Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Laurels to the guardrails that separate northbound and southbound lanes on Interstate 85. The barriers showed their worth earlier this week when they stopped a wayward tractor-trailer from crossing to the other side and prevented what almost certainly would have been at least one fatality ó just ask the driver who saw the out-of-control hulk barreling his way. The Post’s photo chief, Wayne Hinshaw, snapped a shot from the Webb Road overpass that says it all ó a rig crumpled against the guardrail, with the barrier unbroken. That’s worth a million dollars right there, and the barriers thwart countless more disasters that the general public will never know about. This once again reinforces the wisdom of the state’s investment in guardrails and other median barriers ó and the importance of keeping them intact.
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Dart to the many electronic missives of Robert Alan Soloway. The name may not be familiar, but chances are, you’ve been contacted by Soloway if you have a computer and an e-mail account. He’s considered one of the most notorious senders of spam e-mail. He was arrested this week in New York on various charges, including mail fraud, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Unfortunately, deleting Soloway from the list of spam spreaders isn’t likely to make much difference in your “in” box. The Spamhaus Project, an international anti-spam organization, has identified more than 135 spammers who are responsible for the bulk of those annoying messages hawking everything from Viagra to cheap pizzas. These days, spam is being off-shored just like many legitimate businesses. Many mass spammers operate in Russia or other countries beyond the reach of U.S. or European law. It’s estimated that 70 billion spam messages are sent out daily, nearly double the volume from only a year ago.
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Laurels to the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation for giving out a record 71 grants worth nearly $2.5 million last week, including close to $1 million for school projects that tax dollars never seem to reach. Many school administrators, teachers and parents have wised up and realized their energies are better spent writing a grant proposal than trying to wrest funds from the school system itself. The Robertson Foundation board OK’d school requests for everything from fixing North Rowan High School’s dangerously crumbling track to buying a computer-based program for non-readers at Knox Middle School ó hardly frivolous stuff. The Robertson Foundation puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to improving education ó and many other areas of life óin Salisbury-Rowan.

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