Our View: Ups and Downs - Kay Hagan; Guilford school officials; Barbara Boxer

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 02:24 AM

THUMBS UP to U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan for her urging swift action by President Obama to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which the president blocked last year at the urging of environmental groups. The proposed pipeline would transport oil from Canadian tar sands oil fields to Texas refineries creating thousands of jobs and having billions in economic impact.
Hagan, a Democrat from Greensboro, was among a bipartisan group of senators who sent a letter to the president urging him to remove his opposition and to allow the pipeline’s construction. Hagan and the other senators noted that Nebraska’s governor and other officials there now support the pipeline’s revised route through their state, which means officials in all six states through which Keystone would pass now support its construction.

THUMBS DOWN to environmental groups and some members of Congress, such as Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who oppose construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. They are calling it a “dirty pipeline” that would carry “dirty oil” and contribute to global warming. Boxer says if President Obama were to approve the pipeline, it would undo much of the good he has done for the climate.

THUMBS UP to Manilla Dean, who was recognized this week by the High Point Human Relations Commission as the city’s 2013 Humanitarian of the Year. Dean, a retired cafeteria manager, was honored by the HRC for her longtime service at West End Ministries — where she and her husband, Charles, helped start the ministry’s food pantry — and for her service to youth groups at English Road Baptist Church. Dean is well-deserving of the HRC’s award. And we think that Charles Dean is deserving of a THUMBS UP, also.

THUMBS UP to Guilford County Schools because of the good news this week that its dropout rate has fallen to the lowest rate among the state’s largest school districts.  According to Guilford officials, 495 students left school during the 2011-2012 school year. That calculates to a 2.15 percent dropout rate, down from the 2010-2011 school year when 625, or 2.71 percent, of students left school. The state’s dropout rate for 2011-2012 was 3.01 percent.
Additionally, school officials report, Guilford’s four-year graduation rate for 2011-2012 rose to 84.5 percent. That is the highest four-year graduation rate in the school district’s history, officials said.