Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to Cadet-Captain Emma Haynes of the Civil Air Patrol for earning the Amelia Earhart Award this year. Starting originally in 1941, the Civil Air Patrol was created as the fifth branch of the Air Force and its original duty was to patrol the shores of the Atlantic in search of possible invading enemies. Now, the organization provides local emergency services, aerospace education and leadership. The Amelia Earhart Award marks the completion of Phase III of the CAP Cadet Program, recognizing excellence in all four areas of a cadet’s life: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character. The award also challenges the cadets by making them pass comprehensive examinations on leadership and aerospace topics. Haynes wants to apply to West Point and other ROTC scholarships for the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel, with aspirations to become an officer in the military someday.

Thumbs down to the unexpected closure of Friendly’s Restaurant on South Main Street. Restaurants come and go, but the fact that the restaurant had undergone an extensive facelift in the past few years coupled with the overnight closure is leaving a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Hopefully, city officials will have luck finding a new tenant for the building now that the Chadakoin Riverwalk is taking shape.

Thumbs up to the National Comedy Center for taking steps to remedy what many people thought would be a problem — parking. Center officials have created a system whereby visitors can text the center and receive a map to nearby parking facilities in return. Many wondered how a national attraction could thrive without close, accessible parking, particularly with Washington Street and its busy traffic in the mix. Technology may help, so kudos to NCC officials for listening to visitors and coming up something that may make visitors’ experiences a little easier.