THUMBS UP: To Peach State Summer Theatre for successfully launching the three shows of the 2010 season as well as successfully producing 20 years of professional summer musicals, first on Jekyll Island and now in Valdosta. PSST celebrates 20 years with a fundraiser Monday evening. Audiences can continue seeing this season’s shows, “White Christmas,” Disney’s “Mulan” and “The Secret Garden,” in repertory theatre through July 18.

THUMBS DOWN: To people attempting to abuse the Fresh Start program. Hundreds showed up at the Lowndes Associated Ministries to People                  headquarters this week seeking assistance with past-due mortgage, rent and utility payments. The program does not give the applicant cash; instead, it directly pays those whom the applicant owes money. Some people showed up demanding cash. Others offered bills that had already been partially paid but the applicant hoped to receive the full amount of cash owed on a past bill. Quick phone calls with  utility companies and others uncovered these fraudulent attempts. The program doesn’t need cheats obstructing people who legitimately need a fresh start.

THUMBS UP: To Valdosta State University Baseball’s Jon Koenigsfeld for receiving the Gulf South Conference’s highest honor. This week, Koenigsfeld was named the GSC Commissioner’s Trophy winner as the conference’s top male athlete. He is the fifth VSU student to earn the league’s highest honor, and the first VSU student to win it in 13 years.

THUMBS DOWN: To BP and government officials not taking citizens’ ideas for stopping the Gulf oil leak more seriously. Granted, the catastrophe has inspired hundreds of ideas for stopping the leak, containing the spill, or removing the oil from the sea. Perhaps, there are too many ideas being offered to be considered. Given how many BP efforts have failed, these citizen ideas should not so callously be discarded. Lowndes County residents Donnie Tucker and Gary Castleberry have devised what sounds like a workable concept for fixing the leak, but they cannot get anyone to listen to their ideas.

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