Thumbs up, thumbs down

October 08, 2005

Thumbs up to the 80 people who participated in Washington County's annual CROP walk, which raises money for the relief, development and refugee-assistance ministry work of Church World Services and for supplies for the Southern Washington County Food Bank.

Thumbs up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for its award of nearly $5 million in grants and loans to governments and organizations in Washington County, including the Town of Keedysville, the Interfaith Housing Alliance and the Community Action Council.

Thumbs up to Citicorp, for its agreement to pay $99,999 toward the cost of a traffic signal at the intersection of Citicorp Drive and Mason Dixon Road at the Interstate 81 ramp. One of the county's largest employers shows again that it's a good corporate citizen.

Thumbs down to West Virginia's Tourism Commission, for giving the bulk of $5.76 million in matching ad grants to the state's race tracks, though new rules should have made it easier for convention and visitors agencies and small attractions to share in that bounty.


Thumbs up to U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th, for stating that it makes no sense to rebuild New Orleans without careful planning to ensure that the rebuilt structures there won't be as vulnerable to storm damage as those they will replace.

Thumbs up to the Washington County State's Attorney's office, for its proposal to make child abuse a "crime of violence." Deterring potential abusers now will prevent a lifetime of mental and physical problems for their victims.

Thumbs up to the Washington County Board of License Commissioners, for permanently suspending the liquor license of the Barracuda Surf Bar at 901 Dual Highway in Hagerstown. Police say there have been 340 emergency calls to the bar since Jan. 1.

Thumbs down to CIA Director Porter Goss, who as a Congressman requested a review of agency personnel actions prior to Sept. 11, 2001, but who is now opposing his own inspector general's request to convene accountability review boards. So what's changed, Porter?

Thumbs up to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the state Department of Transportation, for their agreement to extend the Western Maryland Rail Trail by an additional 4.5 miles. Bikers, walkers and skaters will appreciate the extra length.

Thumbs up to Rob Wolfe, a sophomore at Washington County's Grace Academy, for founding The Mission Team, the school's community service club. Among other things, the group has collected goods for wounded U.S. troops and volunteered at Food Resources Inc.

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