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Thumbs up, thumbs down

July 10, 2009

Thumbs up to Doctor Tree for rescuing the cat in the tree after eight days in its branches. The cat had to enjoy its celebratory food and drink after that vigil. Something to purr about!

Thumbs up to the National Park Service, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and all who had a hand in the 2009 Salute to Independence at Antietam National Battlefield. In what's become Washington County's largest annual event, an estimated crowd of 30,000 people enjoyed an evening of extraordinary music, patriotism and fireworks.

Thumbs up to the City of Hagerstown for the impressive fireworks display at Fairgrounds Park. The display of nonstop pyrotechnics was worthy of a big city celebration. The city combined the fireworks with music and other activities for a full evening of family fun. A thumbs up also to all area municipalities who make the Fourth of July special by providing activities and fireworks.

Thumbs up to Kasey Raios, a 16-year-old Smithsburg High School student and baseball player, who was selected to compete in the People to People Sports Ambassador Program in Vienna, Austria. The program offers student-athletes a chance to compete internationally.

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Thumbs down to Pennsylvania government, which has gone more than a week past its June 30 deadline on its new budget with no end in sight. The continued impasse is hurting government workers, contractors and others who depend on the state's ability to spend money. If these people do their jobs while the impasse continues, let's hope the loyalty is returned once a budget finally is in place.

Thumbs up to the Hagerstown Rotary Club. Last month, the service club donated $49,000 to help more than two dozen Washington County charities and nonprofits.

Thumbs up to the Hagerstown branch of the American Association of University Women, which awarded college scholarships to 17 deserving Washington County students.

Thumbs up to the Mile Long Yard Sale (now called the Mile-Long-Plus Yard Sale) in the Longmeadow Road neighborhoods north of Hagerstown. Something about this annual exercise in grass-roots capitalism is uniquely Hagerstown and charming in its own right.

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