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Thumbs up, thumbs down

April 18, 2009

Thumbs up to Washington County developer Don Bowman, for his persistence and dedication toward the revival of downtown Hagerstown. There were certainly safer investments than his South Potomac Street project, but Bowman put his money - and his heart - into it.

Thumbs up to Del. John Donoghue, D-Washington, and state Sen. Don Munson, R-Washington, for the hard work they did to forge a compromise to save the funding of the University System of Maryland's Hagerstown campus. It's bipartisan work on behalf of the community at its best.

Thumbs up to Pfc. Brian Miller and Pfc. Mitch Baldwin, members of a Pennsylvania National Guard unit from Franklin County, Pa., for their willingness to step forward and serve their country. The two were injured Sunday in an explosion near Camp Taji in Iraq.

Thumbs down to the Maryland General Assembly, which balanced the state's budget in part by replacing $140 million in cash in the state's Program Open Space with bonds and by cutting $162 million in local road maintenance. Both of these actions essentially borrow from the future to handle a crisis in the present.

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Thumbs up to Leonard W. Cooper, a barber at Just Us Hair Styles at 206 N. Jonathan St., for his courage in dealing with a masked intruder who showed up, displayed a large knife and demanded money. Cooper grabbed the knife and tossed the man through a glass door.

Thumbs up to the approximately 300 people who stood in the rain in University Plaza in downtown Hagerstown to protest excessive government debt and waste and taxes they felt were too high. This could be the start of a movement that takes a closer look at how taxpayers' money is spent and brings waste and abuse to light.

Thumbs up to Gene and Joan Walkley and a group of members of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg, for organizing an effort to deal with the plight of the needy in Southern Washington County. There are services available, the group feels, but some may be too isolated to take advantage of them.

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