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Eight ways to make Charlotte better in '08 

1. Quit carping about nothing to do in Charlotte. Do something about it. Host an event, throw a party ... something.

2. Support ventures like Patchwerk Playhaus (1508 Central Ave., inside Century Vintage), or the fairy regular comedy events held at the Common Market (2007 Commonwealth Ave. in Plaza Midwood)

3. Volunteer occasionally. You don't have to sign away your life, just an hour or two once in awhile. Check out Volunteermatch.org or Handsoncharlotte.org.

4. Check your local drugstore to see if it stocks Plan B, the emergency contraceptive that can prevent unintended pregnancies. If it doesn't, ask why. And then politely contact the company's corporate office and Planned Parenthood.

5. Use your turn signals. It won't harm your car's gas efficiency, you know.

6. Buy from a local merchant before he goes out of business. Charlotte is known by many as the land of chain stores, after all.

7. Register someone to vote. If they say voting won't make a difference, remind them of Bush v. Gore.

8. Make your own way.

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