Darts and laurels

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 24, 2009

Laurels to another strong show of support for the “Read to Your Child Days” program, which opened its second chapter Wednesday at Spencer Library Park. Civic initiatives that start strongly sometimes lose momentum as the novelty wears off, especially when they coincide with the middle of the summer-vacation season. But not the reading program, which is designed to promote literacy and a love of books among Rowan County’s children. After a strong debut July 15 at Rowan Public Library in Salisbury, enthusiasm remained strong for the second event in Spencer, which drew more than 350 children and adults who enjoyed story times, book giveaways and free refreshments. Mark your calendars: The next event will be Wednesday, July 29, from 5-7 p.m. at the South Branch Rowan Library, 920 Kimball Road, in China Grove. But you don’t have to wait until then to support young readers in Rowan. The county Health Department needs book donations to support its “Read with Me” program, which promotes childhood literacy as well as parent-child bonding by encouraging parents to read with their young children. For more information about donating books, call 704-216-8828.
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Dart to people in high places who speak without considering the impact of their words ó particularly if they happen to be president of the United States. President Barack Obama found himself back-pedaling Friday from his comments about the arrest of prominent Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was detained by Cambridge, Mass., police after they responded to reports of a break-in at Gates’ home. Initially, Obama said the police “acted stupidly,” which he later acknowledged was an unfortunate choice of words that further fueled the racially tinged controversy. Along with issuing a quick mea culpa, Obama made an overture that might well turn this into a teachable moment in the country’s efforts to come to terms with its lingering racial wounds. He invited both Gates and the arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley, to the White House to hash things out over a beer. We’ll drink to that idea: In an episode where both sides may be guilty of overreacting, sitting down to discuss simmering resentment and wounded dignity is a lot more constructive than continuing to slug it out via the media.
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Laurels to the Rowan County fans who will travel to Greenville this weekend to cheer on the Legion baseball team as the Area III champs begin play in the state tournament. Not only are some fans hitting the road this weekend ó they’d also be more than happy to take a mini-baseball break from work next week if the Rowan Legion team can advance to later rounds of the double-elimination tournament. First order of business, however, is today’s game against Duplin-Sampson, set to begin at 12:30 p.m. For those who can’t make the trip, tune in to the action on Memories 1280 WSAT or 1490 WSTP and look for coverage in Sunday’s Post and at www.salisburypost.com.