Yea: This pandemic has been tough on lots of organizations. And we’ve seen some pretty unique ways that they’ve coped with its impact. This past week we found another one.

With annual carnival fundraisers out of the question, Flood Zone Marketplace and Brewery helped the volunteer fire companies in Union Bridge and New Windsor raise thousands of dollars with a mini-boat parade. The brewery lowered 10 small handmade boats anchored with cinder blocks in Little Pipe Creek, a tributary of the Monocacy River just behind the business.

Each boat has a sponsor and customers could “vote” for the best boat by making a cash donation.

“We wanted to do something for the fire halls because we knew they didn’t have their carnivals, they can’t have their pancake dinners, they can’t have their chicken dinners, they can’t do bingo, they can’t do anything,” said Jerry Stambaugh, part owner of the brewery.

We know the fire departments appreciate the support, as do we.

Nay: Frederick County Public Schools made a tough call this week to lay off nearly all of its bus drivers and cafeteria workers effective Sept. 15. We can’t say it was unexpected, considering that schools will be operating virtually through the end of the year. But this makes it no less painful for these employees.

School Board President Brad Young said this week the decision wasn’t based on the budget but more on the fact that these workers wouldn’t have enough to do in a virtual school world. There will be some bus drivers and cafeteria workers kept around to assist the small groups of students who will be attending in-person classes. But that won’t be many of them.

If there’s a small consolation, it’s that the schools will continue to cover the laid off employees’ health insurance. That’s no small thing. But it doesn’t replace the paycheck.

It wouldn’t be fair to blame anyone for this decision — or the decisions that other businesses and governments have had to make — in this COVID-19 world, it’s just another example of how the pandemic has turned our economy upside down. As we’ve said, we can understand the decision, but we don’t have to like it.

Yea: High school is never easy. Most of us can remember how stressful it was to stay focused on education while avoiding peer pressure and other teen angst. Now imagine dealing with a substance abuse disorder at the same time.

This week, we learned help is on the way for those in that situation when the only recovery high school in Maryland opens in Frederick on Aug. 31. The program, located on East Church Street, is run by Phoenix Foundation of Maryland, a nonprofit that serves those affected by substance use disorder. The goal is to start with a handful of students and then grow to as many as 30 to 40 once the school is fully operational.

“It provides the atmosphere that they need to work through their issues,” Sean Nicholson, director of development with the Phoenix Foundation, told us earlier this week.

Some of the credit for getting this school open goes to a partnership with the Ausherman Family Foundation. The foundation is providing the space in the the building that was once home to Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County.

It’s encouraging that a school like this is opening here and we hope it will help students get through their struggles and onto a new path.

Yea: Who knows, but maybe in the not-so-distant future, we might see Mason Albright throwing the high heat for the Orioles or the Nationals. Though that’s still a dream for the 17-year-old Catoctin High lefty, he’s taking a big step in that direction.

The highly-touted pitcher, whose fastball has already been clocked at a pro level 94 mph, has recently decided to finish his high school career at the prestigious IMG Academy in Sarasota, Florida. After that, he’s committed to play at Virginia Tech, assuming that the he doesn’t get drafted in next summer’s Major League draft.

Attending IMG is a big opportunity for Mason and we certainly wish him well. And, if we can be selfish, it would certainly be great to see him on the mound at Camden Yards or Nats Park some day.

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

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