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The Alaska Marine Highway System is a critically important piece of infrastructure that links Southeast Alaska communities, funnels visitors looking to spend their hard-earned dollars into Alaska, and generates hundreds and hundreds of jobs inside the state.

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Kenneth Ray Book, 92, died Jan. 30, 2016, in Beaverton, Oregon.
Lawrence Harris Milton, 79, died Jan. 5, 2016, in Ketchikan.
MaryEllen Haseltine, 91, died Jan. 239, 2016, in Ketchikan.
8/22/2014
Last hurrah

It's the last hurrah for students for the summer of 2014.

In 13 days, Ketchikan's elementary and secondary students return to the classroom, where their teachers will be officially beginning sooner, on Aug. 28.

The weather has presented a wonderful summer for the students, a real break — when the older ones weren't working — for fun in the sun, or, often in Ketchikan's case, under partly cloudy skies.

But, technically, the summer isn't over until the school bell rings.

So for the next almost two weeks and two weekends, there's still time to visit the beach, hike trails, fish for the silver salmon (or maybe halibut) or spend a night or two at the cabin or campground.

Some might still manage an out-of-town vacation. But, unless it's to visit family and friends or someplace greater than Ketchikan when the sun shines, few would want to leave.

Summer should be fun, and there still are a few days left of it.

Take the time to get out and enjoy it with the students. Make memories. Because there won't be another chance at their current ages. This is the only summer of '14.