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Thumbs down to state Rep. Lora Reinbold’s awkwardly worded “rally the troops” mass email, which, in the process of giving out a phone number for like-minded politicians and activists to distribute in hopes of generating telephonic testimony against proposed Medicaid expansion, blundered into something more sinister than she perhaps intended.

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Leonard Oswald Olsen, 92, died March 31, 2015, in Seattle.
3/18/2014
Bus driver day

Everybody has their day.

So much so that we used to ask our parents: “When is Kids' Day?”

They'd reply: “Every day is Kids' Day.”

That’s not what we’d expected or wanted to hear. After all, there are Mother's Day and Father's Day (both of which are quickly approaching).

But, for today, March 18, it's not about kids, mothers or fathers — unless they drive a bus.

In Ketchikan, we're honoring the school and borough bus drivers on Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

These drivers hold our lives in their hands as they maneuver big, long buses up and down Tongass Highway and throughout the streets of Ketchikan.

They must be focused on the rules of the road, schedules, stops, and, for the borough bus drivers, fares.

Borough bus drivers give directions to disembarking passengers and answer questions for those boarding. School bus drivers keep the peace and pay special attention to their youngest passengers as they load and unload the buses.

All of the drivers deal daily with unpredictable traffic and pedestrians. They must be alert to both, all the while maneuvering through whatever challenging road conditions the weather has created. Heavy rain, snow, ice, blinding light and even darkness all are integral considerations for bus drivers day in and day out.

As we ride the bus or see the bus cruising by today, let's think about the valuable service the drivers provide to our community. For without them, it would be a long walk.