THUMBS UP

To honoring Lou Brissie: More than 1,000 students from local schools and 500 people from the community gathered together on Veterans Day to honor North Augusta resident Lou Brissie, a former major league baseball player and World War II veteran.


Brissie's name now ordains the baseball field at Riegel Stadium on the campus of Ware Shoals High School. A 6-feet-tall monument made of granite honoring Brissie was also installed at the stadium. A former Philadelphia Athletics player, Brissie made a name for himself as a local legend, and we applaud the school for their efforts to honor such a humble and exemplary man.


THUMBS DOWN

To encroachment of Black Friday: In homes across the country, the classic scene of a family gathered at the dinner table offering thanks and enjoying a meal at Thanksgiving is seemingly becoming more rare. There now appears to be a burgeoning shopping frenzy on Thanksgiving, with shoppers lining up outside businesses to kick start the holiday shopping season. This year, more than a dozen major retailers are opening on Thanksgiving, including Macy's and Staples. This is a trend we wish would quickly subside.


THUMBS UP

To the season of Palace Malice: The 2013 Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy Stakes winner – Palace Malice – was recently picked as the 2013 Aiken Trained Horse of the Year.


The winner becomes the second Dogwood Stable horse to receive the distinction, with the first being Limehouse in 2005.


Cot Campbell, Dogwood Stable president, indicated that the history of Thoroughbred racehorses who have trained in Aiken is magnificent, and the extraordinary season put together by Palace Malice certainly shows it. As a winner of one leg of the Triple Crown, the race horse shows he's one of the best in the sport, and certainly deserves local recognition.


THUMBS DOWN

To scant relief by China: The outpouring of support by countries and companies around the world makes China's contribution for Typhoon relief in the Philippines look dismal in comparison. Several nations and even Swedish furniture chain Ikea have even offered more assistance than the world's second-largest economy.


The country has pledged only $200,000 for relief efforts. It's a woeful donation and, especially having one of the globe's largest economies, puts a bit of a black eye on the country's place on the world's stage.