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News that Ucore Rare Metals is proceeding to the next step in its process toward developing a mine at its Bokan Mountain/Dotson Ridge property on the southeast coast of Prince of Wales Island should be viewed positively — despite coming at a difficult time for the rare earth element mining sector.

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Creating a healthy and safe environment inside the Alaska National Guard is an endeavor that should be free from political games.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
1/18/2013
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The Ketchikan Public Library has a long and storied history, going back more than a century. Its current incarnation numbers its usage in days, though — it has been only 16 days since the beautiful new, user-friendly building on Copper Ridge opened its doors to the public.

Since that time, many patrons have availed themselves of the new library’s services, admired the Learning Tree (Ketchikan branch) in the Children’s Library, appreciated the highly visible, well-lighted shelves. The place is bustling with energy and good vibes.

And Saturday, it’s going to be brimming with the spoken word and music, besides. It’s time to celebrate, and that’s what the First City will do when it holds its grand opening Saturday. Speechifying (including words from Sen. Bert Stedman, City of Ketchikan Mayor Lew Williams III, retired library director Judith McQuerry and her successor, Linda Gens) interspersed with music and poetry, will begin at 10 a.m. and run roughly until noon, at which point music and visiting (and eating! Cake, coffee and lemonade will be among the offerings) are slated until 4 p.m.

So much work, so much time, so much worry and care went into making this longtime dream a reality. It sure-enough is time for a big ol’ party. Let’s enjoy the moment on Saturday, and celebrate our Ketchikan Public Library — the place of enlightenment on the hill.