Boos & Applause

Applause to the official groundbreaking Wednesday for the Buckhannon Dog Park, to be located on the Elizabeth J. “Binky” Poundstone River Walk. The concept of having a dog park in Buckhannon has been talked about for the past 12 years, but now, with the help of Mayor David McCauley and Maria Bray, Lisa Critchfield and other members of the Dog Park Committee, a grand opening is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sept. 1. Area dog owners will surely join us in saying bravo!

Applause to the Elkins Jazz Walk, which attracted about 300 people to the downtown area Aug. 4 to hear five jazz ensembles play at four different venues, with 30-minute breaks between sets to allow jazz fans to walk from one venue to the next. The event was a collaboration of Elkins Main Street, the West Virginia Jazz Society, Mountain Arts District and area businesses. Music performances were offered at Beander’s, C.J. Maggie’s, The Jabberwock Bar & Grill and El Gran Sabor by local jazz artists and musicians from Pittsburgh, Indiana, Ohio and New York City.

Applause to the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College’s four-week summer session, which has offered opportunities for the public to join in, with dances almost every night, jam sessions, concerts, exhibits, mini-classes and much more. It’s all been leading up to the annual Augusta Festival and Craft Fair, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in Elkins City Park, and the Augusta Festival Concert, featuring Mountain Stage with Larry Groce and performers including Tom Paxton and The Don Juans, featuring Don Henry and Jon Vezner, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. today in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.

Applause to the free pool party for incoming Elkins Middle School sixth-graders offered at the Elkins-Randolph County YMCA Thursday evening. Hosted by the Strengthening Families Program, the event was coordinated by Cindy Nucilli, a community outreach worker who organized the event thanks to a grant from the Snowshoe Foundation. Featuring swimming and an ice cream social, the party gave students the change to make a big splash as they get ready to go back to school.

Applause to Chistina and Nathaniel Bonnell, who received the $300 prize as the winners of the Elkins Make it Shine clean-up contest Thursday. The Bonnells won the contest after they recently purchased a home at 1418 South Davis Ave., in Elkins, and completed a variety of renovations. During a ceremony to receive their winning check, which took place Thursday at The Inter-Mountain offices, Christina Bonnell moved Elkins Make it Shine coordinator Melodee Price to tears as she disclosed she wanted to donate the money back to the organization. We applaud this wonderful gesture!

Boo to Gov. Jim Justice, who surprised and confused the entire state by announcing his switch from Democrat to Republican during an appearance with President Donald Trump in Huntington. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, this announcement made your head swim. Justice ran for governor as a Democrat, took full advantage of the party’s resources to get elected and was sworn in less than seven months before his head-scratching decision. Now he’s a Republican, again — he was a registered Republican voter as recently as 2015. Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, called Justice’s switch “sad” and “shocking.” It was also embarrassing for the state. Let’s hope Justice’s next big announcement is related to a new policy or plan to help the state budget crisis, and that he will now concentrate on working with state legislators, instead of simply infuriating them.