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Thumbs up, thumbs down

April 05, 2008

Thumbs down to everyone in the Maryland General Assembly who feels it's OK to hold an educational institution such as the University System of Maryland-Hagerstown hostage as a lever to get more money for their own projects. Getting more students to earn college degrees is good for the entire state, not just Washington County. The state needs a "maintenance of effort" law so that USM centers receive at least as much each year as they did during the last.

Thumbs down to the members of Washington County's Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly who propose holding up repair of the historic Funkstown bridge while an impact study is done on the impact of closings on local businesses. Delegation members who backed this didn't first contact the commissioners, who should insist that the delegation pledge to make up all of the tax dollars lost in this move.

Thumbs down to the 17 students who decided, as a "senior prank," to break into the newly renovated Jefferson County (W.Va.) High School, hide a number of phones and drag 600 desks in to the halls, scratching the floors. Pranks are supposed to be on the order of practical jokes - funny without causing any damage. No laughs here.

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Thumbs down to o the Washington County Board of Education, for trying to cover its mistake in not approving all recent redistricting proposals by offering open enrollment at the new Rockland Woods Elementary School. If you'd like your child to attend, that's fine, but you'll have to get him or her there yourself. We're betting most parents will want more of an incentive than that.

Thumbs up to Washington County's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, for strongly advocating parent involvement in the effort. Parents are the most influential people in teens' lives, so leaving them out doesn't make sense. On Thursday, May 8 at 4:30 p.m. at Suite 142 of Robinwood Medical Center, there will be a family health forum. The cost is $10 per person and will include a meal. Make checks out to Washington County Hospital and mail to 251 E. Antietam St., Hagerstown, MD 21740. Can't afford it? Call 888-803-1518 for scholarship information.

Thumbs up to the Boonsboro Middle School Chess Club and the Pleasant Valley Elementary Chess Club, for their prize-winning effort at the 2008 Maryland State Championship in Baltimore. Boonsboro won first place in the JV section, while Pleasant Valley had a sixth-place JV finish.

Thumbs up to Demcore Entertainment, for its plan to hold the Western Maryland Waggle Golf Tournament at Beaver Creek Country Club on Monday, May 5, with a reception at Duffy's on Potomac in Hagerstown. Proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund created in honor of Christopher Nicholson, the Smithsburg police officer who was killed in the line of duty. On Saturday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Smithsburg Fire Hall, Carolyn "Carol" Smith will sell her artworks to benefit the memorial fund created for this young officer.

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