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Thumbs up, thumbs down

August 20, 2010

Thumbs up to Hagerstown Finance Director Al Martin, who will retire at the end of the current fiscal year after 30 years of working for the city. Among Martin's major accomplishments as finance director were the establishment of a deferred compensation program and a police and fire pension program.

Thumbs up to Charles L. DeBow, a World War II veteran who received his high school diploma Tuesday night at a Washington County Board of Education meeting. DeBow left Hagerstown High School during his senior year in 1943 to enlist in the U.S. Navy. It was a great way to thank DeBow for his service to our country.

Thumbs up to Dorothy R. "Dottie" Pownall, who was named Berkeley County's Teacher of the Year for 2010-11. Pownall, a fifth-grade teacher at Orchard View Intermediate School, was honored in part because she used exercise balls instead of chairs in the classroom in order to help her students be successful.

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Thumbs up to Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen Mary Teal Mulligan, who spearheaded the Coins for Crayons project. Mary collected coins from Williamsport-area businesses and used the money to purchase more than 800 boxes of crayons for sick children at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Thumbs up to Unitarian Universalist Church of Hagerstown, which held the first Community Free-for-All last weekend. Participants donated items for the event and people were able to take whatever items they wanted for free. It's good to see the spirit of giving shining through at events such as this during these tough economic times.

Thumbs down to New York Mets relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, who was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend's father last week outside the family lounge at Citi Field, where the Mets play their home games. K-Rod also tore ligaments in his thumb as a result of the scuffle, knocking him out for the rest of the season. Here's hoping the Mets do everything in their power to recoup some of the money they're paying the temperamental closer.

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