Empire Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down

We give a thumbs down to the ineffective government website that is not allowing Alaskans to enroll in the Affordable Care Act. As of Oct. 16, only one Alaskan was reported as being able to enroll in the program due to glitches and site crashes. The system cost Americans $400 million over the last three years, only it has failed to accomplish what it was intended for: providing Americans (including those of us in Alaska) with a simple and efficient method to enroll in the program. With a Dec. 15 deadline looming for those wanting insurance coverage by the start of the new year, officials in Washington need to fix this problem — now.

The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears football team gets a thumbs up for its lopsided playoff victory over Kenai on Saturday, 42-15. The Crimson Bears (8-1) will be competing for a state championship for the first time since 2008 when they face unbeaten Soldotna (10-0) on Saturday in the championship game. If you see a Crimson Bears player or coach this week, give them a pat on the back, or a thumbs up, for what has already been a successful season. Play hard, Crimson Bears, and bring the title back to Juneau.

Thumbs up to Juneau’s Beatrice Franklin, who recently was named “Volunteer of the Year” by the Alaska Adult Education Association. Beatrice has spent the last four years teaching English as a second language through The Learning Connection, and before that was a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Communities thrive when they have people like Beatrice, who give their time and a piece of their heart toward helping others without ever asking for anything in return. Thank you, Beatrice, for all you’ve done and will continue to do for Juneau.

Lastly, Juneau business owners get a thumbs up. According to the Juneau Economic Development Council’s most recent economic indicators report, Juneau’s private sector saw a growth spurt in 2012, leading to an increase in both jobs and average salaries. According to the report, there were 270 new jobs created in the private sector in 2012, making it the fourth consecutive year the private sector has seen growth.

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