Thumbs up, thumbs down

May 20, 2006

Thumbs up to the late Arthur B. "Art" Richards, the president of Richards World Travel, who did a world of good by founding Children In Need Inc., a nonprofit that provides needy children with clothing and school supplies. Richards also was instrumental in starting Dream Come True, a local volunteer group that grants wishes to seriously ill children.

Thumbs up to Katrina Eversole, health insurance advocate for the Senior Health Insurance Program, for working day and night - and weekends, too - to get Washington County citizens who are eligible for Medicare enrolled in the Part D drug program. Without her dedication to the task, many seniors here would have been confused and possibly without the drug coverage they need.

Thumbs down to the Johnny-come-lately elected officials who just noticed that the deadline for signing up for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program was May 15, and who are calling for the deadline to be extended without penalty. That's a good idea, but where were you people six months ago, when more help could have done a lot of good?


Thumbs up to Jonathan Kays, an extension specialist at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center south of Hagerstown, for the seminars he has held and the teaching work that he has done that caused the University System of Maryland's board of regents to name him an "excellent faculty member."

Thumbs down to the Pentagon, for forcing The Associated Press to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get the names of hundreds detained at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Are they terrorists or not? We don't know, but we do know that detaining people without notice to their attorneys is not the American way. Anyone who thinks it's a good idea should look up the history of the "Star Chamber" in England.

Thumbs up to Don Dellinger, principal of Hedgesville High School in West Virginia, who came up with a "school-within-a-school" concept to give extra help to middle-schoolers who need it. For that achievement, he was chosen from a field of more than 130 candidates as West Virginia High School Principal of the Year. Isn't it nice to have a top performer in the neighborhood?

Thumbs up to the more than 50 Hagerstown Police Department officers, dispatchers and citizens whose quick thinking and resourcefulness helped catch suspects in criminal cases and save lives. Winners include Sgt. Tim Wolford and 18 members of Citizens on Patrol, who volunteer to patrol city streets and report any suspicious activity.

Thumbs up to Brenda Eby, a nurse in the day surgery department at Waynesboro (Pa.) Hospital, for the skills, teamwork and community service that won her honors as the facility's "Nurse of the Year."

The citation noted that in addition to her knowledge and professional skills, she "truly enhances the quality of patient care, just by being the person that she is."

The person she is sounds like just the kind of medical professional we'd like to have in our corner when it's time for surgery.

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