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That's a nice Christmas gift. Ketchikan waits anxiously each year about this time, just like the kids do for Christmas morning, to discover what the next cruise ship schedule looks like.

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With a drop in oil prices limiting revenue for state capital and operating budgets, Alaskans will have to think frugally for the time being.

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A.J. Dennis, 77, of Silver Creek, Washington, died Dec. 18, 2014, after a long illness.
Phillip Dean Nehl, 59, died Dec. 10, 2014, in Ketchikan after a long battle with heart failure.
7/18/2013
‘Hot’ and ‘hotter’

Lucky for us, reading tips on how to survive a heat wave is a mostly intellectual exercise.

Oh, sure, we have started to complain a tad (well, it IS a little hot for comfortable sleeping for those of us who can’t open our doors at night, fearful of letting the critters escape ... or get in) about our own “heat wave” in the Banana Belt of Alaska.

But for us, “hot” is in the 70s. Down South, and particularly on the East Coast these days, “hot” means in the 90s. It’s humid, too — although, in fairness, we could tell them a thing or two about humidity.

Still, in all this sunshine, it does us well to remember things we don’t often have to consider. Sunscreen, for one. We need to protect our skin from withering, and the risk of cancer, under those warm and welcome rays. Pay special attention to the kids, who are out playing from dawn until dusk —  a good long stretch, even this far south of the Midnight Sun.

Hydration, for another. Water has long been the hydrating agent of choice, though Men’s Health Magazine has a list of alternatives that work, including milk, V-8, Mom’s chicken noodle soup (obviously better in the wintertime), and lettuce. Beer is “not a hydrator, as some sauced Spanish scientists attempted to claim last year,” but rather the opposite. So if you are thinking of drinking a frosty cold one, make sure you are hydrated first.

The main thing to remember in our rainforest during these bouts of sunshine is to bask! This weather won’t last forever. But the rain, to paraphrase a much better writer, we will always have with us. Enjoy the respite.