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Thumbs up, thumbs down

September 08, 2007

Thumbs up to President George W. Bush, for his announcement that he would introduce measures to deal with homeowners' mortgage defaults. The proposal would allow about 60,000 homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments to apply for refinancing loans insured by the FHA. Borrowers would have to prove that they were paying on time until a higher rate kicked in and that they have 3 percent equity in the home.

Thumbs down to Howard Schulman, attorney for the owners of The Video Store, an adult business at 23 E. Washington St., for his statement that he would appeal a judge's decision that stated the business is in violation of Hagerstown's zoning laws. We would be much more sympathetic if the owners themselves would agree to come forward and make the case for why this business should continue to operate.

Thumbs up to Virginia Shaver Harshman, 88, for her many years of service to the citizens of Smithsburg and Washington County. She supervised a camp for migrant workers, teaching their children and helping adults to practice good nutrition. Harshman also helped found and operate the Smithsburg food bank and the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Thanks, Miss Virgie.

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Thumbs up to the Boonsboro schools, for their donation of more than 50 band uniforms to the Lusher Charter school in New Orleans, La. Boonsboro's uniforms are royal blue, the same color as the Lusher school, which had to relocate twice in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Officials there said what wasn't destroyed by flooding was lost to "mold, mildew and theft."

Thumbs down to whomever decided that Mike Nifong, prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse team alleged rape case, should get only one day in jail for contempt of court. Civil suits seeking $30 million have already been filed and the taxes paid by citizens of Durham, N.C., will be used not for the benefit of the people, but to try to minimize the pain caused by this attorney, who should have acted in the public's best interests.

Thumbs up to those officials at South Hagerstown High School, who say that now that North Hagerstown High School has its own stadium, it's time to rename South's School Stadium. It's just a suggestion, but we'd like to see some consideration given to naming it for Eugene "Yogi" Martin, who served as Washington County supervisor of health education, physical education and athletics from 1986 until 2003. That's a good record of service to local athletes.

Thumbs down to the Jefferson County (W.Va.) Commissioners, for giving a secretary a 22 percent pay boost while most other county employees received a 4.5 percent increase. If the commissioners had offered a good reason for the action, that would be one thing, but now two commissioners who approved the raise say the move was unwise. If you can't explain it, it's not good.

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