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Feathering their nest

Laurelsto Liberty and Justice — the bald eagle couple that set up housekeeping at Dan Nicholas Park and may soon have an eaglet or two in the nest. While the restoration of bald eagle populations is one of the nation’s great conservation stories, having a pair breed in captivity is unusual, and having them do it here in Rowan County makes it even more special. While some were surprised the courtship occurred after the two rehabilitated eagles had been together at Rowan Wildlife Adventures for more than five years, perhaps we shouldn’t find it so remarkable. Eagles are smart birds. Liberty and Justice may well have realized it’s best not to rush into parenthood — especially when there are no grandparents nearby to help with the babysitting.

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Dart to the amount of time American consumers spend “on hold.” How bad is it? More than half of those responding to a recent poll said they spend 10-20 minutes on hold each week, typically waiting to speak with a customer-service representative. At 15 minutes a call, that would total about 13 hours a year, which is both a waste of good time and an overload of lame music. The survey by the text-message company TalkTo found that 86 percent of consumers reported routinely being put on hold when they called a business. Sounds like some businesses may need to reprogram their answering machines. Instead of “we care about your business,” maybe it should say “get a good book and put up your feet.” (Of course, TalkTo has its own solution: More texting, less dialing.)

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Laurels to mentors who volunteer to work with young students. January is National Mentoring Month, a time to recognize people like Alene Yoder, a dedicated volunteer who mentors students at Hanford Dole Elementary (and was featured in an education section article in Thursday’s Post). By donating their time to help students learn, mentors also provide welcome support for busy classroom teachers. In a proclamation for the month, President Obama described it as a time to “pay special tribute to the men and women who enrich the lives of our young people and fortify the unbreakable bonds between one generation and the next.” If you’re interested in mentoring, Communities in Schools would love to hear from you. Call 704-797-0210 or email cisvolunteer@aol.com.

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