Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To those who organized a forum on public education to be held from 6-8 p.m. Monday at Blennerhassett Elementary/Middle School. Do not miss this opportunity (as well a Mid-Ohio Valley Education Forum planned for April 15) to make your voice heard on one of the most important challenges faced in our state.

UP: To the Artsbridge and the many volunteers (nearly 100 of them) who put together the annual Very Spectacular Arts Festival, held at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. This year’s theme of “Everyday Heroes” is certainly one that fits the folks who bring this wonderful arts experience to local students with disabilities, and the students themselves.

UP: To the opportunity presented by Gov. Jim Justice for county Department of Highways superintendents and district engineers to list all that is “Really bad, really important and just wrong,” about each county’s roads. Justice may be surprised by how big the pile of paper gets when everything is submitted. Once he recovers from the shock, the next step will be planning — and funding — to actually DO something about it.

DOWN: … though only slightly so, to the acronym chosen by U.S. Attorney for Southern West Virginia Mike Stuart for his drug prevention education program. His Heroin Education Action Team (HEAT) Program must not be narrowly focused, particularly because heroin is quickly losing favor among addicts as methamphetamines rear their ugly head again. Stuart’s effort at early education is an important one, and could do a lot of good, provided it adapts as quickly as the substance abuse plague gripping our state.