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Thumbs up, thumbs down

December 03, 1999

Thumbs Up!To William Spangler of Smithsburg who's spent 27 years, sometimes six days a week, ministering to the spiritual needs of inmates at the state prisons south of Hagerstown.

Thumbs Down!To the U.S. Army, for apparently making it impossible for the former Fort Ritchie property to be used for any productive purpose. By restricting the use of 90 percent of the land, the Army has made profitable enterprises impossible.

Thumbs Up!To. B. Marie Byers, retiring Washington County school board member, for setting up a Nov. 29 meeting to recruit potential candidates and educate them on the duties of board members.

Thumbs Up!To the Hagerstown Suns, for agreeing to extend their lease at Municipal Stadium through 2000. Even those who oppose a new stadium must concede the Suns' owners have given this area every opportunity to find a way to keep the team here.

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Thumbs Up!To Donald Langenberg, University of Maryland new stadium, for agreeing to a downtown Hagerstown site for a new campus, proving again that discretion is the better part of valor.

Thumbs Up!To U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, for helping to avert a local health-care crisis that might have left 22 people without home care. Apparently in Congress' quest to balance the budget in 1997, some needy folks were left behind.

Thumbs Down!To whichever Hagerstown city employee was responsible for leaving a downed utility pole in the street for nearly five hours Nov. 26. Good thing the crash happened at 5 a.m. instead of 5 p.m.

Thumbs Up!To the 30 to 50 volunteers who worked to help renovate Hagerstown's Union Rescue Mission recently, with the help of a $1,000 grant from Wal-Mart. It was all part of the national "Make a Difference Day" observation.

Thumbs Down!To the protesters who tried to disrupt World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle with violence, obscuring some real issues like child labor and the environment.

Thumbs Down!To all those arguing that U.S. Sen. John McCain's occasional outbursts of temper disqualify him as a presidential candidate. Doesn't anyone remember a fellow named Lyndon B. Johnson, who could be temperamental, too?

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