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Reduce. Reuse. Reap a little cash on the side? One of the unpleasant indignities of living on an island in Southeast Alaska is that we are forced — in a very tangible way — to confront how much waste we create. That confrontation comes in the form of a bill. With space at premium, we pay to bale, ship and dispose of much of our trash inside Washington state.

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Robert Eugene Chapman, 60, died Feb. 14, 2015, in Ketchikan.
Frances “Pat” Bailey Koons, 82, died Feb. 22, 2015, in Ketchikan.
1/20/2014
Make it so

Ketchikan seniors need a roof repaired; Ketchikan should be able to make that happen.

The Rendezvous Senior Day Center's roof is listed last on the community's capital project priority list, but not because it's least important. Only the top nine of the 35 projects are prioritized. All of the others are only listed.

While it might not be viewed as highly as energy, infrastructure and economic development, which makes the community go round and round, taking care of the center that houses those who address the needs of Ketchikan and Saxman's elderly should be a high priority.

The center's roof has a chronic leak, which is damaging rooms on the top floor.

Originally a hot-tar roof, it has been covered with metal sheeting.

It isn't in need of replacement, according to a Ketchikan contractor. It could be fixed by removing that sheet metal, patching underneath, laying down a water shield and then replacing the metal.

The project also would include replacing damaged sheetrock in the rooms on the top floor.

The cost is estimated at just over $30,000.

This is an ideal project for Sen. Bert Stedman and Rep. Peggy Wilson to put the smaller change after gaining funding for the big items on the community's priority list.