Boos and applause

– Applause to all the Mountain State Forest Festival volunteers who have worked – both publicly and behind the scenes – to make sure this week’s lengthy schedule of activities went off without a hitch. Each year the MSFF?grows larger and more complicated to produce, and these tireless volunteers deserve our praise and gratitude.

– Applause to Barbour County residents for voicing their opposition to the closing of two elementary schools, and to the Barbour County Board of Education for listening to those concerns and voting accordingly. After hearing dozens of speakers during three public hearings on the potential closings, the BOE voted unanimously Monday to keep the schools open.

– Applause to Mother Nature for proving the weather forecast wrong and delivering beautiful, sunny weather all week long. This has been a blessing for everyone attending the Forest Festival this week – for once no one has had to dodge rain drops or snow or even wear a coat during Festival week. That is an extreme rarity, and we greatly appreciate it.

– Boo to whoever vandalized nine trucks at Elkins Truck Service this week. Fixing the trucks will cost about $20,000, but owner Joe Chabut said the vandalism won’t prevent the trucks from being part of the MSFF Grand Feature Parade today.

– Boo to the lack of cooperation that led to the government shutdown this week. The shutdown even had an effect on the Forest Festival, as educational displays traditionally presented by the U.S. Forest Service were not part of this week’s festivities. Here’s hoping our elected representatives can get together and hammer out an agreement.