Thumbs down to the Biddeford City Council for not having the foresight to schedule its Tuesday meeting at a larger venue, given recent contention over contract negotiations between the city and the unions representing its police officers, firefighters and public safety employees. Instead, the meeting was forced to an abrupt end when the large crowd refused to leave the council chambers after being told by city officials that they were in violation of the capacity provisions of the fire code. Past city meetings have been scheduled at venues such as Biddeford High School to accommodate for a large audience. City officials should have anticipated a large crowd and made arrangements in advance of the meeting to hold the session elsewhere.

Thumbs up to the Ocean Park Association for putting on the annual July 4th parade, sand castle competition and other family-friendly activities. Many families look forward to going to the annual parade, and it and other festivities are enjoyed not only by Ocean Park residents and visitors, but by residents in Old Orchard Beach as a whole.

Thumbs up to the City of Sanford and various groups who worked to make the days leading up to the Fourth of July and that day itself special ”“ including movies, concerts, a “taste” event, carnival, water ski show, fireworks and the parade. It takes a staggering amount of work to pull off all these events, and those who put in long hours and lots of hard work are to be commended.

Thumbs down to Saco city officials who did not know appropriate charter procedure when appointing a new city councilor. Although this week’s City Council meeting ended with the thought that Tom Roughan would be filling the rest of the term for the vacated position of Ward 3 city councilor, it was discovered later that according to city charter, a new councilor can not be appointed without four votes. Roughan received three votes, and the Council will vote again Monday Nov. 13 on an appointment for the Ward 3 council seat. Perhaps a regular reading of the city charter is in order.

Thumbs up Work Camp NE and the 116 teens and adults in Sanford and surrounding areas this week and next, making free home repairs. Campers’ registration fees go toward buying roofing materials and paint and all the other supplies needed to make repairs of homes for those whose incomes won’t stretch to making the repairs themselves ”“ and then the campers do the work. Campers, who hail from various Protestant churches from around New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont, say they’re having fun and living their faith at the same time.

Thumbs up to Sanford Mainers catcher Dalton Thomas, who had 11 hits in 22 at bats during a five-game stretch from July 2-8. Thomas had at least one hit in all five games, including three in three different games. As of June 8, Thomas led all Mainers regulars with a .372 batting average, 29 hits, six doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs.