Bravo, Juneau, for your generosity!

Empire editorial

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2002

Americans rose up after the tragic events of September 11 and opened their hearts and pocketbooks as they never have before to fund victim-relief efforts, The New York Fire Fighter's Fund, the American Red Cross and dozens of other causes.

The citizens of Juneau contributed tens of thousands of dollars to 9/11 causes in addition to the $27,000 the community funneled through the United Way of Southeast Alaska to the September 11th Fund.

In the face of this unforeseen demand on giving, the challenge of raising another $550,000 in local donations for this year's United Way Campaign seemed daunting. But due to the strong leadership of Executive Director Marsha Riley, Campaign Chairman Brian Phillips, and the rest of the United Way team, the campaign brought in a record-breaking $552,603.

The real gratitude goes out to the businesses, organizations and individuals who proved through their generosity that Juneau is community united in its caring.

Metal mining misunderstanding

We received three letters to the editor this week crying foul, and accusing the publisher of the Juneau Empire of pre-empting a news story on a controversial report entitled "The role of Metal Mining in the Alaska Economy." The report authored by University of Montana Professor Tom Power was the subject of last Sunday's editorial. In fact, Professor Power submitted one of the letters.

The three letter writers offered strong arguments in support of free speech and cast the integrity and responsibility of this newspaper in negative light. We appreciate all comments supporting free speech. However, Aurah Landau, Shoren Brown of SEACC and Prof. Power mistakenly charged that the publisher of Juneau Empire withheld the Associated Press story on Professor Power's report and then wrote an editorial about it.

The wire story on Prof. Power's report ran on page seven (the daily business page) of the Feb. 14 edition of Juneau Empire under the headline "Report: Mining won't pan out for state." The story ran as soon as it was received and was not edited. The editorial which ran three days later provided an in-depth analysis of the report and attempted to balance the biased and misleading information contained throughout the 40-page report funded in part by Southeast Alaska Conservation Council .

The three letters stand as examples of the irresponsible use of half-truths to influence public opinion. The full text of Professor Power's report can be viewed on the Internet at: http://www.ems.org/alaska_mining/anchorage.html

Readers can judge for themselves, the degree of truth it contains.

Don Smith

dsmith@juneauempire.com

586-1428



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