Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the proposal for a 5 percent reduction in Parkersburg’s fire fee, after Mayor Tom Joyce explained “I think it’s appropriate that we start the reductions to … the fire fee,” in relation to gains made in other areas.

UP: To former Washington County Auditor Bill McFarland, who after 38 years in public service left the job last week to hand over the reins to his successor, Matthew Livengood. He leaves a legacy that includes a great deal of mutual respect. “What’s rewarding is knowing how the office is perceived,” he said. “That even when a constituent doesn’t agree with our assessment, they can leave here with a handshake and knowing they’ve been respected.”

UP: To this year’s Wood County Schools Math Field Day winners. Students from both public and private schools, in grades 4-12, completed a viarety of math challenges and questions, and winners will go on to the regional Math Field Day.

UP: To the West Virginia Senate’s passage of a bill that would raise the minimum legal age for purchase of tobacco products to 21. Perhaps it will do something to reduce the Mountain State’s youth smoking rates, which are among the highest in the nation.