Darts and laurels

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2006

Laurels to new courses the Rowan-Salisbury School System will probably add to the high school curriculum, keeping step with new needs and interests. With the N.C. Research Campus drawing biotechnology businesses to the area, courses like Biotechnology and Agriscience can help high school students start training for a career in that forward-moving field. Pharmacy Technology will train pharmacy technicians with real-world work experiences. The new offerings include Structured Writing, Forensic Science, American Indian History, Biomedical Technology and others that help expand students’ knowledge and prepare them for specific lines of work. A few new courses can’t guarantee a lower dropout rate, but it’s a positive step toward tailoring studies to fit prospective jobs and pique students’ interest.

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Dart to the unwelcome gesture a visitor from Burlington received as she alighted from her bus at an Innes Street burger joint Tuesday. Someone snatched her purse. Think how she’ll feel about Salisbury from now on and what she’ll tell her friends about our fine city. It’s a shame. Every city worries about image, but Salisbury has been peering into the mirror particularly closely lately as it tries to come up with a branding and “wayfinding” strategy. Someone held up a front page of the Salisbury Post at a recent meeting on that topic and said it gave people a bad impression of the city; front-page stories included a murder trial, a fatal accident and a mother charged in the death of her baby. That was definitely a bad-news day. Fortunately, every day is not like that. And fortunately, thousands of visitors eat at Innes Street restaurants each week without being robbed. One incident or one day’s headlines do not a city make.

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Laurels to homeowners who have turned their Christmas decorations into a virtual community service, paying big power bills to spread holiday cheer. The Post has been recognizing some of these ambitious people with its Electric Elf contest. Some people turn up their noses at elaborate displays, but the lights and motion attract steady streams of visitors who want to take a look. The Post will publish a map next week showing where all the Electric Elf nominees are located. If you’re getting a kick out of big Christmas displays, you’ll know exactly where to go. If you don’t like them, you’ll know where not to go.