To Gov. Nikki Haley — Last week the governor announced she’s forming a bipartisan commission of non-office holding people to come up with a plan for state ethics reform. Good for her for moving quickly. We have too much “fox guarding the henhouse” in this state and sweeping ethics reforms are needed now.

To Malala Yousufzai’s improving condition — The British hospital treating a 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban raised hopes for her recovery Friday when doctors said she was able to stand with some help and to write. She was shot for advocating education for girls.

To the fair — The Western Carolina State Fair opened last week and continues through this week.

To Halloween — Halloween seems to get a little more fun each year, with more decorations and fanfare.

To the Detroit Tigers — The scrappy team that got off to a slow start handily won the American League pennant over the New York Yankees in four straight games. At the time of this writing, we’re waiting to see whether the Tigers play the Cardinals or the Giants in the World Series.

Thumbs down

To Newsweek — The 80-year-old news magazine announced last week it was ending its print product and going online only. The magazine has suffered through the economy, but it’s too bad the news magazine that was once one of the most respected in the country has lost its audience and stature because of many misdirections in the past several years.

The mudslinging election — From Washington, D.C., all the way to Aiken, this has been one nasty election. Nov. 6 won’t be here soon enough. As for how the state election season has gone, as soon as the legislature convenes in 2013, members need to make their first order of business fixing the very flawed election laws that caused this year’s debacle.

To the growing field of Aiken County Treasurer candidates — At the Aiken Standard political forum last week, the then-eight candidates for that office crammed behind the table on stage. Since then a few more people have announced they are waging campaigns to be write-in candidates for the job. But who can keep them all straight?