Empire Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs down to those responsible for cutting a diesel fuel line, which caused an estimated 250 gallons of fuel to leak into the city’s wastewater last week. Goods were also stolen, such as power tools and GPS units. We hope the public perks up and pays attention. With some keen eyes around town, odds are the crooks will get caught.

A thumbs up to the wastewater collection crew at the Mendenhall Wastewater Treatment Plant who noticed the leak in the first place. What luck most of the oil spilled into the drain, and not directly into the groundwater or a nearby stream. And another thumbs up to the owners of the building, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, for stepping up and working to fix what the damage caused by the incident, despite the fact they are not to blame.  

Thumbs up to the 32 Alaska residents who officially became citizens of the United States of America on Friday. The individuals hailed from 15 different countries, including the Polynesian islands of Tonga, the Philippines, India, Mexico, South Korea, Argentina, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Germany, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Russia, Turkey and Western Samoa. In order to become a citizen, applicants must pass an oral test on U.S. civics and history. Interviewers ask them 10 questions out of 100 possible questions that they’ve studied. They must answer at least six of them correctly. We’d be willing to wager, these folks know more about civics than most. Either way, congratulations!

Thumbs down to the Catch-22 that currently challenges the Juneau Raptor Center. The local nonprofit needs a new flight mew to help rehabilitate injured birds, such as bald eagles, but before they can acquire the facility, they need funding; without funding, they can’t get the structure, let alone the land upon which to build one. The local group, which is completely volunteer-run, is currently sending birds they can’t care for to Sitka, at the Alaska Raptor Center. But is that a long-term solution? Perhaps not. We urge anyone with time and interest to get involved.

Thumbs up to the League of Women Voters, who helped local students register to vote on National Voter Registration Day last week. Volunteers with the LWV helped young adults take the first important step to having a lifelong voice that will help shape the future of our country. Don’t forget to cast your vote, Juneau, on Tuesday, Oct. 1.


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