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Thumbs up, thumbs down

July 05, 2008

Thumbs up to Stanley Fulton Jr., a former Hancock resident, for his donation of $900,000 to enable the town to purchase the former Fleetwood Travel Trailers plant for use as a possible industrial park. Fulton also donated money earlier to pay for renovation of the town's swimming pool, bringing his total gift to more than $1 million, according to Mayor Daniel Murphy. Thank you.

Thumbs up to all of the members, past and present, of the Antietam Fire Co., on Hagerstown's Summit Avenue, which is now celebrating its 200th anniversary. The firehouse began in 1808 as home to a bucket brigade, but has grown into a modern organization that now handles about 450 calls per year, with 19 active volunteer firefighters and drivers paid for through the city government.

Thumbs down to the U.S. Department of Justice, for considering a plan that would allow the FBI to investigate Americans with no evidence that they've done anything wrong, except to fit a "terrorist profile." The change is expected to be approved later this summer. We hope that before then citizens will consider what price they'll pay for the loss of another piece of freedom.

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Thumbs up to Donna Aycoth, Terry Bailey, Jim Gossard, Gary "P.K." Kershner, Charles "Chick" Meehan, Joe Snyder, Charles Boyer, Vincent Jamison Jr., and John "Ike" Powers, for the performances and service to young athletes that won them admission as 2008 honorees of the Washington County Sports Hall of Fame. The lineup includes Herald-Mail's own Joe Snyder, who wrote sports here from 1947 to 1967.

Thumbs up to the more than 60 dentists, technicians and the many others who volunteered for the Eastern Panhandle Mission of Mercy project. More than 700 people took advantage of the opportunity for free dental care, at a two-day clinic held in June at Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School. That's a lot of people, but a 2003 survey found 10,000 Medicaid-eligible children in the Panhandle need better dental care.

Thumbs down to Medicare, the Department of Defense and the Internal Revenue Service, for their continued practice of telling employees and citizens to use Social Security numbers on documents and ID cards, despite a Federal Trade Commission recommendation not to use the number in any way that could lead to identity theft. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing, apparently.

Thumbs up to Emily Gloss of Chambersburg, Pa., for all of the hard work she did to win a gold medal for her job skills demonstration in the SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, Mo. A cosmetology student at the Franklin County (Pa.) Career and Technology Center, Gloss demonstrated the art of eyebrow tweezing. Her achievement is remarkable, given that she was once painfully shy and didn't speak until she was 5 years old!

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