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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the 33rd annual Easterseals Festival of Trees, at the Blennerhassett Hotel. As a fundraiser for the organization, the event helps bring physical, occupation and speech therapies, early intervention and rehabilitative medical care to children and adults throughout the Mid- and Upper Ohio Valley. It is also a beautiful way to start the Christmas season, as talented decorators show their stuff with dazzling trees, wreaths and mantelpieces. If you have not already visited — and placed your votes — don’t miss the chance to do so.

DOWN: To the appearance that Gov. Jim Justice is stalling before making a decision on mid-year budget cuts, despite good evidence that they will be necessary. “Let’s wait until we get through December to see how we are in terms of our revenues for the year,” said Justice’s secretary of the Department of Revenue, Mark Muchow. Waiting until the end of December to make a decision means there will be little time before the Jan. 8 start of the legislative session. At least Muchow was honest with lawmakers about the pitiful state of both coal and natural gas severance tax collection. Surely Justice and Co. are coming up with a plan for cuts, even if they are not yet willing to admit they will be necessary.

UP: To work being done in Belpre City Schools, as counselors work to help students conquer anxiety; and to help girls in particular build confidence. It seems as though counselors are doing a great deal to help students learn more than just the three Rs; but also how to cope with challenges far too many adults have no idea how to handle.

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