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As an island community in an island region, Ketchikan knows the importance of air and sea transportation.

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May 19 will be a remarkable day in Ketchikan. Seven cruise ships are expected to bring 13,226 passengers to the First City, beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m. That's more than 2,000 above the highest cruise passenger day a year ago.

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Margaret Mae Bolton, 83, died April 15, 2017, in Ketchikan.
Courtney Marie Marshall, 36, died April 11, 2017, in Seattle.
Marcario Rado, 58, died April 10, 2017, in Ketchikan.
Ralph Lloyd Grooms, 91, died April 13, 2017, in Ketchikan.
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.