Darts and laurels
Laurels to those indomitable souls who don’t let advancing years prevent them from making a splash. Diana Nyad did just that this week when, at age 64, she completed a 55-hour, 110-mile swim through the ocean waters separating Cuba and Key West, Fla. Such a feat would be extraordinary at any age, but to do so in her seventh decade, a year shy of Medicare eligibility, is a testament to her personal determination and stamina, as well as to the triumphs of which the human spirit is capable. It also underscores the importance of persistence. Her successful crossing followed four unsuccessful tries, the first occurring at the tender age of 28 — when, in retrospect, she was hardly wet behind the ears ...
Dart to motorists who jeopardize the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on our streets and roads. This perennial issue resurfaced this week as consultants asked a group of Salisbury residents about their concerns. Although the participants specifically cited traffic risks on East Innes Street, the problem occurs on other streets that lack bike lanes or sidewalks. The ultimate solution is to provide streets and roads that can safely accommodate foot and bike traffic, as well as vehicles. Meanwhile, it would help if drivers exercised more caution — and courtesy.
Laurels to the State Board of Education for partially mitigating the phase-out of pay hikes for teachers who obtain advanced degrees. The board this week agreed to extend the timetable so that more teachers near the end of advanced degree programs can obtain the pay hikes before the eligibility door closes. The General Assembly passed a budget law this summer that says teachers won’t be eligible for the higher salary unless they were paid at that level before the 2014-15 school year begins. Under the board’s previous rules, a teacher would have to complete a master’s or doctoral degree before April 1 to receive the higher salary that school year. The board agreed to extend the deadline to early May, when most college semesters end. Gov. Pat McCrory says he wants to preserve the raises for all teachers currently enrolled in graduate courses and would set aside $10 million to do so in next year’s budget, but that will require legislative action.