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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Nov. 29

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Ads will try for state championship

The Danville Admirals are looking like their old selves in more ways than one. The football team is headed to the state championship game this Sunday where they could claim the school’s 11th state championship.

Playing in — and winning — state championships was not an uncommon event for Danville in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. They made the finals 12 times in a 23-year stretch from 1984 to 2006, winning the title nine times.

Danville’s coach Clay Clevenger played on those epic football teams — he was a part of Danville championships in 1992 and 1994. Now, he’s got a chance to win a title as a coach.

Danville beat Covington Holy Cross 42-35 on Friday to earn their first trip to a title game in 10 years. The Admirals will play Louisville Christian in the Class 2A Finals at 2 p.m. Sunday. Here’s hoping the players and coaches’ dreams come true. As star wide receiver David Walker said after Friday’s victory, “it’s time to be Title Town again.”

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Shop Local Saturday outshines Black Friday

“Black Friday” isn’t looking so great these days, thanks to a wide array of problems for the golden calf of commercialism.

In a race to the bottom, stores have moved opening times up earlier and earlier, encroaching on Thanksgiving Day. This strategy initially worked but now there’s blowback from families of retail workers and others who think holidays should remain holidays and not spend-a-thons.

Stores have also been widening the time slot they call “Black Friday” from an actual Friday to basically the entire month of November, with plenty of bleed-over into December. In an attempt to make the event bigger and bigger, sales teams ran out of space. Instead of being happy with a full day dedicated to shopping, they overreached and weakened the “Black Friday” brand, turning it into a catchphrase for almost any kind of sale that occurs once Halloween is over and before all the Christmas gifts get returned on Dec. 26.

Online sales further erode the willingness of people to spend ungodly amounts of time in long, cold lines.

The upside to all of this is that more positive campaigns spawned in response to too much Black Friday are seeing a good amount of success. Shop Small Saturday is gaining traction as a Black Friday’s smaller, healthier sibling. Danville saw the impact of Shop Small Saturday this year, as downtown stores were kept thoroughly busy.

Many stores have backed off of Thanksgiving Day sales and some are even promoting anti-Black Friday campaigns, such as REI’s “#OptOutside” movement.

All this isn’t necessarily bad news for Black Friday — it’s still a huge shopping day and it won’t completely disappear immediately. But in a free market, you have to innovate and adapt; you don’t get to just grow and grow each year without improving.

Hopefully next year, the Black Friday bloat recedes a little more and younger, fresher ideas that don’t require wild-eyed stampedes of greed can further rise in prominence.

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4-H students attending presidential inauguration

4-H teens from Boyle, Garrard and Lincoln counties are preparing to attend the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

These civic-minded students are getting a great opportunity to see their country’s democracy at work.

Not that they aren’t already — Boyle 4-Hers have been visiting important locations in Kentucky and learning about U.S. history in preparation for the event.

The 4-H students signed up to attend the inauguration well before it was known who would win the election — this isn’t about political party vs. political party, it’s about taking part in democracy and learning how it all works. That’s something a lot more adults could stand to do, as well.

Kudos to these young learners who are actively choosing to know how their country works. They’ll no doubt be among the ones running it when their times come.