One of the things I miss about the old Aim Jefferson newspaper is the feature “Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down.” It was a place where ordinary people could vent their frustrations about their neighbors, their town, or life in general. There are a lot of people fed up with state government, medical expenses, taxes, and the cost of living. People need a place to voice their opinions.

On the other hand, it was also a place to say nice things about their heroes of the day: a pat on the back to a guy who helped a sick neighbor by cutting his grass every week; the town employees, volunteer firemen, police, rescue squad, and others who went out of their way to help people while performing their jobs.

I figure that Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down might have saved a lot of lives over the years. As they say, “The pen is mightier than the sword” – and it’s true. Instead of meeting your neighbor or local politician with a baseball bat, shotgun, or wood chipper for a down-to-earth talk, people placed their anger or opinions in print, hoping someone would take notice of their complaint.

One that I remember is a person who thanked the local fire department for saving his burning house. The police blotter section noted that the same person was later arrested for having a meth lab in that house.

I was even mentioned a few times in that section of the paper. Readers had some nice things to say about my column and some not so nice. I can’t take it personally, since all people have their opinions. I look at it this way: At least they read the column, and thanks for doing so.

Maybe we should have a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down for the teenagers in town. If they feel that their parents, friends, classmates, or teachers are not listening to them, this would be the place to get it out. They need to be heard, not just talked at.

My first entry would be a Thumbs Up to the township road crew. These guys work under the worst conditions to make our roads safe. If there is a crew paving in front of my house, out comes the case of water and the hose for them to cool off with. Good job, guys!

Maybe it’s time to bring Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down back. Only your words and comments can do that.

Editor’s note: We agree! In fact, a Facebook group called Jefferson Township Thumbs Up n Down, with just over 1,000 members currently, replaced the former Aim newspaper column earlier this year. The Jefferson Chronicle is partnering with the administrators of the Facebook group to bring you selected Thumbs comments each week, starting the first week of October.

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