To the Class of 2014: Never stop learning

Think safety this holiday weekend

Congratulations to the Class of 2014. Whether you’ve just completed high school, college, a technical training program or apprenticeship, enjoy the moment. You deserve to celebrate your accomplishment.

But remember this: while you’ve completed your course of study and collected your certificate or diploma, you haven’t stopped learning.

If you’re headed to college or technical school, you’ve got the next step in your personal and professional development mapped out. If you’re looking for entry into the workforce, you may not realize it at the moment, but you will spend your career constantly developing new skills — because if you don’t, you’ll quickly find that you won’t have much of a career.

In today’s economy, employers value not just well trained employees who can fill a current opening, but also employees with the potential for growth to meet future needs. A new hire is an investment; companies small and large would like to see that investment pay dividends down the road.

So, again, congratulations on what you’ve accomplished so far. Now it’s time to put that education to work — by going out and learning even more.

Memorial Day weekend is here and with it, Kenai Peninsula residents and visitors will be hitting the roads, trails, lakes, streams, beaches and anywhere else we can think of for some quality recreation.

First and foremost, a look at the smoke plumes on the horizon should be more than enough of a reminder that wildfire danger is high, and a burn suspension remains in place.

Before you head out, please take a moment to make sure you’re prepared to enjoy the Peninsula safely. While it’s tempting to rush out to the next adventure, midstream is not the time to find out that the life jackets are missing; miles from the trail head is not the place to discover that the first-aid kit has not been restocked.

If you’re headed out on the roads, make sure you bring a healthy dose of patience, too. Add emergency vehicles handling the Funny River Horse Trail fire to the usual holiday traffic and construction delays, and it’s going to take a few minutes longer to get where you’re going. Common sense and courtesy will go a long way toward making the weekend a pleasant one.

One last thing — if you’re going to drink, don’t drive. Stay the night, designate a driver, call a friend, call a cab — any of those options are better than the potential consequences of driving drunk.

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