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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down - Feb. 5

February 04, 2011

Thumbs up to local, county and state road crews across the Tri-State area who worked during this week's ice storm and last week's snowstorm to keep our roads open. When storms hit, these folks work long hours in an effort to make travel not only possible, but as safe as possible under terrible conditions.

Thumbs down to those at the state level who did not provide the type of information to the news media that would have enabled people stuck on South Mountain and elsewhere in last week's snowstorm to be kept apprised of efforts to get traffic moving again. Such information could have included the extent of the problems and estimated times traffic might begin moving. We recognize that would have been a massive task given the statewide extent of the problem, but planning some sort of informational updates, beyond the fact roads are closed, could be helpful both to those stranded and to their families awaiting word of their welfare.

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Thumbs up to Frank Buckles, who observed his 110th birthday on Tuesday. Buckles, of Jefferson County, W.Va., is the last surviving World War I doughboy. Despite his advanced years, Buckles has loaned his name to the push to construct a national memorial honoring World War I veterans.

Thumbs up to Hagerstown City Councilwoman Ashley Haywood for putting her diet where her love of city is. She is promoting local food producers by eating a diet high in foods made or produced locally. She also is writing about it in a blog, with recipes and advice that make this diet choice easier for other local residents.

Thumbs up to Joanne Bartlett, who recently was named Volunteer of the Year for her work at Loaves and Fishes Thrift Store in Hancock. Bartlett also volunteers with American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit 26, through which she visits veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., and at local nursing homes.

Thumbs up to those who organized the second annual Wine and Cheese Silent (and Lively) Auction last weekend at The Gourmet Goat in Hagerstown. The event raised $10,135 for the Community Free Clinic of Washington County, which was more than double the amount raised at the inaugural auction last year.

Thumbs up to the organizers of Youth United Way of Washington County for their efforts to re-establish the organization and for hosting Rock Fest 2011 last Saturday at Leitersburg Cinemas north of Hagerstown. The group is a great way for teens to play an active role in United Way efforts.

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