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The message is loud and clear. Gov. Bill Walker is telling it like it is: Alaska has difficult financial times before it.

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In case you missed it, Alaska's estimated population fell in the year 2014 — by a total of 61 residents. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough lost an estimated three residents, according to data from state demographers.

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Larry Dean Hogan, 72, died Jan. 2, 2015, in Ketchikan.
3/18/2013
Age and experience

... Often overcome youth and skill, or so goes the joke so dear to the hearts of those of a certain age.

Still, we can't help but grin at the outcome of this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The winner, Mitch Seavey, is considered "old" at 53. He is in fact the eldest winner of the iconic race.

What tickles us, though, is that a year ago, it was another Seavey who won the Last Great Race. Dallas, speaking to reporters afterward, owned as how it took youth and energy to win the race nowadays. At 25, he was the youngest ever to win the race.

Seems poetic that the old man topped him, doesn't it? Congratulations to the pair for their persistence and talent.

We can't let the race go by without a shout-out to our own Angie Taggart, the most positive role model we can imagine. We take proprietary pride in Angie's top-50 finish. She came in just before midnight on Friday, 48th place. Go, Angie!

And, just for the record: Hey, Mitch? 53 is a dawdle. Mush on!