There are some very special people living, working and contributing to the well-being of Carroll County, and these people deserve a "thumbs up."

Thumbs up to Life Scout Wayne Aldridge of Troop 630 in Westminster. Aldridge, along with about 15 fellow Scouts and parents of Scouts, has taken on the task of cleaning tons of trash from the old quarry on Fenby Farm Road in Westminster.

Wayne, 17, is working to become an Eagle Scout, and this is part of his project. Wayne left June 27 for boot camp in Fort Dix, N.J. The Army is getting a great recruit, and we wish him well.

Thumbs upto Cpl. David Hooper, Pfc. Michael Bible, Officers David Reifsnider and Eric Carroll, and dispatcher Robin Costello for a job well done during the recent fatal fire in Westminster. These members of the Westminster Police Department were recently honored by their department and Chief Sam R. Leppo.

"Their citations noted their bravery and willingness to risk their own lives and safety during the fire at 88 W.Main St. in April,"

Leppo said.

I'm sure the citizens of Westminster and especially the residents of 88 W. Main St. join me in saying thank you.

Thumbs up to the county internal auditors for finding $70,000 a year in overstaffing at the two county landfills. The auditors are to be commended for not accepting trite explanations for the discrepancies between hours reflected on time sheets and the hours logged on equipment records.

Asking the tough questions and recommending the tough decisions is what cuts the fat from government budgets -- and this is what citizens want.

Way to go auditors! Now, commissioners, make the cut!

Thumbs up to Commissioner Julia W. Gouge, the lone opposition vote to requiring WGRX to remove the white strobe lights from its 700-foot tower and replace them with solid red lights.

The lights have been a controversial subject since the tower was constructed. Four years ago, the Board of Commissioners refused to take any action requiring a change on the tower lights. With a new board recently elected, the subject was renewed.

Gouge said that "this second hearing was a waste of taxpayer's money. The station willhave to spend big dollars to put red lights on to satisfy a small group of people. My question is why?"

The commissioner is right. There were 50 signatures on the petition requesting the hearing. Only 39people attended the hearing, and this included all of the elected officials and press representatives.

The two commissioners who votedfor this change have thrown reason and safety to the winds. They have bowed to the wishes of a vocal minority, and their decision smacks of political favoritism.

Hats off to Commissioner Gouge for standing up for her convictions!

Thumbs up to school board President John D. Myers Jr. and member Carolyn L. Scott for voting to continue thedistribution of the "teen health card" created by the Health Department, even though the plan was defeated.

The card would have provided our teen-agers with information about AIDS prevention, birth control, venereal disease and health services available to them.

Of thehundreds of parents of teen-agers in our Carroll school system, onlyeight parents came before the school board to voice their concern that their parental authority was being taken away and placed in the hands of the schools.

Scott said, "the teaching of family values is the purview of the family, but we see from the problems of society that all families do not do this." She told me that parents would have had to sign an authorization for the students to take the class wherethe teen health card is distributed.

Any one of those eight parents could have refused permission for their teen-agers to take this class and thus receive the cards in question. Now all Carroll teens aredeprived of this valuable and vital health information.

A job well done to these two courageous school board members for voicing theirdissenting opinions.

Thumbs up to WTTR radio station, for being named a "Station of the Year Finalist" for a Marconi award.

GeneralManager Dwight Dingle said, "We are thrilled and honored to be recognized as one of the top radio stations of our size in the nation. Being a finalist in the Marconi Awards is a tribute to our staff, which is committed to providing our listeners with unique programming specifically geared to Carroll County.

"It tells us we are meeting their needs and at the same time being recognized by the industry for high standards."

Good show!

Thumbs up to the Telephone Pioneers ofAmerica for supporting, through their volunteer efforts, the recycling of telephone directories in Carroll County.

The landfills in our county are filling at a rate faster than calculated at the time they were built and this major recycling effort will extend their lives.

If every county recipient of a telephone directory recycled just one old directory, the county could keep 25 tons of recyclable paper out of the landfills.

Let's all thank these retired C&P; employees for their efforts on our county's behalf.

Thumbs up to all the Carroll residents who have not taken a vacation from recycling. The collection figures have remained stable during the late spring and early summer. Keep up the good work.

Thumbs up to the 20 Carroll County vo-tech students who were first-place winners in the state Vocationaland Industrial Clubs of America contest earlier this year. All are competing in the national contest at the Kentucky Fair Grounds. They will compete against students from the other 50 states and U.S. territories.

Carroll County has the largest representation of any jurisdiction in Maryland, but then that does not surprise us!

We wish all of them the very best.

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