Like most events in 2020, Frederick’s 15th annual 72 Film Fest was a little different this year.

COVID restrictions forced event organizers to move the launch party — usually a crowded, in-person affair — to a virtual platform, thus removing some of the traditional, personal feel and putting the success in the hands of technology.

But there is a silver lining. The virtual setup allowed the organizers to open the contest up to teams throughout the country, spurring a record number of entries from nine different states.

It’s not often that a pandemic-forced change creates a positive outcome and we couldn’t be more happy about it. Not only because viewers will see a wide variety of films and talent at the screenings (showings began virtually Friday), but also because it shows that COVID hasn’t dulled the creative spirits of filmmakers. So here’s to the bright side of the pandemic in the world of independent filmmaking, may the passion to create continue beyond quarantine.

Given all the justifiable attention this year to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote, we were puzzled why the Frederick County school board pushed to get Nov. 3, Election Day, declared an instructional day in the county.

Fortunately, the state Department of Education nixed that idea. The state said the reasoning for the change didn’t meet the criteria for permitting a waiver, so FCPS’s request was denied. And with good reason.

Parents have enough on their hands every day to make sure students are learning from home. Many have had to adjust their work schedules to make it all happen, balancing their needs to keep a job and the needs of the students to get an education.

The last thing they needed was to have to choose between their child’s education and a chance to vote. It was a bad idea from the start and if that means extending the school year one more day, that should have been an easy call.

Often in times of trouble and uncertainty, those who want to gather to worship will find a way.

That is clearly evident in the spaces that the leaders of four local churches — Collective Church, Summit Trace Church, North Star Church, and Iglesia Campamento de Dios — found to hold services when they needed a place to go. With regulations limiting access to schools and some other nontraditional worship spots, members of these congregations got creative and set up shop inside a local business park.

The empty office and warehouse space in Pegasus Court has come in handy for these organizations, a true testament to the creativity and devotion of the leaders and officials. We’re glad that they have found a way to continue worshipping as a congregation in a safe and healthy environment.

Even before the pandemic, the number of people who have taken up biking had been on the rise. But since the days of COVID-19, there seems to be even more people biking, running or going out for that morning or evening walk. Now a $400,000 state grant is going to make this even easier.

The state Department of Transportation recently announced the grant to design a shared-use path — one that allows bikes and pedestrians — that would go from Waterford Park near downtown Frederick to the city’s north side, potentially connecting to a trail between Frederick and Thurmont. The city would be required to pay $100,000 in matching funds.

“The end result would be a downtown-to-downtown connection for long-distance commuting and recreation while also, in the interim, linking our rapidly growing northwestern neighborhoods to downtown and the Golden Mile,” Dave Edmondson, a city transportation planner, told us last week.

We’re hoping that the move to add more shared-use paths doesn’t stop here. We’ve always believed that it’s these kinds of amenities that make a difference in the local quality of life.

Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to letters@newspost.com.

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