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That's a nice Christmas gift. Ketchikan waits anxiously each year about this time, just like the kids do for Christmas morning, to discover what the next cruise ship schedule looks like.

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With a drop in oil prices limiting revenue for state capital and operating budgets, Alaskans will have to think frugally for the time being.

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A.J. Dennis, 77, of Silver Creek, Washington, died Dec. 18, 2014, after a long illness.
Phillip Dean Nehl, 59, died Dec. 10, 2014, in Ketchikan after a long battle with heart failure.
4/14/2014
Too many laws

This is an example of government overreach.

Sitka's government has outlawed children in businesses that allow smoking, whether anyone is smoking at the time or not.

No exceptions.

This clarifies a 2005 law banning smoking in public places. Fine, it's OK for local government to choose to be smoke-free.

But, private businesses should be able to choose whether to be smoke-free or not, and parents should decide whether their children are allowed to enter those businesses.

The main Sitka event affected by the clarification is the American Legion Christmas party — a once-a-year celebration for children, and a smoke-free one at that.

It simply means that the Legion cannot host the party unless it becomes a smoke-free facility. It doesn't sound like it will change its smoking policy.

Does this type of rule really help anybody, including the little people?

Their exposure to a room once a year that allows smoking when they're not there isn't dangerous — at least not as dangerous as them walking home from school or riding down the street in a motor vehicle. Their health is probably more vulnerable in an airplane, being on a playground, playing sports or any other number of circumstances children have every day.

What would the kids say? "Don't be a spoiled sport."