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Thumbs up, thumbs down

May 13, 2008

Thumbs up to the late N. Linn Hendershot, a former member of the Hagerstown City Council, for not letting the fact that he was in a wheelchair prevent him from acting as an advocate for Washington County's disabled citizens, its senior citizens, its homeless people and the patients of the Western Maryland Hospital Center. His humor, his courage and his generous spirit made this county a better and more caring place. Those he served - and many more - will certainly miss him.

Thumbs up to Nick Adenhart, a 2004 graduate of Williamsport High School, for the hard work and determination he used to win a place on the roster of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels. Adenhart, 21, was promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he had a 4-0 record and an earned run average of 0.87 (less than one earned run allowed per nine innings pitched). Go Nick!

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Thumbs down to the person or persons involved in flattening more than 100 tires on 85 school buses and other vehicles parked at the Berkeley County (W.Va.) Transportation Garage. The stunt forced the cancellation of classes countywide on Wednesday and disrupted a number of events such as field trips and evaluations. To garage officials: Why was it so easy to do?

Thumbs down to Pennsylvania state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, D-Philadelphia, for telling a witness testifying on a proposal to amend the state constitution to outlaw same-sex marriages that, given a secret ballot, the legislature would legalize slavery. Fumo's passion for the rights of a minority overwhelmed his good sense and he made a statement for which he has since apologized.

Thumbs up to the late Paul G. Benchoff, for his many years of contributions to Washington Township and the Waynesboro, Pa., Area School District. Benchoff served as township supervisor for more than 20 years and taught agricultural education for many years. Gerald W. Reichard, a fellow teacher, said Benchoff was an easy-going educator who still got his points across.

Thumbs down to TV newscaster Barbara Walters, for claiming that she had a long-ago affair with U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke. Walters' revelation reminds us of the quote from Joseph Heller's "Catch-22," which says, "You know, that might be the answer - to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That's a trick that never seems to fail." Or to sell books, either.

Thumbs up to Boonsboro Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman, for deciding after 24 years of service as an elected official of the town, that he wants another term as mayor, so that he can oversee the reconstruction of the historic Boone Hotel, which burned on Feb. 22. Town mayors don't make a lot of money and for being willing to seek another term, we salute him.

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