News: Columnists

Apr. 20, 2014 @ 05:14 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan column: DHS Forever, with Lougee’s daughter

Bobby Lougee loved to socialize. Even when age made it harder to get around, Lougee kept it up because his old friends appreciated his efforts. He liked it, too, of course. Lougee, who died Memorial Day weekend 2013, was a World War II veteran, a Marine, a good friend to many, and a man who remembered a time in Durham when you could get six hot dogs for a quarter.


Apr. 13, 2014 @ 12:39 PM

Neil Offen: How to tax your brain

Final check before filing:

Begin by adding line 18 — number of people you run into whose names you can’t remember — to line 14, number of times you try to avoid saying their names during a conversation.
Add lines 23 through 35 and try doing it without a calculator if you start to get cocky.


Apr. 12, 2014 @ 10:36 PM

Dissatisfaction with Common Core State Standards crosses political lines

Strange bedfellows – two words that may come to mind when considering the growing opposition movement to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that is taking place not only in North Carolina, but also across the nation.


Apr. 12, 2014 @ 04:00 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Keeping the wave going

After I wrote about my son’s first day of kindergarten last fall, I heard from a reader about her own child’s first day of school. After her daughter got on the Durham school bus, the mom got in her car and followed the bus to school before returning home. It was a mom thing to do.

I love the sitcom “The Goldbergs” first, because it’s hilarious. I identify with being an ’80s kid, too. But the best part is the mom who goes lovingly overboard as her kids grow up.


Apr. 11, 2014 @ 02:48 PM

Separating fiction from reality

It’s probably for the best that I never plan to run for public office.
After all, I’ve pretended to be an affable talking bull with a penchant for smashing things on World of Warcraft.
I’ve portrayed a maniacal general, bent on declaring martial law on someone else’s sovereign planet.


Apr. 06, 2014 @ 04:20 PM

Out of my control

The other day, I turned on my television and there was nothing there. And I don’t mean that it was only showing the usual re-runs of “Survivor: The Golden Girls Edition.”


Apr. 05, 2014 @ 03:06 PM

Pansy Dodson shares life story with granddaughter

Do you remember Pansy Dodson? I wrote about her last year and the letters she and her sister send out monthly to about 200 friends, in a June 2013 story headlined “Verses of Comfort.”


Apr. 04, 2014 @ 05:13 PM

No more leaving things lying around

Back in the 1980s, I didn’t think twice about stashing my blue Jansport book bag under a bench outside the public library while I wandered around downtown Orlando.

Today, though, it’s a different world.


Mar. 29, 2014 @ 09:29 PM

Living it up Longleaf Pine style

There’s a new book out that Tar Heels will be talking about for awhile. “Talkin’ Tar Heel: How Our Voices Tell the Story of North Carolina” landed on our Books desk Friday. In true Southern fashion, I will soon go off on a tangent, telling stories on the side.

“Talkin’ Tar Heel” is published by UNC Press and written by Walt Wolfram, the William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of English at UNC Chapel Hill, and Jeffrey Reaser, associate professor of English at N.C. State University. The book includes the findings of more than 20 years of research by the North Carolina Language and Life Project at N.C. State. Duke University wasn’t part of it because – insert Yankee joke here. But actually, Northern accents contribute as much to the sound of our voices here as Southern ones. As Wolfram and Reaser write in the first chapter: “The voices of North Carolinians reflect the diversity of its people.”


Mar. 23, 2014 @ 05:52 PM

Billion dollar bracket busted

There’s a very good chance now that I’m not going to win Warren Buffett’s $1 billion.

And I had such good plans for it — Twizzlers for everybody, lamb chops when they’re not buy-one, get-one free, change my oil every two months, not every three. Maybe buy hardbacks instead of paperbacks. Replace torn underwear, even if historically lucky, with new. Get the full bottle of wine, not the half, when we go out to dinner.


Mar. 22, 2014 @ 06:32 PM

VAUGHAN COLUMN: NCCU deserves the love

In the words of the awesome Pharrell Williams, music man extraordinaire: “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.” Let’s clap for N.C. Central University, or for those of us well familiar with Durham, just Central or NCCU.


Mar. 21, 2014 @ 05:35 PM

Too accustomed to staying connected

I’ve been plugged in, one way or another, ever since I was a kid – certainly as long as I remember.

Sitting in front of the TV, I watched “Sesame Street” and the Watergate hearings with equal interest, if not always equal comprehension.


Mar. 16, 2014 @ 07:16 PM

Neil Offen: Staying true to form

There is, of course, only one thing worse than actually filling out your tax forms. That’s finding all the stuff that will allow you to actually fill out all your tax forms.


Mar. 15, 2014 @ 04:27 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Lessons of the playground

This past weekend, I played on a playground that had the kind of equipment popular today, with bright colors and arching monkey bars and plastic slides. It also had a lot of metal and chipped paint equipment, including swings that were actual seats with armrests, a see-saw and a merry-go-round. 

 

Mar. 17, 2014 @ 10:07 PM

Durham deputy sheds pounds to serve

Deputy David Earp hungered for carbs, snacks, sweets and sodas.

But the 25-year-old Durham native felt pangs of another hunger: a call to serve his state and country in the National Guard.