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On one thing, most congressional Democrats and Republicans agree — retain tax relief for individuals, small businesses and energy.

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Phillip Dean Nehl, 59, died Dec. 10, 2014, in Ketchikan after a long battle with heart failure.
David Jmmanuel (Keith Gustaf Dahl), 50, died Oct. 28, 2014, suddenly of natural causes at home in Ketchikan.
Frank Chester Leask, 76, died Dec. 9, 2014, in Metlakatla.
12/29/2012
Into 2013, safely

2013 sounds like a real good year.

It's important to get there safely, without ringing-in-the-new with crises, catastrophes, collisions and all those C-words that translate into trouble likely to last a while.

When it comes to "a while," that would be into the new year. Because if something such as a collision occurs, it can take months, if not years, to recover physically and financially, depending on its severity.

But the need for that type of recovery can be easily avoided — even on one of the community's most celebrated evenings of the year, Dec. 31.

The traditional party night calls for wisdom, which is best employed before beginning to party. Once a party begins, and the drinking follows, it's too late to lay claim to possession of one's full faculties.

The wisest move is to arrange for transportation before putting on the party dress — if you're a woman — and aftershave — if you're a man. Whether it's a party in your home, someone else's home, a bar or another public place, transportation for you and your guests should be paramount.

For the 30th year, there's an easy answer to the transportation question. Free taxicab rides will be available within the city limits, thanks to Ketchikan's Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant & Retailer's Association.

Alaska Cab Co., Inc., Sourdough Cab and Yellow Taxi all will be participating from 6 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. CHARR pays for a pre-arranged number of taxis, and then each taxi company donates a cab's services for the 12-hour period, according to CHARR's secretary-treasurer Donna Luther.

The free cab rides are between establishments providing liquor and homes, or from one establishment to another. All rides must be within the city limits.

However, First Student, the company that provides school bus service, will be providing bus rides from the city into the borough, according to Luther.

One bus will start downtown and travel north, while another bus will begin at the West End and cruise south. Each bus will make two trips — one at 12:30 a.m. and another at 2:30 a.m.

To catch the bus, simply flag it down a safe distance from moving motor vehicles. In other words, it won't be necessary nor is it recommended to walk into the street. The bus drivers will be watching for possible riders waving at them from the sidewalks.

If you miss the bus or for some reason can't get a taxi, wait for the next one or call someone who hasn't been drinking. Maybe you and your friends will have a designated, non-drinking driver for the night's festivities. It's likely, too, that wherever the party is, whether it's a bar or a home, the host and/or hostess will want to be sure you don't drive while under the influence. Ask for assistance. They likely will arrange for transportation or a place to stay.

Clearly, the community, through supporting CHARR's raffle, the taxi companies and First Student are doing their utmost to ensure the new year begins safely, without drinking-related incidents.

Let's start the new year off well by accepting their generosity.

Happy New Year.