Boos & Applause

Applause to Kathy Vance, the organizer of Tuesday’s town hall meeting in Elkins. Four county officials, a city official and a state delegate attended the meeting and interacted with the public, answering questions and providing information on topics such as the area’s drug problem and its many negative effects. It was the best-attended meeting so far in Vance’s town hall series, with about 40 people coming out. At the same time, it’s a shame more of those people — many of whom expressed dissatisfaction with city government — didn’t turn out for Thursday’s Elkins City Council meeting. By our count, five of those attending Tuesday’s town hall meeting also attended Thursday’s Council meeting, and one of those people spoke during Council’s public comment section. The town hall meetings are providing a valuable service, raising questions and connecting the public to their elected officials. But issues and ordinances will only be voted on at official governmental meetings. The next step for those residents energized by Vance’s town hall meetings is to take their concerns to the official meetings and ask to be heard.

Applause to West Virginia University Occupational Medicine for offering free services to all first responders on Thursday. First responders — including fire fighters, law enforcement officers, EMS and search and rescue — from across the state were invited to the Phil Gainer Community Center in Elkins for a free physical examination.

Applause to the “Envisioning Downtown Elkins” open house on Tuesday evening that drew about 70 people to the event to give input on possible initiatives that could benefit the downtown community. The Elkins Main Street Design Committee, led by co-chairs Maryanne Durland and David Cutlip, prepared a vision document — designed to provide a framework to advance streetscape improvements in downtown Elkins — that was displayed at Tuesday’s event.

Applause to Mountain State Street Machines, which will be hosting a special fall event with no registration fee on Friday. The event is open to antique and unique cars, trucks and motorcycles, and is slated to take place from 1-6 p.m. at the Randolph County Senior Center.