Empire Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down

• 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 www.gofundme.com/45hcws. Her full story is on our website, www.juenauempire.com.

• 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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Tue, 01/24/2017 - 08:36

Alaska Editorial: Interference with state’s wildlife

It’s in Alaskans’ best interest to manage the state’s wildlife. Read more

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 08:29

Letter: Stand with Planned Parenthood

You don’t have to look far to find a headline detailing the troubles Alaska is currently facing. Whether it’s the fiscal crisis, public safety or health care, Alaskans are struggling with wanting their families to be safe and their futures to be secure.

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Tue, 01/24/2017 - 08:28

My Turn: Alaska’s fiscal crisis is not just a math problem

Proposed plans for resolving the Alaska fiscal crisis have one thing in common: They treat our crisis as one big math problem. Unfortunately, how we solve this problem will have long-term implications for public policy (i.e. who benefits from and who pays for government services), the cost-of-living for families in our state and whether future Alaskans will share in the wealth created by one-generation’s extraction of our most valuable resource - oil. Additionally, one might wonder if our solution to the fiscal crisis leaves us a government that is accountable to the will of the people, not just now, but into the future.

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Tue, 01/24/2017 - 08:25

My Turn: Downtown Juneau crime is everyone’s problem

Downtown Juneau is home to many residents and local businesses that care about their neighborhood and the people who come to shop, enjoy the delightful variety of cuisines offered, or have a brew and hotdog at the Triangle Club on the lively corner of Front Street and North Franklin. However, the corner has changed.

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