Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Thursday’s return of the approximately 160 soldiers of U.S. Army Reserve 779th Engineer Company following an 11-month deployment to Afghanistan. The company arrived in Afghanistan in November 2013, and while there, took part in taking down of U.S. installations. We salute their commitment, and join in welcoming them back home to their families.

UP: To Beverly, Ohio, Boy Scout Nathan Bullock, 17, for his hours of work this summer restoring the historic brick sidewalk in front of the Oliver Tucker Museum. The restoration of the more-than-30-year old walkway is Bullock’s Eagle Scout project. Bullock has put in more than 200 hours on the restoration – double the 100 community service hours required for earning the Eagle Scout designation.

DOWN: To elected officials who feel it necessary to resort to snarky and unprofessional conduct when questioned during public meetings. We understand there will be disagreement on issues and discussions can sometimes become heated, but personality conflicts should never be allowed to dictate behavior.

UP: To the expected October opening of Mountwood Park’s ATV trail. Even with the opening still weeks away, the park has sold 75 permits, and expects to sell 2,000 by the end of the year. As an incentive to get users to purchase permits early, those sold this year will be good the remainder of this year and through 2015, Bob Buchanan, president of the Wood County Parks and Recreation Commission, said.

UP: To members of the national Quilts of Valor organization for their gift to World War II and Korea War veteran Charles Shepherd. Shepherd, 92, received a Purple Heart during World War II, and still carries shrapnel from his wounds in his face and hands. The quilt was handmade by Faye Gandee of Gay, W.Va., who traveled to Parkersburg for the presentation. In the 11 years of its existence, the organization has given out more than 100,000 quilts to deserving veterans. Shepherd’s daughter, Sharon Cole, nominated her father for the quilt.