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Thumbs up, thumbs down

February 03, 2007

Thumbs up to Marlys Palmer, coach of the Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team, for the years of hard work it took her to win 500 games. The 60-year-old Palmer has been coaching for 28 years and at a ceremony after the milestone game, she said she had reached the 500-win mark only because of all of the players, family, fans, administrations, students and assistant coaches she has worked with along the way.

Thumbs up to Roxanne Ober, president of the Washington County School Board, for her statement that, due to the construction of a new elementary school and the replacement of two others, redistricting of some students will be necessary. Just don't ask members of a citizen committee to work out the details, then ignore most of what they present.

Thumbs down to the Charter Board for Washington County, for proposing to hire a Carroll County, Md., consultant to help the group write a county charter, at a cost of $12,000. If the object is to write a charter that local residents will vote for, why not choose someone who knows Washington County and what the citizens here will - or won't - go along with?

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Thumbs up to the Franklin County (Pa.) Fire Chiefs Association, for their decision to hold a firefighting camp for 30 to 60 youths aged 14 to 17. The camp, which will run from July 29 to Aug. 4, is aimed at exposing interested youths to the training excercises and the knowledge needed to become a member of the fire service.

Thumbs up to Washington County's Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, for its work on a draft plan designed to improve ambulance response times and spare local volunteers fundraising chores that can be an impediment to attracting new members. We do not expect that all the companies will approve of every proposal, but we hope all respect the work that's been done and give the plan a fair hearing.

Thumbs down to the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for their decision to involve themselves in a suit challenging the development plan at the old Fort Ritchie army base. Most of the stone structures will be preserved and rehabilitated for re-use, What structures aren't saved will come down to make way for what was lost when the base closed - jobs.

Thumbs up to Maryland General Assembly Del. Dan Morhaim, D-Baltimore County, for his proposal to allow citizens to add automated phone calls from politicians to the state's "do not call" list. If candidates for office can't get enough volunteers to make such calls, perhaps that should tell voters about how much time they have - or haven't - spent communicating with real people.

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