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Thumbs up, thumbs down

July 15, 2006

Thumbs up to the Conococheague Little League, for its 8-5 win over Federal Little League to win the Maryland District 1 9-10 All-Star Tournament Title. The July 11 victory sends Conococheague into a sectional tournament in Brunswick, Md., on July 22. What a great achievement and a good lesson on what teamwork can accomplish.




Thumbs up to Major League Baseball's New York Mets and its minor-league affiliate, the Hagerstown Suns, for participating in the "Ballfields and Boardrooms" program that taught 45 members of the Washington County Boys & Girls Club the meaning of rapport, teamwork, communication and ethics. They also emphasized that while one player may be a star, there are plenty of people in key support roles.




Thumbs down to the Maryland State Department of Education, for allowing test scores to fall this year at three troubled Baltimore elementary schools that it took over six years ago and hired Edison Schools Inc. to manage. After some improvement, scores at two of the three schools dropped by 10 points and scores for the third school's fifth- and sixth-graders took a steep drop.

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Thumbs up to officials of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., for their donation of nine acres of wooded property to the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department in northern Berkeley County, W.Va. The site could be used for a substation and is a possible site for the Interstate Fair, the department's annual fundraiser.




Thumbs down to all of those who continue to make a buck on the sale of tobacco, which officials of the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization this week said could cause the deaths of 1 billion people in this century unless there is some turnaround. And cancer patients usually don't just flop over dead; they suffer a great deal from a preventable illness. And all because so many get a share of the profits.




Thumbs up to Cindy Rowe Auto Glass in Hagerstown, which has begun the free repair of chipped windshields of police cars, fire trucks and emergency ambulances that serve Hagerstown. Rowe, who started her business 26 years ago in Pennsylvania, said she hopes to publicize the fact that repairing a chip is much cheaper than waiting until that small ding expands into a big crack.




Thumbs up to Jamie Bryner, an eighth-grader from Needmore, Pa., who raised more than $5,000 to erect a statue to honor Marine Lance Cpl. Steven W. Szwydek of Fulton County, Pa., and all of the other soldiers killed in action. Cpl. Szwydek died when an explosive device planted in a soccer field detonated.




Thumbs down the person who wrote to the family of the soldier mentioned in the item above to denigrate his service in the armed forces. Many disagree about whether the United States should have gone to war, but the men and women doing the fighting there didn't make those decisions. Almost all serve honorably and deserve all of the respect we can give to them. If you want to argue about the war, or how it's being conducted, write to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

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