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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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Alaska is proud of its parks, especially the Gates of the Arctic, thank you very much.

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Ronald Shaw, 82, died Feb. 27, 2015 in Anchorage.
Robert Eugene Chapman, 60, died Feb. 14, 2015, in Ketchikan.
Frances “Pat” Bailey Koons, 82, died Feb. 22, 2015, in Ketchikan.
7/29/2014
Be prepared

It's time to check out emergency equipment and procedures.

Ketchikan and Southeast had two reminders in recent days.

Sunday night the lights flickered in downtown, and went out in other parts of town.

Just before the weekend, four earthquakes rattled Alaska, including one about 100 miles east of Juneau. A foreshock with a magnitude of 5.3 preceded the 5.9 magnitude earthquake. Multiple aftershocks followed, one at a magnitude of 4.6

All this says that it might be prudent to check out the location of emergency equipment — flashlights, emergency radios, first aid kits, generators and the like.

It also would be wise to review emergency response procedures with family members and housemates. Businesses also should be prepared in case of outages, earthquakes and similar natural disasters. Key among procedures, especially when children are involved, is what to do and how to contact other family members in the aftermath.

This isn't rocket science; it's just common-sense type stuff — stuff often taken for granted until the lights flicker and the ground begins to shift a little.

Using instances such as those listed here as reminders to be prepared makes sense, too.