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Thumbs up, thumbs down

August 28, 2009

Thumbs up to the young people who've picked themselves up by their bootstraps to find jobs and further their education as part of a federal stimulus grant through the Western Maryland Consortium. The Consortium, whose job is to help the unemployed, deserves a pat on the back, too, for establishing a solid program.

Thumbs down to those responsible for the so-called "phony destructive device" found at North Hagerstown High School, creating an unnecessary disruption on the first day of classes. In a post-911 world, this type of thing tends not to be seen as a prank.

Thumbs up to the Halfway Little League, for renaming its baseball field in honor of Nick Adenhart. Adenhart, a Williamsport High School graduate, was a star in the league early in his baseball career and eventually went on to pitch in the Major Leagues for the Los Angeles Angels. A nice tribute to a young man whose career and life were cut short by a drunken driver earlier this year.

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Thumbs up to Hettie and Bill Ballweber of Boonsboro. The couple were recognized by SPCA International for their work saving and rehabilitating retired greyhounds after the dogs' racing days are over. Noble work, indeed!

Thumbs down to the Waynesboro Area School Board and Waynesboro Borough Council for their collective inability to reach a compromise on extending Third Street to the rear of Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Senior High School. Both sides are threatening to sue the other. This could eventually cost taxpayers more in legal fees than it would to extend the road the approximately 350 feet.

Thumbs up to Washington County public school employees and its contract employees, for a seamless and relatively uneventful start of the new school year. About 20,000 students returned to classrooms on Aug. 19. Much planning and effort are required to reopen our schools so efficiently each year. It's often taken for granted. Good job!

Thumbs up to Mike Butler, a 1981 South Hagerstown High School graduate, who earned the right to compete in the 17th World Transplant Olympics in Australia this month. Mike had a kidney-pancreas double-transplant in 1995. Today, he's able to compete in a number of sports, including the discus and javelin.

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