Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

DOWN: To the recent spate of burglaries at several area churches. Whether these were cases of attempted burglary or just acts of mindless vandalism, we hope the people responsible are identified and arrested.

UP: To Marietta Main Street’s “I Wish This Was” campaign that placed posters at 10 empty storefronts with room for residents to write comments about what they would like to see in the building. The information will be compiled by the organization with the hope of making at least some of those suggestions a reality. This innovative campaign gives residents a voice in what businesses they would like to see downtown, and may give a potential entrepreneur the confidence to take a chance on opening a business.

UP: To Parkersburg South High School teacher and coach Tim McCartney, who retired this past week after 32 years of service at the school. During his career, McCartney taught math and science, and coached football, wrestling and track. He was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletics at the school and worked to help with the Erickson All Sports Facility over the years. The Gilmer County native’s retirement plans possibly include getting a doctorate, teaching at the college level and writing. We wish him well in his future.

UP: To Vienna Parks and Recreation, who recently combined two disused soccer goals, some rope and a tarp to create a shelter for the weekly Amtgard group at Jackson Park. The free-to-play live-action foam combat group meets every Sunday at 1 p.m. beside the Vienna Recreation Center, and is always accepting new players. Thanks to Vienna Parks and Recreation, they can now retreat to a shaded spot to cool down between rounds.

DOWN: To the so-called Green Dot money scams, which in recent weeks have taken several Mid-Ohio Valley residents for more than $130,000 – including an elderly Marietta man who lost $120,000. According to those who have lost money, these are fairly sophisticated scams in which people are told to go to a store and purchase Green Dot money packs to avoid having their power turned off, being arrested, etc. The best advice to avoid being taken in by these unscrupulous individuals comes from MonPower spokesman Todd Meyers, who said, “Anytime someone calls and says pay now or else, it’s baloney.”