News: Columnists

Aug. 24, 2014 @ 10:26 PM

Neil Offen: Welcome back, deciphered

Welcome back, students. We are thrilled that you have returned for the new semester.

Translation: Couldn’t you have just waited another couple of weeks so that the rest of us could continue to find a parking space downtown?


Aug. 23, 2014 @ 08:18 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Back-to-school and being kind

For some reason, my most vivid childhood memory of a back-to-school night is not my own school, but my sister’s. We were living in Augusta, Georgia, (the suburb of Martinez, to be specific) and she was starting junior high. It was the 1980s. I was still in elementary school. I can picture the evening. There were trailers, not just the main building. It was crowded. She got a souvenir light blue plastic mug. Maybe it was the mug. It was a cool mug. What has stayed with me is the feeling of newness – our family of four checking out a new school where my older sister would go. I don’t recall being upset she went to a different school. It was just different not being in the same school together anymore.

 

Aug. 17, 2014 @ 03:36 PM

Offen: I prefer the great indoors

When asked, several years ago, if he had ever gone camping, my friend Frank responded, with a look of total bemused amazement on his face, “You mean, like on the ground?”

 

Aug. 16, 2014 @ 04:19 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Missouri highway patrol captain shines a light

What does good leadership in times of crisis look like? We saw it late last week in Ferguson, Missouri, when Capt. Ronald Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol came into a contentious situation and the mood changed in no small way because of his leadership. What he did was walk with the people who were upset. He talked with them, not to them. He listened. He hugged. In short, he led.

 

Aug. 10, 2014 @ 05:15 PM

Offen: Before you leave…

Here’s a list of what to do before you go on vacation:

Make a list of what to do before you go on vacation.


Aug. 03, 2014 @ 03:38 PM

Offen: The no-parking zone

I haven’t mentioned this to anyone before, so please keep it quiet because it’s embarrassing: I can’t park.

 

Aug. 02, 2014 @ 06:58 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: The fun of ’80s kid games

When I was a kid, we took dodge ball seriously. We played in public schools, and we hit each other hard with those dodge balls. No remorse. You dodged, or you got hit.


Jul. 27, 2014 @ 09:40 PM

City expanding parking restrictions around NCCU

City officials are likely to add to the existing parking restrictions in neighborhoods around N.C. Central University, to the dismay of some residents and pleasure of others.


Jul. 27, 2014 @ 04:42 PM

Neil Offen: Weather or not

I turned on the television to get the weather. Sure, I could have looked out the window, I could have opened the door, but I wanted to have supporting evidence in case I was cross-examined.

 

Jul. 26, 2014 @ 04:11 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: If Durham had an amphitheater

As far as indoor entertainment venues go, the Durham Performing Arts Center is arguably the biggest draw in the Triangle, bringing both Broadway shows and big-name concerts to the stage since it opened in late 2007. Pollstar Magazine just rated it third on its list of national attendance at theaters. But that’s indoors.


Jul. 20, 2014 @ 04:17 PM

Neil Offen: Where does it hurt? Everywhere

Let’s see, here’s the current list: my right foot, my left hip, the middle of my central back, my left eye, my left wrist, my other wrist. Yes, those are the parts of my body that currently aren't quite working at optimal efficiency.


Jul. 19, 2014 @ 04:17 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Durham roots, Radford plants

When I first began reporting, I noticed that one of the first questions interview subjects would ask me was, “Where are you from?” It’s just a way to make small talk, to look for common ground. Most of the time. 


Jul. 13, 2014 @ 01:10 PM

Offen: At the tone, please leave

You’ve reached Neil’s phone but I can’t take your call right now because right now I’m not sure exactly where I left my phone although it might still be in the car or perhaps in the jeans I was wearing Tuesday evening. In any case, at the tone, please leave a message.

 

Jul. 12, 2014 @ 04:30 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: MLK finally; now the women

When the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial was dedicated a few years ago, I covered the Durham angle by riding along on a Durham NAACP bus of people going to the ceremony. The group was amidst the hundreds of thousands at the ceremony, but didn’t see the memorial except from quite a distance. 


Jul. 06, 2014 @ 04:45 PM

Neil Offen: Alone with my lawn

It’s probably going to rain today. I just watered my lawn.

Not that you could tell, of course.