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On Jan. 5, 2001, during the final moments of Bill Clinton’s administration, the then-president announced the Roadless Area Conservation Final Rule.

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Ellis John Buxton, 80, died July 12, 2015, in Ketchikan.
Kenneth L. Peters, 76, died July 21, 2015, at his home in Ketchikan.
Margaret “Meg” Hanas, 92, died July 21, 2015, peacefully in Olympia, Washington.
2/4/2013
Did the math

OK, OK, enough about the groundhog thing. We recently had a letter from a former Punxsutawney resident, singing the praises of that self-centered Pennsylvania place, home to Phil, the prognosticating rodent.

Here’s the thing, though: The story goes that if Phil sees his shadow on Feb. 2, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring will come early.

Well.

Phil claims not to have seen his shadow on Saturday, a state of affairs we view with jaundiced eye because the news photo of Phil considering the evidence shows sun shining down on him. Phil! Look down! That’s a shadow!

But for the sake of discussion, let’s stipulate that Phil communicated the truth, and didn’t see his shadow on Gobbler’s Knob. So what?

See, we did the math. Turns out, either way, it’s an early spring. Six weeks from Feb. 2 is March 16 (the day before a fine day, St. Patrick’s Day, which always signals spring to us).

The point? Shadow, no shadow: Spring comes early either way.

It’s not rocket science.

Fun, though. Yippee! It’s almost spring!