There's no village smithy under it, but thumbs UP for the spreading chestnut tree that grows at Sheldon's Marsh -- and for the state's efforts to preserve a survivor -- more likely the descendant of one -- of the blight that decimated entire forests of these stately giants. The restoration, if it happens, will take decades, maybe a century -- so an additional thumbs UP for thinking beyond the next budget cycle. May we have a future that matches the American Chestnut's grandeur.
Thumbs DOWN to "Countdown Craig" Stahl, who takes longer than anyone to say nothing, but lets people know just how much time they have left to speak. The vice-mayor's one-minute warning to Sue Daugherty at this week's city commission meeting was rude enough -- even though she sailed right by it with flags flying -- but raining on Mark Norman before he got a chance to string his words together was the lowest of the low. Who works for whom in that room, Craig?
Thumbs UP to city commissioner Dan Kaman for shooting back, however belatedly. Brett Fuqua got in his shot, too. And it's true not everyone knows everything, but let's hear from Dave Waddington and Julie Farrar before too long.
And thumbs UP to Daugherty and Norman, who stuck to their guns but kept their cool enough to maintain their aim. We could name a few more elected officials, who seem to have forgotten what that "elected" part means, who might benefit from similar directness. Note to city commissioners: When Daugherty, head of Serving our Seniors, talks about making the best use of your people and their talents, she knows what she's talking about.
Thumbs UP to Shining Waters, a place to go for local kids to find the music that's in them. Adults pay a fee, but kids play free, to make music and, more importantly, reach within themselves to find out what they're made of. Alongside that, any subsequent success in music is almost gravy -- but, of course, it's much more than that. Good fortune to all involved.
Thumbs UP to finally starting on road work on U.S. 250 around Milan, because that's a major traffic artery for the business and commercial interests that keep this area going as well as it does.
Thumbs DOWN, however, for the years of delays that allowed that stretch of road to crumble to the point those repairs became urgent -- because that's a major traffic artery for the business and commercial interests that keep this area going as well as it does.