, with walking tour maps and shopping bags in hand.

Meanwhile, when it comes to play, avid boaters filled up at least one parking lot next to a launch site over the weekend. The first fruits of their labor already are showing up in freezers and on the dinner table.

Hikers are hitting the trails, fur is flying off the dogs, raindrops are landing softly and the geese are passing by on their annual flight north.

The signs of spring are here; enjoy!