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The message is loud and clear. Gov. Bill Walker is telling it like it is: Alaska has difficult financial times before it.

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In case you missed it, Alaska's estimated population fell in the year 2014 — by a total of 61 residents. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough lost an estimated three residents, according to data from state demographers.

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Larry Dean Hogan, 72, died Jan. 2, 2015, in Ketchikan.
7/19/2013
Memories

Families keep their memories in photos, and families blessed with organized people might even have those memories in scrapbooks, neatly labeled and easily consulted for enjoyment and information of succeeding generations.

A community’s memories are held in its museum.

The Tongass Historical Museum is in a time of transition — its longtime senior curator of collections, Richard Van Cleave, leaves at the close of today. It won’t be long before the city’s museums director, Michael Naab, departs in three months after 16 years at the helm.

The museum showcases our history through pictures — now available digitally — and countless artifacts of times past, continuing to update its collection and find new ways to display it. It has the indispensable assistance of a dedicated group of volunteers in the Tongass Historical Society, a perfect reflection of the can-do attitude of the community they call home.

A search is underway for a new museum director, and the director will be selecting a new curator of collections. We appreciate the long line of good people who have served at our museum, and have confidence their successors will carry the torch high, as well.

For communities blessed with museum staff such as Ketchikan attracts, our communal memories are not only kept but cherished, and frequently viewed with pride, interest and, dare we say, love.