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The stage is set to begin clearing the way to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

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When Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski spoke with anti-Trump protesters in Ketchikan on Presidents Day, she was fulfilling an important part of the job: Meeting with the people that elected her to represent them.

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The Rev. Dr. Louis B. Gerhardt, 91, died Feb. 13, 2017, in Twentynine Palms, California.
12/21/2012
Two for two

Good news: Not only did the world not end, but it’s getting better.

To wit: Winter began with the solstice in the wee hours of the morning, at 2:11 a.m.

And that means the unrelenting 2012 march to shorter and shorter days has ended. From here on in, the days begin to get longer.

Realistically, the days won’t feel much longer for a spell. Yet there is the psychic certainty of knowing that they are and that long, sunny days await.

No, really.

Right now, the sunshine doesn’t even put in a full day. We have it easier than Barrow in that regard; no sunrise there until Jan. 23, and then it will be up for only 57 minutes in the early afternoon. Hereabouts, the sun will be back to an eight-hour shift by Jan. 20, not that we are keeping track. And by March — ahhhh. Even on March 1, which doubtless will be sunny (won’t it? Wait —was that a doubt?), Old Sol will be up a little after 6:30 and won’t set until nearly 5:30 p.m. We all relish the joys of June, with its 16-plus hours of daylight.

But why look so far into the future?

As of now, we are officially on the daylight upswing. Whatever your eyes and thermostat might tell you about winter, knowing that the sun is coming back to town makes it springtime of the mind. Dec. 21: O, happy day.