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Small Alaska communities are the state's backbone. Economically, if they're strong, then so, too, is Alaska.

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Shane Raymond Sooter, 59, died Oct. 24, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Robert ‘Rod’ Orwin Davidson, 68, died Oct. 21, 2014, in Tacoma, Washington
Mary C. Smith, 93, died Oct. 19, 2014, in Ketchikan.
11/1/2012
Welcome news

It was bad news to hear last week that the U.S. Postal Service substation downtown is closing at the end of the year.

And it is good news, now, to learn that the post office plans to replace the substation.

The last day of service at 422 Mission St. will be Dec. 31. Downtown is the ideal location for the substation for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the brisk seasonal trade during the summers. Downtown businesses and government agencies alike, not to mention the employees of same, all avail themselves of the convenience of a local post office. So we hope the next incarnation of the substation will be downtown.

But the post office can’t make that downtown location happen on its own. It does not build a building to provide a substation; rather, the substation is a contract with a private entity, a contract of indefinite duration. That means that during the two weeks to make proposals to the post office, downtown venues need to make their availability known.

The post office has been in drug stores, tourist shops and kitchen-supply stores over the years, not to mention way back when, when the main post office was in the Federal Building downtown. Those who might have the space to accommodate a postal substation should familiarize themselves with the agency’s requirements so they can get proposals in on time.

We were relieved to hear that there will be another substation in Ketchikan when the current one closes. We’ll be relieved, too, if the new one is also downtown.