UP: To Parkersburg Catholic High School students from the class of 2014 for beginning a schoolwide recycling program. The students adopted the program as a class project and were rewarded on Thursday with a grant-funded recycling trailer. Congratulations to the students who helped make this possible.
DOWN: To West Virginia U.S. Senate candidate John Raese for his comments equating smoking laws with the yellow star Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. Raese made the comments at a Republican Lincoln Day Dinner in Hurricane, W.Va., this past week. The comments have rightfully been condemned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as "an inappropriate comparison." Raese and all people making these mindless comparisons should think with their heads and not their mouths before speaking.
UP: To the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund for its latest round of giving. Because of the group's generosity, 26 nonprofit organizations in the Mid-Ohio Valley will be receiving grants totaling $400,000. Many of these organizations would be unable to continue the valuable work they do without the money from the Sisters' fund.
UP: To the Blennerhassett Hotel for the porte-cochere (carriage porch) being installed at the hotel's Market Street entrance. The new construction will replace the awning and will offer guests better protection from the elements. It also gives the hotel's entrance an elegant, period appearance.
UP: To the near completion of several walking-biking trails in the city of Parkersburg. The walking trail at Point Park has been paved to the Pond Run outfall. The trail is just more than a half-mile long from the Parkersburg Yacht Club to Pond Run. Construction also started this week on the long-awaited Little Kanawha Connector bicycle trail. The trail starts at Point Park and extends to the rear of the Salvation Army on Fifth Street, extending the trail out Depot Street, under the East Street Bridge and eventually to the city limits at the West Virginia 47 bridge. These projects will offer residents and visitors more quality-of-life opportunities.