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Thumbs up, thumbs down

September 16, 2006

Thumbs up to the heroes of Sept., 11, 2001, for risking their lives to save others in the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. and those on board Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pa., after terrorists were overpowered. Most were not members of the military, but firefighters, rescue personnel, police and just plain citizens who stepped up and thought of others instead of themselves when lives were on the line.




Thumbs up to Hagerstown Mayor Robert Bruchey, for his vote to break a tie and appoint Thomas Immer to the city's Planning Commission. Immer has been critical of city government in the past and ran unsuccessfully for the council. If someone wants to serve and shows an understanding of the issues, why keep him or her outside, where the only thing they can do is gripe?




Thumbs down to Hagerstown city officials, for backing off their plan to remove a colony of feral (undomesticated) cats that apparently brought a colony of fleas to the Mansion House at Hagerstown's City Park. There's no guarantee that the fleas won't return and again invade the structure that has been a successful art gallery for more than 10 years.

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Thumbs up to Jefferson County, W.Va., school officials, for again asking voters to support an excess levy that generates more than $15 million a year to boost the salaries of local teachers. Without it, teachers could be lured across state lines to better-paying positions in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Please approve it on Nov. 7.




Thumbs down to all Washington County residents who didn't bother to learn anything about the candidates running in the Sept. 12 primary, though there was more information available this year, through televised candidate forums, newspaper coverage and the Internet, than at any time in the past. To name just one thing, those you didn't vote for will determine how much you pay in taxes, so why not learn a little bit about them?




Thumbs up to the five Washington County Rotary clubs, for their donation of about 2,000 new dictionaries to all third-graders in the county's 31 public, private and parochial schools. Some of the students who received them said that when they previously read an unfamiliar word, they skipped over it. Now, thanks to the Rotarians, they'll have a way to look them up.




Thumbs up to Sara Morris, an English teacher at Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) High School, for the hard work and dedication to her students that won her honors as the West Virginia Teacher of the Year. She began teaching as a substitute in 2000 and her principal, George Ward Jr., said she has "the magic that we all talk about and the humility to downplay it." This is one award no one should downplay.

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