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Originally published: 2013-06-27 11:37:02
Last modified: 2013-06-27 11:37:47

Our View: Bicyclists, runners make a difference

Thumbs-up: to Watauga County residents who have allowed the Watauga Democrat to serve them for 125 years. Our official anniversary date is July 4, but many readers and subscribers joined us in an open house event on June 20. That event was a chance to snap a few shots for our "family" album (view those at /, visit with old and new friends, and formally thank you for supporting your newspaper. The celebration continues in July with a display of Watauga Democrat artifacts in the Jones House Community Center, a special section,  and a 125th-anniversary float in the Boone Fourth of July parade.

Thumbs-up: to a safe and successful 15th Blood, Sweat and Gears. We can only proclaim awe for the nearly 1,200 bicyclists who ventured the full 100-or the half 50-mile ride up and down our mountains, but even that is eclipsed by the amount of fundraising, about $100,000, this event brings to worthy causes. A special touch was the memorial that preceded the event to remember those bicyclists who had been injured or killed in their sport during the past year.

Thumbs-up: to the Hunter's Heroes Memorial Run. The June 8 event was held in honor of fallen Watauga County Sheriff's Deputy William Mast Jr., and raised more than $20,000 from 300 run participants and more than 500 who attended a community pasta dinner the night before, in honor of 4-year-old Peyton Townsend who was killed in an accident a year to the date of the memorial run, in 2012.

Thumbs-up: to a legislative dialogue in progress concerning carbon monoxide detectors in hotels in North Carolina. While the 2013 legislative session is nearing the end, N.C. Rep. Jonathan Jordan of Jefferson and other legislators are working to insert language into a standing bill that could require the detectors. The issue is a broad one and likely to inspire much debate, but following the deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in a Boone hotel in April and June, it's a conversation that needs to begin now.