ROSES to Orange County for swiftly finding the means to restore the hours of operation that had been cut from several of its branch libraries, especially the Carrboro Branch Library.Several weeks ago the county announced that hours at several libraries would be reduced, effective July 1, as a cost-savings measure. The original announcment said hours would be "reduced slightly," but the cuts at Carrboro were anything but slight: the library, which is inside McDougle Schools, was cut from 24 hours a week to 17. The library would be closed altogether on Mondays. Reaction was swift. Library supporters and public officials pointed out that a library task force recommended increasing, not decreasing, library services in the southwest part of the county served by Carrboro. Last week the county and public library system made a new announcement. After revisiting the budget, staff found some other places to save enough dollars to allow the libraries' hours to be reinstated. The resinstated hours go into effect on Monday -- a day the Carrboro Branch Library, under the original cuts, would have been closed. With the reinstatement, the library will be open from 3:30 to 8 p.m. That would be a good day to go by and, if you don't already have one, get a library card.
ROSES to the Exchange/Sunset swim team, and to Sharon and Michael Ariosta.Exchange/Sunset last weekend won the 2008 Chapel Hill Summer Swim League championship. The team also won the Sportsmanship Award and raised almost $6,000 for the Swim for Smiles Foundation, which benefits the UNC Children's Hospital.And the Ariostas? They host an annual event -- called "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" by the team -- at their home for the Exchange/Sunset squad to prepare for the championship meet. The team and coaches all gather at the Ariostas' place for a day of rest before the big meet. This year more than 75 kids ages 6-18 gathered at their house, hanging out, playing games, laughing and eating an unbelievable amount of food. After that big a swarm of teens and pre-teens get through with a house, a lot of us might consider it less trouble to just raze the place and rebuild. But the Ariostas just get ready to do it again next year.
ROSES, while we're at it, to all the other teams, kids, coaches, parents and volunteers who make the Chapel Hill Summer Swim League one of this area's best summertime events.Hundreds of young people participate, hitting the water, doing their best, cheering on their teammates, earning the benefits of camaraderie and competition. Older teens and adults by the score help out as coaches, taxi service, timekeepers, providers of food and drink, and more. It takes an enormous amount of time, energy and attention to make the meets happen every week, but we'd wager that everyone involved considers it well worth the effort.