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Practice bear safety The bears are out of hibernation — at least a few are.


It's gratifying when five people put their names in the hat to serve the public.

Which is what happened when a vacancy came up this fall on the Ketchikan City Council.

The council picked the name of one candidate Monday night; it is hoped the others' interest in a council seat will remain until the next opportunity.

That opportunity will come in October 2014, when the seat vacated by Sam Bergeron will be on the ballot, along with at least one other Council seat.

Unfortunately, the names that appear in a list of possible appointees often aren't among those who seek election. Perhaps, that trend within local government bodies will change in 2014.

At this point, it is appropriate to congratulate Russell Wodehouse, a graphic artist, musician and employee at Salmon Etc., in his new role as Council member. The easy part is over; the difficult choices have just begun. But, undoubtedly, Wodehouse is looking forward to the challenge, and the community can be thankful for his willingness to take it on.

Thank-yous also are in order. First, to Dick Coose, who served two terms on the Council, losing in his bid for a third in the most recent municipal election that included three candidates. Coose also has served on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly. He has been generous in his time and effort on behalf of the community.

In addition to Coose, who sought the appointment, the others deserving of thanks are his co-applicants: Jacquie Meck, owner of The Local Paper; Tyrell Rettke, a temporary dispatcher for the Ketchikan Police Department, and Mickey Robbins, a retired state Department of Transportation employee. All should be encouraged to continue their interest in local politics; the community will need more than one candidate next fall and in the falls to come, and each offer a variety of local experiences that would be valuable to city government.

The city has seven members representing it at the table again. That's as it should be.