Thumbs up, thumbs down

July 03, 2009

Thumbs up to Katie Wennick, 18, a 2009 Boonsboro High School graduate and recipient of a $30,000 scholarship from the Nora Roberts Foundation. Katie plans to pursue a degree in journalism at Towson (Md.) University this fall.

Thumbs up to novelist and Boonsboro resident Nora Roberts and her foundation, for providing $30,000 to a deserving Washington County Public Schools student. That's quite an investment in our county's youth.

Thumbs down: Remember when a roadside welcome center consisted of restrooms, a half-dozen vending machines and a display area for maps and pamphlets? Maryland is spending $18 million of our money to rebuild the welcome center in Myersville, Md., along Interstate 70. An outrageous amount, but there's more: It will take about two years to complete the job - a delay of more than six months. Is it any wonder people are cynical about government?

Thumbs up to Hempen Hill BBQ Bar & Grill chef Jason Vogel, for shining a national spotlight on Hagerstown. Vogel's Chorizo Burger recipe was among the five burger finalists in the Ultimate Hometown Grill-Off contest on TV's "Live! with Regis and Kelly."


Thumbs up to Mike Harsh, a professor at Hagerstown Community College, and Gregory I. Snook, a businessman and former Washington County commissioner. They will serve as co-chairs for the United Way of Washington County's 2009 fundraising campaign. Good luck, gentlemen!

Thumbs down: Week 3 and we're still waiting for CSX to repair the railroad crossing near City Park in Hagerstown. Hundreds of motorists continue to bounce daily across this headache-inducing hazard. Perhaps our elected officials will remember CSX's sit-on-its-hands approach next time the company asks the city for some help. We sure will.

Thumbs up to all of the volunteers who participated in the second Eastern Panhandle Mission of Mercy free dental clinic last weekend at Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School. More than 1,000 people were provided with services they otherwise would not be able to afford. A lot of smiles go out to the volunteers who helped provide the patients with better smiles.

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