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It's no surprise that President Obama wants to score an environmental victory by setting aside millions of acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as protected wilderness.

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Juneau can't measure up to Ketchikan — not when it comes to rain.

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Medina "Sunshine" Fe Diaz Camilon Baker, 56, died Jan. 17, 2015, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.
Larry Dean Hogan, 72, died Jan. 2, 2015, in Ketchikan.
7/5/2013
It takes an island

... to make a Fourth of July. Every little bit of it that we appreciate about one of our favorite holidays is someone else’s brainchild, project, assignment, or joy.

The parade? The Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce spends countless hours organizing it, of course, but all the participants do yeoman’s work, too. This year, two grand marshals (and great friends to Ketchikan) celebrated with us, Kayhi graduates both. Which reminds us — those class reunions don’t organize themselves. Every class has its movers and shakers to welcome those who’ve left town home, and to join long-separated classmates once again. Dinners, picnics, parties and the parade: Rain or shine, those floats will roll. Candy will be thrown (and received) joyously. New generations now have been thrilled at the sight of the huge American flag signaling the beginning of the festivities.

Like food? Someone bakes those pies and slaves over all the food sold at the booths where we play games as well as eat, again with help from volunteers. Students aren’t the only ones raising funds, but they certainly do more than their share. Everyone tries to find an activity or edible to entice that last charitable dollar out of our well-exercised wallets.

And that reminds us: All of our neighbors’ efforts and energy would be for naught if we didn’t come out to enjoy the day. Everyone is an important piece of the community puzzle that is a Fourth of July celebration. Without any of us to enjoy the goings-on, all of those people who provide them would just be going through the motions.

Thanks are due to everyone who worked so to make another Ketchikan Fourth of July memory for all of us — and to everyone who enjoyed the fruits of their labor. Another fine Independence Day is in the books. Aaaaah.