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Thumbs up, Thumbs down

February 18, 2006

Thumbs up to the friends, assorted Good Samaritans, local companies and churches that completed the renovation of Paul and Lisa Shingleton's home in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., to provide a relatively germ-free environment for their daughter Adrianna, who has undergone treatment for leukemia. When people in this area see a need, they pitch in.




Thumbs up to Elizabeth Schulze and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, for their nimble handling of technical difficulties during a performance at the Weinberg Center in Frederick, Md., on Friday, Jan. 10. When the stage lights went out, rather than bringing the performance to a halt, the orchestra was able to ad lib an entertaining program as a result of some quick thinking.




Thumsb down to the Washington County Commissioners, for endorsing retention of an at-large School Board before any study of other options has been done. Maybe it is a lousy idea, but to reject it before taking a look at how election by districts - or a combination of the two systems - has worked elsewhere is closed-minded.

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Thumbs up to Del. Sheila Hixson, D-Montgomery, who chairs the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee, for introducing a bill to extend the approach to gambling adopted here in 1995 to all Maryland counties. Hixson, who previously wanted state regulation of gambling here, has seen the wisdom of this county's approach.




Thumbs down to Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann, who didn't vote in 20 of the state's 36 elections over the past 36 years, for this statement: "I'm not worried about my voting record. I think the issues that face the state of Pennsylvania go well beyond anyone's voting record."

Perhaps Swann will get the chance to tackle those issues, provided, of course, that the voters take their responsibility more seriously than he did.




Thumbs up to Franklin County, Pa., Judge Douglas Herman, for his ruling that St. Thomas Township Supervisor Frank Stearn may vote on a proposed quarry. Attorneys for the company developing the quarry had claimed that Stearn, who ran for office on a platform opposing the idea, couldn't vote objectively on the proposal. What about the voters' right to speak on the project by electing someone who opposes it?




Thumbs up to Hagerstown City Council members Lewis Metzner and Kristin Aleshire and Washington County Commissioner James Kercheval, for working out an agreement that should allow the city government to receive a share of the revenue collected under the county's excise tax.

As Metzner said, trust was the key to working out this proposal.




Thumbs up to Detective Sgt. George Swartwood of the Martinsburg, W.Va., Police Department, for his 23 years of service to the community and for all of the work he has done to put together the annual Law & Safety Day ceremony, held to honor outstanding police, fire and rescue personnel who do outstanding jobs under dangerous conditions.

As this year's winners can attest, it's nice to get a pat on the back for a job well done.

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