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Darts and laurels

Laurels to former President Bill Clinton for scheduling a stop in Salisbury Friday, raising the city’s profile on the political landscape for a day. In addition to being the hometown of Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Rowan County is home to more than 30,000 registered Democrats, a fact that sometimes seems to be forgotten. (As of March 12, Rowan had 36,407 Republicans, 30,415 Democrats and 17,388 unaffiliated voters, according to the Board of Elections.) It’s an understatement to say Sen. Hillary Clinton has a champion campaigner on her side in her husband. The 500 or so people who gathered under sunny skies at the Salisbury Station got a taste of the charm and persuasiveness that enabled a little-known governor from Arkansas to win the White House. The former president has been criticized for some gaffes on the campaign trail, but no slip-ups surfaced in this polished performance. Friday’s speech was classic Clinton ó he arrived late, articulated his wife’s position in detail on more than a dozen issues without a single note, and he went on a little long. He was impressive. For the record, though, actor George Clooney attracted a bigger crowd of about 1,000 people at the same location earlier this week. Draw your own conclusions.
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Dart to the cramped quarters annexation foes will find on April 8 when they appear at Salisbury City Council’s public hearing on the annexation. The city’s proposal affects 1,699 people, and a lot of them would like to speak. Council chambers would be stretched to hold 200, but that is the location the city has spelled out in advertisements that, by law, must be published a certain number of days before the hearing. City Clerk Myra Heard says the city is making arrangements to accommodate a bigger crowd ó details to be announced. Likewise, the hearing hour of 4 p.m. appears in the ads and announcements, something else people have complained about. These decisions are unfortunate, and they provide more grist for the opponents’ anti-Salisbury mill. It would be surprising if annexation opponents liked anything the city did at this point.
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Laurels to the success of Rowan County’s annual special recycling day, coming up again on Thursday. This is a great opportunity to safely dispose of items that can be harmful to the environment if not handled properly. Although paints, pesticides and old household cleaners are some of the typical items you might think of taking to the processing center at 1102 N. Long St. in Spencer, the center will accept many others on recycling day, including cell phones, automotive batteries, styrofoam packing peanuts and toner cartridges. (For a comprehensive list of items that will be accepted and further details, check the area front of Thursday’s Post). Last year, the haul included 1,911 pounds of pesticides, 2,000 gallons of paint, two tractor-trailer loads of tires and 500 gallons of oil. That’s an impressive amount. Just imagine how much damage and landscape degradation would result if it had been carelessly tossed rather than turned in for safe disposal.

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