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Thumbs up, thumbs down

January 26, 2008

Thumbs down to Brandon Morris, for the murder of Correctional Officer Jeffery Wroten two years ago. Had you chosen to serve out your sentence, you would have been released in the spring of this year. Instead, you finagled your way to a hospital stay, took Wroten's gun and killed him with it. The excuses offered on your behalf - a life of poverty and inadequate parenting - are an insult to every person who had the same disadvantages, yet managed to grow to adulthood without murdering someone.

Thumbs down to Brandon Morris, for the murder of Correctional Officer Jeffery Wroten two years ago. Had you chosen to serve out your sentence, you would have been released in the spring of this year. Instead, you finagled your way to a hospital stay, took Wroten's gun and killed him with it. The excuses offered on your behalf - a life of poverty and inadequate parenting - are an insult to every person who had the same disadvantages, yet managed to grow to adulthood without murdering someone.Thumbs up to John Barr, Howard and Ann Kaylor and the Community Foundation of Washington County, for their pledge to donate $50,000 to United Way of Washington County, if the community does the same. The individuals involved could use their money to buy trips to exotic places, but instead decided that helping the community was much more important. If you can help, please call 301-739-8200.

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Thumbs up to the 12 churches in the Waynesboro, Pa., area that combined forces to help renovate and upgrade the facilities at the New Hope Shelter on that borough's South Potomac Street. As the (NIV) Bible says, ".. whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Thanks for seeing that those who are homeless are also worthy of help.

Thumbs up to Claire-Elizabeth Ford, a 6-year-old from Gerrardstown, W.Va., who won first place in the West Virginia Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission essay and poster contest. Elizabeth's essay keyed on the Rev. King's exhortation to "meet hate with love." Her poster featured cut-outs of people's faces used to form a peace symbol.

Thumbs up to Lifehouse Church Pastor Patrick Grach, for his decision to give $6,000 of his own money to members of his congregation to do good. The pastor gave his congregation members cash, with the only instruction being that they not keep the money or send it overseas. One member of the church encountered a young couple who could only afford to buy one of their twins a new coat. Using the pastor's money, they bought the other child a coat.

Thumbs down to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, for a budget proposal that depends on economic growth to keep it balanced. Ed, we are coming into the lean years and it would be more realistic to trim the state's sails rather than hope against hope that, of all the states, Pennsylvania is going to be the one to escape the effects of what is shaping up to be a nationwide recession. We hope the state fares well, but hopes are not what a budget should be based upon.

Thumbs up to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, for including in his State of the State address a pledge "..to strengthen and protect our middle class, our family- owned businesses and family farms.." These are welcome words, but have been said in many other forms over the years. The governor must honor this pledge so that these words are followed with action, as opposed to being one more bit of rhetoric that's soon forgotten.

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