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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

November 10, 2007

Thumbs up to all of those who helped plan, organize and raise money for the new Fulton County Medical Center in McConnellsburg, Pa. The $37 million facility has 97,000 square feet of space, almost double what was available previously and a batch of new, modern equipment. It took five years to raise the money and just 18 months to build. Maybe our neighbors to the north know something we don't know.

Thumbs down to John Allen Muhammad, for appealing his murder conviction as one of the "Beltway snipers" on the grounds that he had wrongly been allowed to represent himself and also wrongly determined to be mentally fit to stand trial. If you had been found "not guilty," would you still be appealing the verdict, John? Determined to outsmart the legal system, you ended up outsmarting yourself.

Thumbs up to the late Brian Linn, a West Virginia State Police Trooper who died in the line of duty Nov. 2 when his police cruiser crashed on W.Va. 9 while he was responding to help another trooper who was chasing someone on foot. Every day, on every call, police officers put their lives at risk. Those citizens who are served and protected must not forget that.

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Thumbs down to the Maryland Senate's Budget and Taxation Committee, for eliminating a proposed property-tax cut from Gov. Martin O'Malley's special session plan to balance the budget. With the increase in property values over the last few years, it should be easy to cut the tax and still end up with additional revenue.

Thumbs up to all of the individuals, groups and businesses for their help in making the groundbreaking for the second Washington County Rural Heritage Museum building a reality. The new 60-by-120-foot building will house some of the larger pieces of vintage farm equipment in the museum's collection. The museum is located at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center on the Sharpsburg Pike (Md. 65).

Thumbs down to the 74 percent of the 83,930 registered voters in Franklin County, Pa., who decided that this past Tuesday's election wasn't worth a trip to the polls. Because of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which allows citizens to register to vote when renewing a driver's license, the number of registered voters in the county has increased by 9,000, but the number of votes cast rose by only 600.

Thumbs down to officials of Yahoo Inc., for turning over information related to pro-democracy journalist Shi Tao to Chinese authorities. Tao has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his activities. Jerry Yang, Yahoo's chief executive, told a Congressional hearing that "I don't think anyone was trying to do anything wrong." Let's recap: Yahoo gave an anti-democratic government information of a pro-democracy writer. Doesn't sound right to us.

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