Thumbs up, thumbs down for Monday, Feb. 17

Thumbs up to the HEARTS Initiative, also known as Hiring, Educating, and Retaining Teaching Staff. The importance of early childhood education cannot be overstated, but those jobs do not always attract the best and brightest due to low pay and other factors. Last week, a classroom of preschoolers delivered heart-shaped cards to City Hall as a way to say thank you for the work completed so far on the two-year-old educational program. The initiative helps suggest educational incentives and provides child care fee waivers and reimbursements for early educators as ways to improve the quality and availability of child care in Juneau. The initiative is based on recommendations developed through a two-year strategic planning process involving the Association for the Education of Young Children, Partnerships for Families and Children, the Juneau Economic Development Council, the Juneau Child Care Association and Juneau Child Care Task Force members, according to the “thread” website.

Thumbs up to “One Billion Rising,” a global “call to survivors (of abuse) to break the silence and release their stories — politically, spiritually,” however they see fit. “We respect their experience and we are here to help them,” Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams said. Last week, gatherings were held locally, as well as around the world. We support this effort and hope the movement encourages individuals to come forth, education to continue and rates of domestic abuse, violence and rape go nowhere but down.

Thumbs down to driving distracted, especially when young ones are around. So, a thumbs up to the advancement of SB123, a bill that would ban cellphone use in school zones. The bill wouldenable cities to pass ordinances that prohibit cellphone use on school property and in school zones, but it does not require such a rule. The Senate voted 13-2 to approve the bill, sponsored by Anchorage Republican Sen. Kevin Meyer. Now, the bill heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Thumbs up to another great fireworks show at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Saturday night. Each year the city-owned ski area hosts the booming show as a way to show appreciation to the community and this year did not disappoint.

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