UP: To all of the people who have given money, gifts or time to help make sure children in the Mid-Ohio Valley have something nice for Christmas. These many angels include the anonymous donor who paid off 41 layaway plans at the Vienna Kmart this past Wednesday. The donor's total payment for these gifts was $8,638.12. You all deserve the name "angels."
DOWN: To Sen. Joe Manchin for his hopscotching around the issue of guns during the past several days. In the days immediately following the tragic Dec. 14 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Manchin was a frequent guest on network and cable TV news shows, calling for a dialog on the issue of guns. His comments, especially on the assault rifle ban, were rightfully interpreted by both gun control and gun advocates as seeming to support a return to the ban on ownership of these type of weapons that was in effect until 2004. However, Manchin's comments created such a backlash in West Virginia, that the senator has since backtracked, claiming he wasn't calling for a ban, only a discussion. In our opinion, Manchin could be a voice of reason in the coming national debate. However, real leaders are people who look ahead. They are not the type of people who are unafraid of what is behind them.
DOWN: To West Virginia Citizens Defense League President Keith Morgan for his disrespectful comments in Thursday's newspaper about Sen. Joe Manchin. Morgan referred to Manchin as "Sen. Elmer Fudd" and "a snake in the grass" in describing Manchin's comments about guns in the days following the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Morgan has every right to disagree with what Manchin said - ironically, Manchin, himself, seems to be backtracking from those comments - but he did himself and his organization no honor by his intemperate description of the senator. In addition, a protest his group has planned for today in support of guns at Manchin's Charleston office, seems insensitive given the fact that many of the Newtown parents are still burying their slain children.
DOWN: To all of the area idiots who seemingly have used the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy to call in bomb or other threats of violence at several area schools. Schools have been locked down in Wood County, Pleasants County, Wirt County, Belpre and Federal Hocking this past week because of rumors of violence circulating through social media or bomb threats. In every case, no credible threat has yet been found. It is a shame that this seems to be a permanent part of today's society.
UP: To readers of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, we hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.