News: Columnists

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.


Jul. 05, 2014 @ 05:57 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Summer reading all year

Summer reading. It’s not just for kids. Sure, children are encouraged to keep up their literary skills when school’s out, and frequent visits to the library for programs, or reading books at home, are a great way to do that. But summer reading is also something adults do because it seems like we have more free time in the summer.


Jul. 04, 2014 @ 05:43 PM

Looking ahead to a new beginning

Once, twice, three times – Father Stavroforos Mamaies dipped John Michael into the shiny silver font at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church before a sanctuary full of family and friends.
It’s fitting that we just baptized our son, symbolic as that is of new life and new beginnings.


Jun. 29, 2014 @ 07:25 PM

Offen: The benefit of an explanation

This is not a bill. This is also not an airplane or a cupcake.
This is an explanation of benefits (EOB) from your health insurance company (HIC) concerning the services that were provided by your health care provider (YHCP) on or about two weeks ago from last Thursday (LTH) at about 3:30 p.m. or maybe a little later if it’s that important to you.


Jun. 28, 2014 @ 06:14 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: It’s cool to be an American

As sure as the stars and stripes, our nation’s Independence Day approaches and so it’s time for my annual column about being an American.

 

Jun. 27, 2014 @ 05:17 PM

Not your run-of-the-mill horse derby

Rose Sandler wants to gallop in the footsteps of a conqueror.

Centuries before Pony Express riders thundered across the untamed American West, Genghis Khan established a long-distance postal system using horse messengers in the Mongol steppe.


Jun. 22, 2014 @ 05:53 PM

Offen: Dreaming of sleeping

There are, of course, two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t. 


Jun. 23, 2014 @ 01:11 PM

Finding strength in painful fragility

A baccarat crystal knob seems an unlikely nemesis.

But that changes when your hands are fused into permanent fists.
Megan Barron realized too late – about the time the stall door clicked shut – that she couldn’t manipulate the knob. She was in a fancy restaurant in Washington, D.C., with her father and brother. Her smartphone? Still at the table.
“Sometimes, you just have to crawl yourself under a stall door,” she said during an interview on Wednesday. “No harm, no foul.”


Jun. 16, 2014 @ 11:09 AM

Offen: Clear sailing

It was a beautiful, warm, gloriously sunny late spring day. 


Jun. 14, 2014 @ 06:30 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: The meaning of fatherhood

What is fatherhood?
Fatherhood is standing in public holding a miniature Dora the Explorer backpack and acting like it’s no big deal, because it isn’t. As a father, you hold your kids’ stuff, whether it’s Dora or princesses or Iron Man. And you play with them, too.


Jun. 13, 2014 @ 02:01 PM

The man’s always been there

The first time Mom introduced us to him, he likes to joke, “she claimed you were circus dwarves.”
Not too long after that, Tom Berger became stepfather to me and my brother, Don.
I don’t know if he was ready to be a father. I certainly wasn’t ready to be a stepson.