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It's been a tumultuous spring and summer business season for the Alaska Marine Highway System, and with the state's financial predicament, it needs to modernize quickly.

Hikers have been all over the news this weekend for all the wrong reasons. In the Sierra Nevada wilderness, a woman was stranded for nine days after breaking her leg. She spent two of those days slowly crawling toward a creek for water. In Alaska, a stranded hiker was rescued on Friday by Juneau Mountain Rescue and Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search.

Our town is sound

Ketchikan has revitalized and built infrastructure that other communities envy.

Some of the oldest buildings have been demolished or are being taken down — the old hospital building on Bawden Street, the old Knickerbocker Hotel on Dock Street, old houses on Jefferson Street, and old sheds and buildings along Tongass Avenue. That's just to name a few.

In other parts of town, old and falling structures are coming down, one way or another, clearing the way for new possibilities.

Remodeling and re-facing other structures is under way at First Bank's building downtown, at E.C. Phillips on Tongass Avenue, at the old Community Connections building on Deermount Street, City Hall on Front Street and the S.E. Loan and Pawn building on Tongass Avenue.

Meanwhile, the community has new structures that enhance the town — a spectacular swimming pool suite, a fabulous downtown fire station, an incredible library and a new Community Connections building. Service Auto Parts on Tongass Avenue opened its new building this month.

Ketchikan also has many older facilities that add greatly to the town — The Plaza Mall, The Salmon Landing, its choice of three supermarkets, the White Cliff office building, and its court and police buildings.

Ketchikan is in the process of enhancing its airport, its medical facilities, its port and its hydroelectric facility at Swan Lake.

The core of the town has evolved and developed substantially in recent years as a result of private and government efforts.

Its structure is sound.