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Darts and laurels

Dart to the conundrum the city finds itself in concerning Jim Tonseth’s boarding house for veterans on Park Avenue. Owners of the newly restored house next door are complaining about the Tonseth house’s dilapidated appearance. The rundown, patched-up Victorian doesn’t look like a fitting residence for men who have served their country. However, the house has been in this shape for years without anyone seeming to notice, and the tenants are not complaining. Some commenters on the Post’s Web site have suggested volunteers step forward to work on the house for the veterans’ sake. That’s a noble thought, and it might happen. But this is no nonprofit outfit. The structure is Tonseth’s property, which he is running as a business. All the city can do is enforce the codes it has in place. Time and community pressure might convince Tonseth to invest in more upkeep. But don’t count on it.
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Laurels to all of the big wheels who rolled into Salisbury Thursday for the running of the Downtown Criterium bicycle race. This was the fourth year in Salisbury for the event (part of the nine-stage Giordana Crossroads Classic), and as in the past, it provided a colorful and competitive experience for cyclists and spectators alike. While watching a race like the Tour de France on television can give you a distant sense of the drama of close-quarter cycle racing, it can’t compare with standing on the corner and feeling the breeze as cyclists whizz past only a few feet away. This is a great event for downtown Salisbury. Look for it again next year.
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Dart to the dangers of letting your fingers do the walking … while you’re actually walking. We’re referring to the dangers of texting while strolling down the street, driving a car, cooking or otherwise trying to do two things at once, without paying full attention to either. The American College of Emergency Physicians this week issued a warning about an increase in injuries involving text-messaging pedestrians, bicyclists, rollerbladers, motorists ó even equestrians. Although most of the accidents result in nothing more serious than a sprain or a scrape, at least two deaths have been reported in which oblivious pedestrians, intent on tapping out messages on their Blackberries or cell phones, stepped out into traffic. Instead of multi-tasking, maybe we should call it multi-accidenting.

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