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Thumbs up, thumbs down

October 06, 2007

Thumbs up to the Washington County School Board, for agreeing to 17 of the 20 attendance zone changes in the county's school-redistricting plan. Parents and students do get attached to "their" schools, but the harsh reality is the state government is less likely to fund new school projects if existing classroom space isn't full. Thanks to the board for doing what can be an unpleasant job for an elected official.

Thumbs down to Berkeley County (W.Va.) elected officials who were caught "a little off guard" by a $1.5 million drop in projected revenues and spending of $2.3 million in excess of revenues. It's said that a computer program will allow daily tracking of finances, but how did the commissioners keep things straight in the days before computers? They promise to keep a "close watch" on spending from now on.

Thumbs up to Barbara Mikulsi and Benjamin Cardin, Maryland's U.S. senators, for their continuing effort to maintain passenger air service at the Hagerstown Regional Airport. The ability to say that the county has such service is another amenity that promotes economic development here. That these two have expended so much time and energy on the idea is most appreciated.

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Thumbs down to the Justice Department and the White House, for resisting the release of 2005 memos to members of Congress, who suspect that the documents condone torture in violation of a 2005 federal bill. Congress, for all its faults, is made up of people elected to provide oversight in such matters. The memos needn't be made public to provide that oversight.

Thumbs up to the Hagerstown City Council, for its recent decision to post signs at Hagers-town's railroad crossings that display a CSX phone number that residents can call to make complaints. Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but CSX crews have just completed permanent repairs at three Park Circle crossings and temporary repairs at the Oak Hill Avenue crossing. Thanks to the council.

Thumbs up to Bill and Laura Eckard of Williams-port and their daughter Sara "Goldie" Cline, for starting "The Shepherd's Table" and opening their home one day a week for the last nine years for a community meal. Cline started the meal as part of her Gold project for Girl Scouts. Her parents have since taken over the project and continue it with the help of area businesses and eight local churches. What a great way to give back!

Thumbs up to ScrapMania! of Hagerstown, for holding an all-day scrapbooking session to raise money for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. It supports an effort put together by Scrap Pink, a campaign started by Scrapbooks Etc. magazine to raise funds for breast cancer research.

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