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Thumbs up, thumbs down

April 08, 2006

To the Washington County and Hagers-town city governments, for committing $150,000 apiece toward design work for the intersection of U.S. 40 and Edgewood Drive. Though elected officials say they still have concerns about the $11.9 million project, both bodies agreed that doing nothing at that congested site would not be acceptable.




To all of the staffers, volunteers and agencies - local, state and national - that contributed to the slight drop in the U.S. rate of child abuse and neglect in 2004. Before the celebration begins, however, there were still 872,000 children affected by abuse and neglect and 1,500 of those youngsters died. Federal officials estimate that 11.9 of every 1,000 children are abused or neglected.




To all of those who are ignoring the open-burning ban declared in Franklin County, Pa. The danger of fire is so great that this should be a matter of common sense, as opposed to an edict from government. Trash should never be burned and yard waste can be turned into usable compost instead of creating air pollution by burning it.

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To the Maryland General Assembly, for passing a bill that expands the state's property-tax credit program. What began as the "circuit breaker" law for elderly homeowners in 1975 has now been expanded to all who meet certain income guidelines, so those whose wages haven't risen as quickly as property values get a break.




To Washington County officials who, in the waning days of the Maryland General Assembly, are still giving the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee mixed signals about changes to the county's excise tax bill.

All of these details should have been worked out prior to the start of the session, so that the county could be assured of getting the money needed to upgrade local roads and schools.




To all of those who designed, built and continue to maintain University Park in downtown Hagerstown. The lush lawn, the fountain and the bright flowers provide a place to relax, reflect and, at certain times of the year, to listen to live music. And, even if it's a required textbook, there is nothing quite as pleasurable as reading outside on a sunny spring day.




To the owner and stylists of Hagers-town's Sagittarius Salon & Spa, for providing styling, makeover and massages to about 100 breast cancer survivors, during the establishment's fifth annual Life is a Gift day of beauty. All of the services were free, including the food that was donated by a number of local restaurants.




To U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, for his attempt to deflect inquiries into his ethical practices and those of his staff by accusing those calling for the probes of being anti-Christian.

It might be well for DeLay and his associates to remember Jesus' quote from the Sermon on the Mount: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

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