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Thumbs up, thumbs down

September 02, 2006

Thumbs up to Spc. Jeffrey Reedy, son of Don and Nancy Reedy of Hagerstown, for volunteering to join the Tennessee National Guard after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. When his unit was called home from Iraq, he stayed on and was assigned to a Pennsylvania unit and was shot in the hand March 18. He was awarded the Purple Heart, which was pinned on him by his grandfather, Yale Hanks, a WWII vet.




Thumbs up to federal Judge Royce C. Lamberth, for dismissing a suit brought over the sale of the former Fort Ritchie Army base because it might result in "environmental damage and the loss of valuable historic buildings ... " It's been eight years since the base closed. Isn't there some way to end this legal wrangling and bring some honest-to-goodness jobs back there?




Thumbs down to the Federal Aviation Administration, for violating its own 2005 policy saying that in airport control towers, tower observations and radar approach operations should be handled by different controllers. At the Blue Grass Airport, in Lexington, Ky., there was only one controller. He looked away for a moment, a plane veered onto the wrong runway and 49 died.

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Thumbs up to the Hagerstown Rotary Club Foundation, for its generous gift of $77,000 in grants to 34 charitable organizations that benefit Washington County residents. The recipients range from the San Mar Children's Home to the Boy Scouts of America. In the past 26 years, the foundation has given $1.23 million to local charities.




Thumbs down to the person or persons who intentionally set fire to the tenant house of the home once owned by Otho Holland Williams, founder of the Town of Williamsport. What grievance, real or imagined, could justify destroying this important piece of town history, not to mention putting firefighters and rescue service personnel in jeopardy? We hope the arrest is quick and that justice is swift.




Thumbs up to the Maryland Court of Appeals, for overturning the so-called "early voting" law passed by the legislature despite the fact that the state constitution specifies one day for voting and prohibits people from voting outside their own precincts. If the legislature wants this change, it should move to amend the constitution. And preferably, that should not be done in an election year.




Thumbs up to Washington County Circuit Court Judge Frederick C. Wright III, for giving a stiff sentence to 19-year-old Steven Jones, who shot a man twice in the head during an argument. The victim survived and so will Jones - in prison for the next 50 years. Was it really worth it, Steven?

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