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The following events, organizations and people deserve either a
Thumbs Up or a Thumbs Down this week:
THUMBS DOWN: News that 30 percent of the Class of 2009 at San Benito High will have to repeat freshman English simply is not good news. Sure, that by the time the students are seniors they will have gotten the hang of it and scores will be proficient is a definite possibility. But nearly one-third of the class? Somewhere along the line these kids have simply not been prepared properly. Here’s to hoping the high school can continue with the energy to graduate students with a knowledge of English.

THUMBS DOWN: To the scientific declaration that Pluto is no longer a planet. The outer rock has a been a planet since 1930, but was given the boot because it doesn’t meet new rules. This seems pretty cold to us. Scientists can label what they want, but we like the idea of the small planet furthest from the sun. And what will happen with school textbooks? Think about the cost involved in changing all that information. Banishing Pluto from planet status is not only spiritually damaging, but could prove costly.

THUMBS UP: Free online tutoring service provided by the library. A $6,000 grant provides a service to students who can log on and get help with homework from a live tutor. The San Benito County Free Library is to be commended for arranging and providing the means for students to get this valuable service. Let’s hope local kids take advantage it.

THUMBS UP: To the City of Hollister for proposing that senior citizens could qualify for a discounted rate in the new sewage-rate proposal. Should the plan get the go-ahead, low-income seniors older than 60 could get a 25 percent discount on their bills. We think the city would be doing the right thing with this subsidy.

THUMBS UP: To the trap-jaw ant, which has the fastest jaw in the world. This creature can snap a bug in half faster than a human can blink an eye – its jaws can snap at up to 145 mph. We know some humans who are pretty fast in the buffet line, but even they can’t match this snapping speed. Why give a thumbs up to something like this? Why not? Mother Nature constantly issues us surprises, and this one is small, but impressive.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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