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Darts and laurels

Laurels to Rowan Public Library for giving patrons the chance to check out an Amazon Kindle, one of the electronic reading devices rapidly gaining a foothold among book lovers. Actually, that sounds like a contradiction, doesnít it? Will book lovers who relish holding bound copies in their hands find the e-reading experience equally beguiling? By making a dozen Kindles available for checkout (preloaded with more than 80 books), the library is providing patrons with a great opportunity to find out for themselves. Meanwhile, for an interesting perspective on the differences between virtual volumes and the printed page, surf on over to the Salisbury Post website and read blogger Forrest Andersonís entry on ěeReaders vs. booksî (www.salisburypost.com/blogs/ readsalisbury/).

Dart to the continuing financial pinch many families face as they prepare for another increase in college tuition. More than a dozen schools in the University of North Carolina system are seeking increases of up to 6.5 percent ó the maximum allowed ó for the 2011-12 year. The colleges themselves are in a bind because of state funding cuts, and they face further cuts this year of 5-10 percent. Still, North Carolinaís promise of providing an affordable college education to all qualified students is starting to seem as outdated as a $10 textbook.

Laurels to the push to make cycling and walking safer and more convenient. You can be a part of the effort by taking an online survey sponsored by the state Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Institute for Transportation Research and Educationís Bicycle and Pedestrian Program at North Carolina State University. In addition to cyclists who ride competitively and for exercise or recreation, more people are considering cycling as a healthy, low-cost way to run errands or commute to work. Thatís likely to increase as gasoline prices spike upwards again. With that in mind, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists all need to think about ways to share the road ó or path ó more safely. Last June, we saw the consequences of a motorist failing to do that when six cyclists were injured while riding in Gold Hill. You can find the survey at www.ncdot.gov/bikeped; once on the website, look for the ěBikePed Surveyî button. Deadline for responses is Feb. 8.

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