Thumbs up - thumbs down

November 12, 2005

Thumbs up to all of America's veterans, from the Revolutionary War to the current conflict in Iraq, who have answered in the affirmative when their country called. Citizens may argue about the decisions politicians make, but they must never fail to honor these brave men and women.

Thumbs up to Hugh Brandenburg, John Long and Rollan Myers, for the years of volunteer service that has helped those in need of a kind word or a patient ear and those whose enjoyment of Hagerstown City Park has been enhanced by Long's railroad memorabilia.

Thumbs up to the Washington County school system's teachers, administrators and students, for the hard work that achieved passage rates on state English and reading tests that met federal performance standards for last year. The bar was raised and so were the scores.

Thumbs up to the staff, volunteers and inmates who work in the Maryland Correctional Enterprises plant south of Hagerstown, for once again preparing turkey dinners for the homeless in Baltimore. Eight hundred birds will provide 40,000 Thanksgiving meals.


Thumbs up to West Virginia state Del. Vic Roberts, R-Berkeley, for his proposal to let local jurisdictions decide when bars must issue "last call." Roberts worries that later closing times in West Virginia draw intoxicated patrons from other states.

Thumbs up to students from Washington County's Heritage Academy, who are selling flags to help the South Washington County Military Support Group fund an effort to send thousands of holiday cards to U.S. soldiers in the Middle East.

Thumbs down to members of the U.S. Congress now trying to talk tough to the big oil companies to obscure the fact that in recent years they've done little on the issue of conservation and alternative energy sources. Trade in your limos for hybrids and then we'll listen to you.

Thumbs down to the State of Maryland, for giving the state's counties the unenviable job of sending out bills for the annual "flush tax" without stopping to figure out how local government would determine who had septic systems and who had municipal sewer service.

Thumbs up to the volunteers and staff of the REACH Cold Weather Shelter, who worked hard to open their new permanent facility in the old Cannon Shoe factory on Hagerstown's Franklin Street. When people hits rock bottom, they need not die on the streets.

Thumbs up to the unidentified neighbor who charged an angry bull with a pitchfork after it attacked Henry Holtaman Moyer of Greencastle, Pa., who later died of his injuries. Heroes are ordinary people who rise to the occasion when the unexpected happens.

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