Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Campus Martius Museum for its recent archaeology-related event, “Digging the Past.” On display were items ranging from prehistoric through the Civil War – all found in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Congratulations to the people who are interested enough in local history to take the time to hunt for items that allow us to keep our connection with the past.

UP: To longtime barber Emanuel F. Robinson Jr., who was feted by family and friends on Jan. 19 at The Rock Full Gospel Church in Parkersburg. Robinson, 77, closed his Avery Street shop in December after cutting hair for 57 years. Amazingly, Robinson is deaf, but it never got in the way of his business. Many people will miss him, but we wish him well in his retirement.

DOWN: To West Virginia’s “F” grade from the American Lung Association in its “State of Tobacco Control 2013” report. In the 11th annual report West Virginia received failing grades from the association across the board – F in funding for tobacco prevention and control programs; “F” in smokefree air; “F” in cigarette taxes; and “F” in cessation coverage. Although West Virginia receives $231 million in tobacco-related revenue annually, it only invests 28 percent in programs recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. Tobacco causes an estimated 3,821 deaths in West Virginia annually and costs the state’s economy $1.7 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.