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While there is certainly little good news heading the way of the Alaska Marine Highway System via the Legislature, Saturday proved somewhat of an exception.

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One issue after another comes up in Alaskans' days, but not many are as deserving of attention as suicide prevention.

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Sarah B. Gilbert, 71, died April 12 at her home in Ketchikan.
9/13/2013
Be informed

Not a lot is asked of Alaska voters.

It isn't like in some other places where people stand in line for hours to vote. We don't have to deal with huge crowds or heavy traffic en route to the polls. We just pick a time, show up, till out the ballot and, in most cases, it's significantly less than an hour of our precious time.

You have to give those in the most populated places a hand for enduring through what can turn out to be a struggle in an effort to vote.

Ketchikan's voters, specifically, simply need a few minutes out of our day. The well-informed voters also make time to get to know the candidates and the bond issues. Really, it's only a little more time to do that, and it's spread out over a matter of four to six weeks. Or, one can save all of the information provided on and by candidates and become familiar in one sitting in preparation to vote.

That's where we are now. It's 17 days before the next municipal election. Candidates are campaigning, showing up at public forums and the like. The Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce had its forum this week for Ketchikan Gateway Borough candidates. Both Assembly and School Board candidates attended.

Names you should be or become familiar with are Alan Bailey, John Harrington and Bill Rotecki — all candidates with experience on the Assembly. Bailey and Rotecki are incumbents. Camille Booth didn't attend the Chamber event, but she joins Trevor Shaw and incumbent Dave Timmerman in seeking School Board seats.

The Chamber has the Ketchikan City Council candidates — incumbents Dick Coose and Matt Olsen, and newcomer Judy Zenge — scheduled to attend one of its Wednesday luncheons later this month to participate in a question-and-answer session. Bond issues, especially the Ketchikan Medical Center's building expansion measure, are being discussed at forums throughout the community.

This is election season; it's when voters get the chance to have a say that means the most. Each vote contributes to the outcome, which will, in so many decisions following Election Day, determine in which direction this community proceeds. It also decides who will be community spokespeople with state and national officials.

In deciding this, let's be informed.