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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.
9/12/2013
Strange indeed

Climate is the darndest thing.

It doesn't always do what is expected or predicted.

NASA has satellite images showing Arctic ice grew by about a million square miles from last year. Comparing August 2012 to August 2013, the Arctic has about 60 percent more ice or 2.35 million miles compared to 1.32 million miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

This occurred during global warming.

Of course, it should be noted that the 2012 figure was a record low. But such a huge percentage of return is significant, and the opposite of predictions a year ago. Last year's low ice prompted expectations for an ice-free summer in 2013. Clearly, that didn't happen.

The ice increase already has at least one scientist saying that global cooling has begun to replace the warming trend and that it will continue for the next 15 years. Although, all scientists aren't agreeing. They're probably accurate on one point: One year doesn't make a new trend.

Whether this turnaround in the Arctic is the beginning of a new trend or the continuation of global warming, the world will have to stayed tuned to see what happens next summer.