Thumbs UP to Patrick Reynolds for bringing the no-smoking message to Clyde Middle School students. Family connections are one thing, and Reynolds is the scion of the family that helped make the tobacco industry what it is. But apparently watching those family connections severed by death steered this man in another direction, one of helping young people resist the pressure -- from peers and advertisers alike -- for them to pick up what more and more people view as a self-destructive habit.
Thumbs DOWN and UP and DOWN but mostly DOWN to the yo-yoing fuel prices. No sooner does the Ohio Auto Club observe how drivers' reduced consumption drives up supply and slightly reduces pump prices than the oil industry announces it might respond by cutting production to meet lowered demand -- and then everyone's predicting prices will jump at the slightest jitter (nothing new there). Supply and demand is one thing, but motorists can't be faulted for feeling as though we're being messed with. Meanwhlle, the oil companies' profits are going nowhere but up, up and away from reality.
Thumbs UP to Sandusky city officials for encouraging city workers to speak their minds. Granted, fire Chief Mike Meinzer and police Chief Kim Nuesse agree with their bosses in favoring combined dispatch -- a situation not found across the street in officially close-mouthed Perkins Township -- but encouraging openness can only be a plus. Special mention to commissioner Dan Kaman, though, for his quote: "I won't be offended if (Meinzer or Nuesse) say something that I am personally against."
While we're at it, thumbs UP to "Stacy," whoever he or she is, who responded to our online story about the abuse-reporting function on the Register's online forums thusly: "The best way to deal with speech one doesn't like is to make a better speech." We and a lot of other people are tired of the bathroom walls our online forums quickly become; please, if you have a "better speech," drown out the tinfoil-hatters and help keep sanduskyregister.com what we want it to be: A place of ideas and persuasion, not vendetta and attack.
Thumbs UP to Howard Nemitz and his Lenten tradition of chicken soup for everyone. At 93, he's in his 20th year of preparing the traditional repast at Presbyterian Church of Sandusky -- only the latest chapter in his story of melding cooking and community. He didn't write the bestselling book, but Nemitz needs nobody to tell him about chicken soup for the soul.
Thumbs UP to the quiet and quick scrapping of the $2.50 surcharge proposed for Sanduskians' utility bills. Sure, the city has trouble paying ever-increasing utility bills, but the governed were quick to remind the government they were having trouble along those lines, too.
Thumbs DOWN to Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner for dissing the Marines and not letting them practice downtown, as they did last year. On the other hand, thumbs UP for the lesson Carty may or may not have meant to teach: The Marines responded not as the military might have done in too many other countries -- we have the guns, Mr. Mayor -- but with respect for the idea of civilian authority and the rule of law. With public opinion largely on their side and their integrity intact, the Marines get a moral victory on two fronts, and countries where political power grows out of the barrel of a gun might want to take note.