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Thumbs up, thumbs down

April 11, 2009

Thumbs down to the lackadaisical parents who have made it necessary for the Washington County Board of Education to form a "Cross-Functional Team to Promote Civility." If children were taught the proper way to behave at home, funds could be spent on other needs.

Thumbs up to the Maryland General Assembly conference committee working on a deal to restore all funding cuts to the University System of Maryland's Hagerstown campus in return for creation of a task force to study the campus. The study shouldn't be necessary, but sometimes you do what you have to do.

Thumbs up to U. S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, for her pledge to help win funding to widen the local portion of Interstate 81 and lure new tenants to the former Fort Ritchie Army base. Thanks, senator. With the jobless rate rising here, we need all the help we can get.

Thumbs down to the West Virginia House, for killing a resolution to support development of a wind farm in lieu of a planned mountaintop removal mining operation. Critics differ on the appearance of wind farms, but nobody argues that a mountaintop removal operation does anything to make the state more attractive.

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Thumbs up to the late James Hasson, the former Waynesborto (Pa.) football coach and principal of the Scotland (Pa.) School for Veterans Children, for his many years of work with special-needs children. Hasson believed in traditional education, but felt students thrived in rural areas, too.

Thumbs up to Bill Bundesen, a St. Mary's College graduate who has committed to working 1,700 hours of service in a 12-month period as an AmeriCorps volunteer for the Washington County Community Mediation Center Inc. Not only has he been involved with mediation, but he also does community outreach to raise awareness of the program.

Thumbs down to the Maryland lawmakers planning to balance the state's budget by taking $180 million from Program Open Space to help balance the state's budget. POS uses part of the state's real estate transfer tax to buy public land and like other so-called "dedicated" funds, is always a ripe target when budgets are tight.

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