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Thumbs up, thumbs down

August 02, 2010

Thumbs up:

o To Rachel Doub, a 2007 Williamsport High School graduate, who will join the St. Louis Ballet. The 21-year-old Doub has been dancing since she was 7 years old.Talent, passion and a lot of hard workhave paid dividends. Congratulations, Rachel!

o To the Hagerstown Municipal Band for again providing a summer of beautiful musicat City Park.This group of often-underappreciated musicians is another gem that makes our community special.

o To the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's statewide program to preserve timber rattlesnakes, which are classified as a candidate for the endangered species list. The snakes keep the rodent population in check and can be scared away with a simple blast from a garden hose, according to Jim Chestney, the project's field activities coordinator.

o To the more than 100 bikers and organizers who braved thunderstorms and sweltering heat last Sunday at the Christmas in July benefit ride in Franklin County, Pa. The ride, sponsored by the Keystone Chapter of ABATE (Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education), raises thousands of dollars for worthy causes every year.


o To Sylvia and Bill Hunsberger of Hagerstown, for creating a fund through the Community Foundation that will support continuing education programs at Brook Lane Health Services. Bill, the former director of social work at Brook Lane, said the fund will help mental health professionals get the necessary schooling to remain accredited.

o To those who organized and supported last Saturday's Van We Can fundraiser for Mason Ellsworth in Shepherdstown, W.Va. Ellsworth, 20, is in a wheelchair, recovering from serious injuries that he sustained in a car crash in July 2008. The event was a good example of people helping people.

Thumbs down:

o To the management of Washington's Metro subway system. A federal report said a deadly June 2009 subway crash was the resultof Metro managementfosteringa culture of indifference to chronic safety issues, and that Metrorepeatedly ignored warning signs that there were safety issues. What a tragedy that eight people had to die as a result of bureaucratic incompetence and indifference.

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