Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To 9-year-old Colt Bitz, whose calm reliance on what he had been taught led him to quickly call 911 and wake his grandparents when his home was on fire. “I just knew I needed to get out of there,” Colt said. “It wasn’t scary because I was taught what to do.” Not only did he remember what he had been taught, Colt also remembered the non-human members of the family, saying he recalls telling everyone to grab the animals and get out. His quick thinking may have saved several lives.

UP: To West Virginia Symphony Orchestra Maestro Grant Cooper, who will be conducting his last concert with the WVSO-Parkersburg on Sunday. Cooper has brought joy to many who have watched him lead the orchestra in some incredible performances over the years. He will be missed.

UP: To the members of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley who were able to head to Charleston this week for a little face time with lawmakers and other officials. Delegate Vernon Criss, R-Wood, is correct that it is important to be active in maintaining a connection with the folks who sometimes develop tunnel vision in Charleston. “It helps when you can put a face with a problem,” he said.

DOWN: To those officials at state-funded agencies who are already squawking that any reduction in the amount of money they take from taxpayers will mean frightening cuts to services and “mediocrity.” Rather than taking this opportunity to cut fat, change the status quo and look for opportunities to make their agencies better serve the people of West Virginia — the folks who hand them all that money, they are digging in and resorting to scare tactics that will do no one any good.