Thumbs up, thumbs down

January 24, 1997

To Washington County's United Way volunteers, who raised a record $1.6 million in their 1996 campaign. No one who hasn't been involved can know how many (unpaid) hours this job takes.

To the Charles Town, W.Va. Police Department, for doubling the number of drug arrests from 49 in 1995 to 99 in 1996. Let's put this activity on the endangered species list by doubling that number again in 1997.

To members of the Maryland General Assembly trying to tie a personal income-tax cut to a plan to put slot-machines at state race tracks. The mix is a mistake that may defeat both items.

To Del. Bruce Poole and state Sen. Don Munson, for their proposal to write a bill revamping Washington County's tourism operation, just in case a voluntary solution doesn't materialize. It's good to have a stick if you need it.


To Downtown Chambersburg, Inc., for moving ahead with plans to revitalize the historic Capitol Theatre by hiring a managing director. Could Hagerstown borrow your script?

To officials from VisionQuest juvenile facility, who said this week they have no idea how many youths walk away from the unfenced institution each year. No, it's not a prison, but it isn't a day camp either, folks.

To the court officials who decided that this time around, O.J. Simpson's trial wouldn't be televised, freeing millions to pay attention to issues relevant to their own lives.

To workers and management at JLG Industries in McConnellsburg, Pa., for the hard work that made it possible to announce a $12 million expansion that will add 130 jobs to the aerial lift maker's work force. Way to go!

To Washington County's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly, for their wise choice not to attempt any amendments to the county's tip-jar law this year. Thank you.

To the Greater Hagerstown Committee and a group of Hagerstown banks, for putting together a housing-loan program that's helped 17 families become homeowners in a targeted area of the city's West End.

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