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Thumbs up, thumbs down

June 10, 2006

Thumbs up to Camden Casey, a 5-year-old Hagers-town boy, for realizing that his mother was having a diabetic episode and calling 911. As a result, paramedics arrived and helped her to regain consciousness, ensuring a happy ending for all. It's even more amazing because Camden has had no school training on how to respond in an emergency.




Thumbs down to residents of Charles Town, W.Va., and other areas of the state's Eastern Panhandle who are placing fake fire hydrants on their properties in hopes of getting cheaper rates on their fire insurance. Ed Smith, chief of the Independent Fire Co. in Ranson, would like them outlawed. We believe a few prosecutions for insurance fraud might solve the problem.




Thumbs up to the more than 1,500 motorcyclists who traveled Interstate 81 on Sunday, June 4, in an event that raised $28,000 to provide services at the Martinsburg (W.Va.) Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Over the past 16 years, the event known as Operation God Bless America has raised $181,000 for the center!

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Thumbs down to the Hagerstown City Council, for its proposal to make owners of vacant buildings pay an additional fee for leaving them empty. The idea makes about as much sense as fining a one-legged man for not wearing two shoes. The council must figure out a strategy for helping property owners fill up their space, instead of assuming that they are keeping it empty out of bull-headedness.




Thumbs up to Berkeley County (W.Va.) Circuit Court Judge Christopher Wilkes, for ruling that the developers of the Huntfield community near Charles Town aren't exempt from impact fees on an 821-home senior living community just because they promise that it won't add students to the school system. Everyone, including senior citizens, benefits from having a well-educated community.




Thumbs up to Erin Artz, a sixth-grader at Springfield Middle School, for the historical research she did on the late aviatrix Amelia Earhart that led to Artz's representing Maryland at the 32nd annual National History Day competition that will be held June 11-15 at the University of Maryland. Remembering the lessons of the past is vital.




Thumbs down to columnist Ann Coulter, for stating in her new book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" that the widows of those who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are "witches" who are actually enjoying their husbands' deaths. The old-time carnivals often featured a sideshow performer known as a geek, whose act included biting the head off a live chicken or a snake. Coulter seems to be doing something like that here, as she says things ever more outrageous to call attention to herself.

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