Empire editorial: Thumbs: Mostly up, a few down

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2002

Thumbs up - and thumbs are not nearly recognition enough - to the Alaska Committee for another successful round of Whack-a-Mole against the would-be capital movers. The movers should retreat deep into their burrows while the next Legislature considers a more geographically equitable set of rules for initiating ballot referenda.

Thumbs up to every citizen who voted in the general election and especially to those who overcame health, transportation and other obstacles to exercise one of democracy's foremost rights.

Thumbs down to those Alaskans who forgot Nov. 5 was election day or were too busy to vote. That's why we have weeks of absentee voting, voting by mail and voting by fax. It's your government; take ownership.

Thumbs up to the candidates and campaigners who resisted the temptation to distort their opponents' records and to pander to the fears of the electorate during these economically uncertain times. Thumbs down to those who took the low road.

Thumbs up to Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski for inviting Alaskans to participate in nonpartisan town hall meetings statewide. Transition team spokesman John Manly said the governor-elect welcomes "participation from everybody." If you are concerned about education, transportation, public safety, resources, the environment, taxes, the permanent fund, Juneau access, wildlife, subsistence, capital-move efforts or anything else that is a function of state government, speak up. The political campaigns are over. Alaskans are on a honeymoon cruise with no requirement to return to partisan ports.

Thumbs up to hundreds of hunters, wildlife watchers and conservationists who voiced their opinions in person, by e-mail or by petition to the Board of Game in advance of and during its six-day meeting in Juneau. The board's decisions, especially concerning wolves and deer on Douglas Island, will be judged - and adjusted - over time.

Thumbs up to the Juneau-Douglas High School swimming and diving teams. The boys tied with Soldotna for the state championship and the girls tied with Colony for third place.

Thumbs high over the net to the JDHS volleyball team for earning a berth in last night's state championship game. Deadlines do not allow for the results to be reflected here, but the outcome will be reported in our Sports section.

Thumbs up to JDHS senior Joe Ayers whose baseball skills and classroom accomplishments qualified him for admission to Stanford University and an athletic scholarship. Ayers is a nice fit for Stanford, which is one of the nation's top universities in academics and sports.

Thumbs up to Alaskan Brewing Co., for dipping into the aging cellar and marketing four-packs of smoked porter, the brewery's seasonal, limited-edition pride and joy. These boxes include 16-ounce bottles of the 1997-2000 editions of the alder-smoked-malt beverage. Juneau beer connoisseurs are smiling.

Thumbs up to every member of the community who adopts one of the Pets of the Week featured on our Neighbors pages - or any other animal - available from the Gastineau Humane Society.

Thumbs sky high to Pat Costello and Greg Bledsoe for providing Empire readers with consecutive-day photos of a mountain goat surveying our town from Mount Juneau and of Alpine Club members descending from Mount Stroller White toward the Mendenhall Glacier. Empire photographers do a great job day in and day out, but we welcome such outstanding contributions from readers and members of our community.

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