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People line up for free. Even people who have no business receiving a handout.

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This is no time to mince words. Republican Gov. Sean Parnell will be in town today to take on challenger Bill Walker, an independent candidate, and Libertarian Carolyn Clift in Ketchikan's 2014 Alaska gubernatorial debate.

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Anne (Davidson) Caskey, 73, died Sept. 27, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Don L. Scruggs, 86, died July 15, 2014, in Sun City, Arizona.
Christine Marie Edenso, 70, died Sept. 22, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Karl Emory Steward, 86, died Aug. 11, 2014, in Bullhead City, Arizona.
12/6/2012
Our lucky star

Amid the hail stones of yore, we saw the bright sunshine Thursday, and it was a reminder of our great good fortune.

Although we grumble about the lack of light as we trudge on toward the much anticipated winter solstice, we need only look at what some of our fellow Alaskans tolerate to realize sunrise and sunset are not to be taken for granted.

To wit: Our most recent sunrise was just before 8 this morning. Barrow’s was at 1:48 p.m. (p.m.!) Nov. 19 — the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Our next sunset will be at 3:18 this afternoon. Barrow’s? Jan. 23.

Healthy people adjust to conditions they cannot change and we are a healthy bunch. (We’ve heard some from up north say the 24-hour-a-day summer sun is more difficult to deal with than the dark, though — at this time of year, at least — we are skeptical.)

In Ketchikan and its environs, part of that adjustment to increased darkness involves potlucks and all manner of artistic endeavors. We leave our houses in the dark to see what our friends are up to during the winter; it seems like we are just too busy in the summertime to keep caught up.

As our daylight becomes shorter, literally by the minute this month, let’s remember that we are oh, so close to the shortest day.

And that means the longer days are just around the corner, too.