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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column suddenly wary of our beaming passport photo.We just found out that Germans were ordered Thursday to wipe those smiles off their faces when posing for passport pictures, so biometric scanners can pick up their facial features.We’ve always been so fond of our passport photo. All the hairs are in place, no food in the teeth, no blinking. According to the Associated Press, Interior Minister Otto Schily ordered passport authorities to only accept pictures taken from the front showing the “most neutral facial expression possible,” starting Nov. 1.Apparently facial recognition systems match key features on the holder’s face and work best when the face has a neutral expression with the mouth closed.”A broad smile, however nice it may be, is therefore unacceptable,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.And here we’d been going around smiling like the darn fools we are. We always thought, per Little Orphan Annie, that we were never fully dressed without a smile. So much for that.And even though there haven’t been any such “no smiling” decrees yet in the U.S. of A., we don’t want to go around offending Germans with our pearly whites. What if we got to the doors of Germany, smiley-faced passport in hand, and they booted us all the way back to our toothy grin-lovin’ states? That would be a devastating blow to our already fragile ego. We better curb travel for a while till all this no smiling nonsense blows over.***More congratulations are going out into Summit Up Land to high school senior Sam Bee on his acceptance to the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, where he will study trombone. He was one of three seniors accepted after auditions in August.His parents, Steve and Sue Bee, are so proud of him. And so are we.Best of luck in Ohio, Sam!***It’s Friday, and considering the congratulatory mood, we have one more “Good job!” to dole out – to our dog. Yup, you did it boy. You finally finished your last dose of antibiotics. No more incontinence for you! Keep up the good work! We’re treating you to some dog food tonight.Call us at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or send an e-mail to

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