Thumbs up, thumsb down

July 30, 2005

Thumbs up to officials of Alcoa's Eastalco aluminum plant in Buckeystown, Md., for giving the state six months' notice that unless they can find electric power at a cheaper rate, they will close their plant Dec. 31 and idle 635 workers. Now it's up to state officials to save those jobs.

Thumbs up to the late Mason "Mace" Mundey, for his years of service to the town of Clear Spring. A 12-year member of the town council, he coordinated work done every week in the town by crews from the local state prisons and was also active in the Clear Spring Historical Society.

Thumbs up to Steve Colby, owner of the Off the Deep End, a Hagerstown business that deals in Internet novelties, for organizing a meeting to try to get better coordination between all of the groups working to revitalize downtown Hagerstown. Joining forces makes sense.

Thumbs up to Faye Altizer, for spending 23 years as a volunteer and a counselor at Hospice of Washington County. Because the process of grieving can last up to a year after a loved one's death, that's quite a commitment to make.


Thumbs down to the U.S. House of Representatives, which last week endorsed a manned mission to Mars by a 383-15 vote. What they didn't decide was how to fund such a mission. Estimates run from $40 billion to $600 billion, assuming there are no problems.

Thumbs up to the Hagerstown Rotary Club Foundation, for giving 29 local nonprofit organizations $75,000. The cash raised came from the sale of two-for-one coupon books, a golf tournament and a bull and oyster roast.

Thumbs up to the members of Irish Republican Army, for their pledge to renounce violence in their struggle with Britain over the governance of Northern Ireland. After the recent terrorist attacks on England's subways and buses, it's a welcome step.

Thumbs up to Peggy Moats, a clerk at Wayne's Country Store on Hagerstown's West Washington Street, for locking a would-be robber who hit her and demanded cash inside the store. We don't recommend it, but in our book that was one gutsy move.

Thumbs up to Norm Madison and other members of the Blue Ridge Riding Club of Boonsboro, for the July 24 event they held to raise money for Children's National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C. Madison's son was treated there after a horse kicked him.

Thumbs down to the U.S. Congress, for its passage of a national energy bill that has little to do with encouraging "conservation," unless that word is defined as preserving the energy companies' perks and tax loopholes. Remember this when gas hits $3 a gallon.

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