Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the creation of a Downstream Jobs Task Force meant to facilitate development of downstream manufacturing resulting from the production of natural gas — primarily chemical and plastics manufacturing. Frankly, one wonders why it took ten years from the start of our most recent “boom” for such an idea to take hold. Let us hope leadership of the project by Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Austin Caperton will truly mean the plan carries with it an effort to preserve and protect as much as possible. And speaking of Caperton, he is correct that “anybody who lives in the northern part of the state knows what’s happened up there.” Does he? While there have been positives associated with the resurgence of the oil and natural gas industry in our region, we are guessing he would find few who would consider it to have been a consistent “tremendous economic driver.” Here’s hoping the combination of minds such as Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby’s and others in the task force will mean we begin to see more of the economic miracle we were promised.

UP: To tomorrow’s start of Artsbridge’s annual fund drive. As the organization’s programs grow and continue to expand local access to the arts, Executive Director Amanda DeBarr Stevens said “We are living out our mission statement, ‘Igniting the Arts within the Mid-Ohio Valley.’ All funding we receive stays right here in our community.” Volunteers and donors can be assured they are doing something good with their time and money when they find a way to bring a little more art into the lives of our kids and all community members.

UP: To the brave family members who are coming forward in what must be a painful process to unravel the truth about what has been happening to patients at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg. Wrongful death claims are the start of getting to the bottom of what may turn out to be a horrific investigation, and we are grateful they are helping bring the truth to light.