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Thumbs up, thumbs down

December 08, 2007

Thumbs up to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, for rejecting a second request for reconsideration of a decision that cleared the way for construction of a new Washington County Hospital near the Robinwood Medical Center. Yes, citizens had the right to appeal the zoning decisions, but after two years, it is time for the project to move forward, for the financial and physical health of local residents.

Thumbs up to the nine candidates who filed for the Washington County School Board, ensuring that there will be a primary vote on Feb. 12 in that race. The post pays less than $6,000, even though those who hold it deal with a multi-million-dollar budget and, just as important, make decisions that could affect the welfare of students and this community for generations to come. Thanks.

Thumbs up to Michael Starr, owner of Michael A. Starr Insurance Inc., for the hard work he did to win the Chambersburg (Pa.) Chamber of Commerce's Business Person of the Year award for 2007. In addition to building a successful business that employs 17, Starr also is active in charitable activities, including the Charitable Giving Committee at Mercersburg Academy.

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Thumbs down to any Jefferson County (W.Va.) Schools official considering not telling citizens exactly why a first-grade student was dropped off at a closed day-care center during Wednesday's snowfall. Washington County residents have heard all the malarkey about such things being personnel matters. It's a safety issue.

Thumbs up to the Washington County Planning Commission, for approving a site plan for 21 buildings in the historic district of the former Fort Ritchie Army base. It is part of a development planned by Corporate Office Properties Trust, which plans to invest $250 million to turn the site into a mix of residential and office space and provide other amenities designed to draw jobs to replace those lost when the fort closed.

Thumbs up to Ann Bromley, who recently retired after spending 54 years as the organist at Washington County's Welty Church of the Brethren. Besides her long service, her years as organist are even more remarkable because she performed as a gift to the church, with no fee or salary. In addition, she became a nurse, married, helped raise four children and assisted in the family's orchard business. What a full life!

Thumbs down to the person or persons who stole the figures from a Nativity Scene at Potomac Park Camp in Berkeley County, W.Va. The tradition of displaying this scene, which dates back 500 years or more, serves to remind people that there is another reason besides gift-giving to revere the Christmas holiday. Give the campers a gift and quietly return what you have taken before the holiday season is over.

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