Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To plans for Hino’s grand opening celebration for its facility near Mineral Wells. There are 470 people working at the assembly plant, and we join Wood County Economic Development Director Lindsey Piersol in being grateful Hino chose to stay here in Wood County as it outgrew its Williamstown facility.

UP: To programs such as Wood County’s summer STEAM program for elementary age kids. Problem solving and critical thinking are essential to survival in the real world, but seem to come in increasingly limited supply from students who have not been encouraged to cultivate those skills. Employers will be grateful these students understand how to think for themselves, ask questions, develop solutions and work independently toward project goals.

UP: To the rollback of some federal restrictions on coal-fired power plants. The move will likely not fully revitalize the coal industry, as politicians are promising, but it may pump the brakes on an effort that was designed to economically cripple a certain segment of the population without having an affordable electricity alternative in place. Research and development MUST continue. The move must not be seen as a return to prior practices, but as an opportunity to diversify our economic and energy portfolios in a way that is good for both the environment AND the people living in it.