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Darts and laurels

Laurels to all of the volunteers and donors who helped provide, prepare, serve and deliver meals Thursday for those who otherwise wouldn’t have enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
More people are needing help these days, and that puts additional demands on the local agencies, churches and organizations who shoulder the mission of ministering to those less fortunate. The scope of the need can be overwhelming: Nationally, the organization Feeding America says at least 25 million people seek help at food banks each year, and that’s a conservative estimate. Worldwide, an estimated 1 billion people try to cope with chronic hunger.
How do you expand the safety net to catch all of those people ó the poor, the elderly, the homeless and, this year especially, the unemployed? You do it one family or individual at a time, one day at a time. Those who used part of their Thanksgiving day to help others would no doubt also say that sharing the bounty with others makes us more deeply grateful for the blessings we enjoy.
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Dart to motorists who putter about in such a fog they don’t remember to turn on their headlights in the rain. We were reminded of this safety issue this week by a Post reader who commented that she had almost gotten wiped out at a Salisbury intersection because an oncoming car didn’t have its lights on during a drizzly afternoon. (And we also wonder: Was said dim-bulb driver also talking on a cell phone at the time?) Remember, a state law, passed in 1990, requires that motorists turn on their headlights whenever it’s wet enough to require the use of windshield wipers. That’s not so drivers can see the road better. It’s so that other cars can see you. When you’re driving in the rain, remember to lighten up. It decreases the risks of an accident, and it’s the law.
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Laurels to what promises to be an especially good crop of North Carolina Christmas trees, according to state agriculture officials. Thanks to plentiful rainfall, this has been a good growing season. Cool nighttime temperatures in the mountains ó where most Fraser firs are produced ó have encouraged tree dormancy, which means they will retain more moisture in their foliage after harvest. The state’s 2009 tree harvest is expected to top out at about 5 million trees. Last year, North Carolina was second in the nation (behind Oregon) in Christmas tree sales, at $100 million. Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of green.

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