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Thanksgiving is every day — we have much for which to be thankful all days of the year.

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Peaceful protest is OK; nonpeaceful isn't. This is the case with the protests following the grand jury's decision in the case involving teen-ager Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.

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1/17/2014
Awards

Congratulations to the 2013 Citizens of the Year, Tom and Mary Schulz.

The Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet over the weekend and honored a few of Ketchikan’s finest citizens.

Retired Superior Court Judge Tom Schulz and his wife, Mary, both active in church and civic activities, are appreciated in the community for their contributions, in addition to simply being nice people. Their hearts have gone out to foster kids, women who find themselves at Women in Safe Homes, people with immigration issues, the homeless, other members of their church, and neighbors and the elderly.

Maggie Freitag received the Business of the Year award. She has been much appreciated for taking charge of Parnassus Books in 1996 from previous owner Lillian Ference and continuing the effort of finding the books Ketchikan wants to read. After 18 years of operating the little charmer, she retired as of the first of the year.

Like Freitag, the Entrepreneurs of the Year, Dennis and Alma Parker of Studio Max, put their heart into what they loved and came up with a wildly successful business just over four years ago. Studio Max is a wonderful addition to the community's opportunities for dance and exercise.

Once again it was people doing what they love to do that earned Rick and Pat Shaner the Youth Leader award. Through school as a coach and substitute teachers, and through church and church camp, the Shaners commit their time to leading youth toward some of the better ways to go in life.

The Event of the Year — the Alaska Shellfish Festival — captured Ketchikan's heart since its introduction to the community four years ago. The Alaska Shellfish Growers Association, along with the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association and OceansAlaska, work with Alaska's producers and processors of oysters, spot prawns, geoduck clams, sea cucumbers and scallops and local restaurants and beverage outlets to put on a smorgasboard of delights that has Ketchikan citizens scrambling to get tickets every year. Tickets go fast.

In every case, it comes down to the heart of the awards' recipients. They have a heart for others and do what they love, and as a result, they win the hearts of the community.

Congratulations to the Schulzes, Freitag, the Parkers, the Shaners and the many folks responsible for the Shellfish Festival.

You're all winners.