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Apr. 21, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Good footing

We hear a lot about taking care of our teeth and our heart — they’ve got to last us a lifetime, of course — but not as much about our feet. The mass popularity of the recent best-seller “Born to Run” — about a tribe of Indians in Mexico who eschewed shoes, but whose members can nonetheless run dozens, if not 100 or more, miles at a time either without shoes or with the bare minimal foot covering — caused many people to take a second look not at their feet, but at their shoes. Numerous studies quoted in the book talked about how modern cushioned shoes have weakened our feet and led to much pain and injury, especially among runners. But non-runners in high heels and thick-soled shoes were also at risk, according to the book.

We’re not sure about all that, but after checking out the event this week at Sanford’s Kinetic Institute Physical Therapy we’re convinced more than ever that properly-fit shoes are critical. Several dozen children were fitted with free shoes on Friday, courtesy of organizing business FootCentric and suppliers New Balance and Aetrex. One of the professional therapists involved pointed out that “it all starts with the feet.” He’s right, and when you consider that most of the “shoe stores” many of us grew up with — where you’d go in, get properly fitted by someone who knew what they were doing — are gone. Modern shoe-buying mostly consists of the buying piece, but not the sizing piece. So hat’s off to the folks who made this week’s event possible, because the shoes were free and the sizing was right.


Dine Out to Help Out.

That’s the mantra this week for Christians United Outreach Center, the benefactor of the now-annual program where nearly two dozen local restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds in the coming week to CUOC, and we should all adopt it. You can find details about the participating restaurants in the story in Saturday’s edition of The Herald, but what’s most important is that an increased need, the weak economy, and a shortfall in funding have created additional strain at CUOC’s food pantry. A change in the nonprofit’s policy means those in need can pick up a box of food just once per month, instead of twice, starting in June. The pantry’s policy of not screening visitors, except to ask for proof they have at least applied for food stamps, stays in place.

It’s well-documented that CUOC saw a record number of visitors last year even as public and private funding decreased.

“We just don’t have the donations anymore, and I think the community has heard our cry and is trying to rally up to help us,” Executive Director Teresa Dew Kelly told The Herald this week.

A good way to answer and help? Check out the list of participating restaurants and make at least one of them a destination this week.

THUMBS UP: Sanford Police

Crowds were cheering the work of the Boston Police Department and other law enforcement officials who had a hand in finding the terrorists who planted bombs near the finish line of Monday’s Boston Marathon, but there’s cheering to be done here as well. The Sanford Police Department’s Tactical Narcotics team is making arrests left and right as part of a year-long drug operation called “Operation Relentless,” with some 1,227 charges being filed on a reported 137 suspects. The Lee County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Division and the N.C. Department of Revenue, as well as the Sanford Police Department’s Selective Enforcement Unit, Community Policing, Uniform Patrol and Detective Division, were also involved.

“We’ve definitely made a dent in the local drug trade,” Capt. Dan Kehagias told The Herald. “We didn’t arrest every major drug dealer, but we made a dent. And everyone’s day comes sooner or later.”

The department targeted high-crime and high-gang activity areas, and the operation including addressing the influx of heroin in the area. Kehagias said several of the warrants being served are for known gang members.

Boston’s safer this week, and so is Lee County, thanks to the Sanford PD.