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Darts and laurels

Dart to the spike in gasoline prices and the panic it set off among consumers Friday. As Hurricane Ike closed in on Texas’ many oil refineries, fear of a shortage set in. Some area stations ran out of gasoline, and lines formed at others. After lingering around $3.53-$3.60 for a few weeks, the price for a gallon of regular gas shot past $4 in Salisbury by mid-afternoon, and prices above $5 were reported in some areas. By the time you read this, who knows what it might be. The state’s anti-gouging law has gone into effect, but the best defense may be to hunker down and wait for prices to fall again. Leave the weekend gas purchases for people who have to travel. If you’d like to pass on prices you’ve seen, please go to SalisburyPost.com and share that information as a comment to tip off fellow drivers. Those seeking the latest prices around the country can check at gasbuddy.com. Some people will advocate more offshore drilling to prevent price increases like this, but hurricanes and panic cross all party lines.
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Laurels to John McCain and Barack Obama for putting politics aside on Thursday as the nation remembered those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The two presidential candidates appeared at Ground Zero at the same time, and in interviews afterwards stuck to the subject of public service. Still, as much as the day was dedicated to others and away from politicians, voters can’t help but make personal judgments about which candidate would be up to the challenges of the post-9/11 world stage. Who would we feel most secure with having in the White House? Both candidates came across as strong, compassionate men who could be up to the task. It was a reassuring moment in an otherwise turbulent election season.
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Dart to people who trash High Rock Lake. How can people who apparently like the lake ó they go there to boat, fish and otherwise recreate ó toss aside bottles, food wrappers and even tires without a care for the impact on the lake? Not all the debris decorating the lake’s shores came from local people; much of it may have washed in from elsewhere in the Piedmont during Tropical Storm Fay’s heavy rains. At any rate, local residents have an opportunity to help set the situation right a week from today during the Big Sweep. Starting at 9 a.m. at the N.C. Wildlife access on Bringle Ferry Road, volunteers will fan out to pick up trash and restore the shoreline’s beauty. During last year’s Big Sweep, nine volunteers in Rowan filled 73 bags with trash weighing more than 4,000 pounds. If you’d like to join the effort this year and help High Rock Lake, call Mike Lambert, an assistant naturalist at Dan Nicholas Park, at 704-216-7833.

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