Empire Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up to the New Year. For Alaskans that means another opportunity to apply for a payout from the Permanent Fund Dividend. In turn, it also means a chance to Pick.Click.Give. — to join the more than 23,169 others who have chosen to give all or a portion of the annual check to a nonprofit of choice. Do what you can in 2014.

Thumbs down to the recent cases of H1N1 influenza. We urge residents to be extra careful to both prevent additional cases and help heal those who are already sick. According to a report we published, Alaska State health officials say they’ll waive the administrative fee for the state-supplied flu vaccine for certain Alaskans in an effort to get more people immunized. For those who qualify, that $28 fee is being waived through March at all state public health centers.

Thumbs up to a second year of the Mountain Savvy course being offered at Eaglecrest Ski Area. The on-hill instruction is focused at helping youth ages 12-16 make smart choices when skiing off the groomed runs of a ski area. They learn how to spot avalanche-prone areas, how to read area signage and the basics of using an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel, to name just a few. Instructors are all experts and some grew up skiing the mountains around Juneau. At $25 and with local business perks, taking the class is a must for any young, avid skier or snowboarder. Find out more here: http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2014-01-03/mountain-savvy-courses-open-....

Thumbs up to the film “The Right for all: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska.” The film has been used by some educators as a tool for teaching about Alaska’s history and civil rights, and according to a recent article, the “Elizabeth Peratrovich Project makes the film more accessible to educators and provides a viewers’ guide, which organizers hope will prove a useful tool.” Find out more about the film by visiting alaskacivilrights.org. More about the Elizabeth Peratrovich Project can found here: http://juneauempire.com/neighbors/2014-01-05/elizabeth-peratrovich-proje....

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