Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

DOWN: To U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., for turning his back on his state by voting for President Barack Obama’s appointment to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy. Rockefeller voted with 58 other senators to approve McCarthy’s appointment to head the agency that is attempting to regulate the coal industry out of business. McCarthy is expected to continue the policies of her predecessor Lisa Jackson. A thumbs up to the state’s junior Sen. Joe Manchin for voting against this stroke against the state.

UP: To all of the people who have braved the extremely hot and humid conditions this past week to attend the 41st annual West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition. Attendees have enjoyed the music, rides and all the events in spite of the heat.

UP: To Wood County Schools Executive Secretary Sharon Buzzard, who is retiring after 48 years with the school system. Buzzard was 17 when she started the first – and only – job of her career: working for Wood County Schools. She worked a co-op as a senior at Parkersburg High School and was hired full time July 1, 1965, to work in library services. In 1988, she became executive secretary for then-Superintendent Bill Staats and remained for the next 25 years and four superintendents. Buzzard’s last official day was June 30, but she has been helping train her replacement. Congratulations to Buzzard on her long career and we wish her the best on her retirement.

UP: To longtime Wood County Deputy Clerk Mark Rhodes for being named to head the office. The Wood County commissioners this past week named Rhodes as the replacement for longtime clerk Jamie Six, who resigned earlier in the summer. With 28 years experience in the office, Rhodes was a logical choice as Six’s replacement.