2011-11-21 / Opinion


thumb•nail (thum´nal´)… 2. anything quite small or brief, as a small drawing or short essay

Thumbs up to all of those who are organizing and volunteering at community Thanksgiving dinners this Thursday, providing a place for those who do not have family in the area or are unable to cook a feast for themselves. What better time to come together and share in the many aspects of American life for which we can all be thankful, from our rights to our beautiful surroundings.

For those without solid plans this holiday, there's still time to get involved with a community dinner or attend one and feel a sense of connectedness that's all too rare in this day and age.

Thumbs down to the Old Orchard Beach Town Council's decision to embrace a resolution, rather than an ordinance, against smoking on the beach. Signs will be put up “encouraging” beach-goers to put off their tobacco needs until they're off the sand, but no action will be taken beyond that except, perhaps, for a butt receptacle or two being placed at entrances to the beach. The council had a chance to take a bold stance against the litter and second-hand smoke dangers of tobacco, but instead chose to only pay lip service to those concerns. These signs will have little impact. Those who would have the common decency not to leave their cigarette butts in the sand will continue to be conscientious, and those who would litter on the beach will have no reason to stop doing so.

Thumbs up to the Center for Grieving Children's decision to open a branch in York County to more easily serve families here. The services they provide, now at an office in Sanford, help families find positive ways to move through the trauma of losing a loved one. The center provides not only counseling and coping skills for children, but in many cases also for the remaining parent, who has to deal with their own grief in the loss of a spouse and the reality of comforting their grieving children alone. According to the center, 20 percent of its families are from York County. With a new branch in Sanford, the burden of travel to Portland will be taken away from these families, making it easier for them to get the services they need to cope and continue with their lives.

Thumbs up to all of our “York County Gives Back” featured residents, in a series that will continue through this Wednesday. These people are making a real difference in their communities, from dedicated food pantry volunteers like Bob Nichols in Saco and Carol Cail in Sanford to community movers and shakers like Biddeford's Joe McKenney and citizen watch enthusiast Chet Wancewicz in Old Orchard Beach. We're glad to be able to recognize them and especially to note that they represent only a fraction of the numbers of amazing people who regularly give of themselves to make our little corner of the world a better place.


Thumbnails is a Monday feature of the Journal Tribune's opinion pages. If you want to respond, feel free to write to the Readers' Forum via e-mail at jtcommunity@journaltribune.com or by dropping your letter off at our Biddeford or Sanford offices.

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