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Empire Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down

Posted: September 15, 2013 - 11:07pm

• Thumbs up to organizers of the Capital Brewfest, which drew hundreds of people to the Juneau Arts & Culture Center Saturday. It’s always good to see an event come off successfully. Also, thumbs up to the folks who paid the $5 designated driver entrance fee and got others home safely after the Brewfest.

• Thumbs down to the potential impacts of an 88-student enrollment drop in the Juneau School District. That could mean a loss of more than $650,000 in a budget that already was pared by $1.2 million last spring. We hope this is a blip on the radar, and new students will offset the losses. We also hope the JSD will review the techniques used by the new contractor that came up with the overly-optimistic enrollment projection.

• Thumbs up to local dancer Máire New, 16, who has been invited to train next month at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow beginning in October. That is a high honor. We wish her well. To go, however, she has to raise the money for her tuition — and that’s $26,000. She has launched an Internet fundraising campaign and we wish her well. Find out more online at Her full story is on our website,

• Thumbs up to law enforcement officials working to stop the flow of dangerous drugs, including heroin, into Juneau for the arrest of a suspected drug trafficker from the East Coast at Juneau International Airport Tuesday. They confiscated an estimated $103,500 worth of heroin.

• Thumbs up to the Rasmuson Foundation, which gave a $250,000 grant to sculptor R.T. “Skip” Wallen so the creation of Juneau’s new whale sculpture can proceed. The sculpture will stand in a park on the Juneau side beneath the Douglas Bridge. The smaller version of that statue has moved from Egan Drive to the UAS campus.

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