Thumbs down to soaring gas prices. AAA reports that the average price of regular unleaded fuel in Connecticut has spiked by 30 cents over the past month. So basically, it\u2019s rising at a rate of a penny a day. AAA put the average at $3.50 a gallon on Oct. 25, but it\u2019s a quarter or so more than that in many places. During the early days of COVID, when roads were empty, the price dropped to half that in many places. Experts predict prices to continue to rise, which will also drive costs of products that are delivered to store shelves and homes. Thumbs up to figures that show about 10 percent of Connecticut\u2019s vaccinated population has received a COVID-19 booster shot. Connecticut has consistently ranked at or near the top of the nation in terms of COVID vaccinations, and its booster percentage is roughly in line with national averages. But it\u2019s early in the process, and it\u2019s expected those numbers will grow. Also in the wings is the expected approval of COVID vaccinations for children under 12, which is expected this month. That would make parents feel more secure sending their kids out into the world, and potentially lead to the end of mask mandates. Thumbs down to one school\u2019s need to cancel the remainder of its 2021 football schedule. Citing the \u201chealth and safety of its players,\u201d Derby announced it would forfeit the rest of its games this year. The school made the right decision, but it\u2019s too bad for the remaining players that they won\u2019t have a chance to continue through the end of the year. Last year\u2019s football season in Connecticut was canceled due to COVID fears, and the pandemic has continued to affect this season. But that wasn\u2019t the reason for Derby\u2019s decision, which came down to a lack of players at one of the smallest high schools around that retains a proud football tradition. Thumbs down to the nine managed residential communities, nine residential care homes, four assisted living facilities, three nursing homes and one chronic disease hospital, which neglected to meet the deadline to report vaccination rates to the state and were fined a combined $221,000. It\u2019s equally disappointing that 33 facilities needed the week-long grace period to report, dodging an additional $1.5 million in possible fines. If five weeks seems like a long time, consider that this all could have been avoided if people just got their shots. There are no wins in playing a game of chicken with the state Department of Public Health. Thumbs up to Election Day. It doesn\u2019t generate the excitement (or panic) of a national contest, but off-year elections offer voters a chance to weigh in on important local positions including mayor (or first selectman), as well as members of key boards such as education and planning. The future of your children\u2019s schools or the look of your neighborhood could be on the ballot on Tuesday, so it\u2019s important to weigh in when given the opportunity. Arguably, political discussions are too focused on elections, where every event is framed in terms of its impact on the next voting cycle. But there\u2019s no denying the importance of the annual rite. It\u2019s a chance to make your voice heard.