Thumbs up, thumbs down

March 21, 2009

Thumbs down to officials of the Maryland General Assembly and state government proposing a $500,000 cut in the budget of the University System of Maryland-Hagers-town. We know we said something like this last week, but we haven't gotten over being angry yet.

Thumbs up to a group of agencies, volunteers and the Frederick County, Md., school system, for banding together to improve services to refugees from Myanmar living in the Frederick area. How inspiring it is when a community works to help needy residents in its midst.

Thumbs up to to Ruth Anne Callaham, for the hard work that won her recognition as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women for 2009. Callaham, director of Food Resources Inc., is also a member of the Washington County Board of Education.

Thumbs down to all of the local elected officials who haven't yet asked Washington County Dels. Christopher Shank and John Donoghue to stop criticizing each other and work together. If the metro counties see this area's representatives are divided, they'll take advantage of it and snatch away anything they feel they can get away with.


Thumbs up too 5-year-old Joseph Edleblute, for deciding that instead of birthday presents, he wanted everyone who attended his party to bring an animal-related item that would be donated to the Humane Society of Washington County. His mother said he was inspired by his two cats.

Thumbs up to Del. LeRoy Myers, R-Allegany, Washington, for his attempt to pass a bill that would set standards for the transport of bodies in Maryland. It shouldn't take hours for a transport service to arrive and its attendants should be reverent and compassionate.

Thumbs up to Washington County's General Assembly delegation, for introducing a bill that would give senior citizens who own their own homes a break on property-tax-related expenses. The deferred taxes would have to be paid by the estate after death, but the relief would be available now.

Thumbs down to the colleagues of West Virginia Del. Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln, for giving him a standing ovation for his "Barbie ban bill." They should have told him to get serious. What's next - the state deciding which rattles are suitable for infants?

Thumbs up to Hagerstown's Bridge of Life Church at 14 S. Potomac St., for its program to offer free family-friendly movies every other Saturday night. The free admission also includes soda and popcorn, for the family on a budget in need of entertainment.

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