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May is an extraordinary month in Ketchikan. We transform overnight from a quiet town in April to become host to thousands of visitors each day by mid-May. Local waters see commercial troll fishermen take advantage of spring fishery opportunities while the commercial net fleets begin preparing for their season. Sport anglers are readying their gear for the May 28 start of the Ketchikan CHARR Educational Fund King Salmon Derby.

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State agencies and the University of Alaska spent $343 million outside of Alaska for goods and services for government operations in 2015.

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Ginny Gisse, 69, died April 5, 2016, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
4/23/2013
We can do better

Another Earth Day is under our belts and in Ketchikan, that means a whole lot of volunteers spent a whole lot of time cleaning up after the rest of us.

The yellow litter bags, stuffed to overflowing, line sections of the highway. One doer of goodness, willing to handle others’ trash strewn carelessly over our island, reports the three most common items she found, repeatedly: Small (airplane-sale-sized) liquor bottles, packaging for cigarettes, and fast-food wrappings.

Gheesh.

We love to thank our neighbors for helping out, but at some point, don’t we all need to realize that we need to pay attention to what we do with stuff we’ve finished with?

We don’t know a single person raised to think it’s OK to toss stuff out the car window or onto the ground as we stroll along in a place that — when clean —bears a strong resemblance to some folks’ idea of paradise. So a lot of this trash must come from “normal” folks, just like us.

Earth Day Monday was a good reminder about taking care of our planet, but also a reminder to clean up our own, individual act here in our slice of the Earth. Next year, let’s use fewer of those yellow bags.