Opinion: Guest Columnists

Apr. 16, 2014 @ 09:33 AM

Glenn Miller's long-standing legacy of hate

When I learned that the man accused of shooting innocent bystanders Sunday at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement home in Kansas City was a former Klansman named Glenn Miller, I shuddered.

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 @ 10:59 AM

Helping Latino immigrants, to build a better future for us all

"She slumped in her chair with her head down the first time she came to El Futuro.  She felt sad, worried, and didn't know who to trust. The obsessive thoughts and ritualistic behaviors caused her not to eat and not to sleep...." 

I read this story on a thank-you card I received from El Futuro a few years ago. It was part of the 'Hands Project'—a series of photos that capture images of the hands of individuals and families who had came to El Futuro for help. 

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 04:41 PM

North Carolina women deserve equal pay for equal work

In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act making equal pay for equal work the rule of law. Yet 51 years later, pay discrimination continues to shortchange working North Carolina women and their families.

Apr. 06, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

Media shades the truth when it comes to colorism

Nude pantyhose don’t look good on me. That’s because they are not made for me.

Every woman of color knows that she has to dig through the department store shelf in the hopes of finding hosiery that matches her skin shade. And by doing so, we accept that we are not the norm, not the default. 

Apr. 06, 2014 @ 10:43 AM

Invest in young children for everyone’s benefit

I do not have children. I have lived in Durham for more than two decades and I run a small private equity firm here. I have been married for 10 years. My wife has devoted her professional life to early childhood education, and I have recently taken on the role of vice-chair of the board of directors of Durham’s Partnership for Children, our community’s Smart Start Initiative. So how did a business owner without kids end up being so invested in issues surrounding the education of young children?

Apr. 05, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

Telepsychiatry: Mental health care comes to you

Getting mental health care to the rural areas of North Carolina has never been easy.  Twenty-eight counties across the state still do not have a psychiatrist.  This work force shortage is real, and it has a real impact on the lives of those needing mental health treatment in places that are far away.  

Apr. 03, 2014 @ 01:19 PM

Loss of run-off unfortunate, but past results still valid

The Durham County Board of Elections has decided that there will not be a runoff in the school board election this May.  The runoff system used in the past provides the best way for Durham’s voters to choose school board members.  We plan to ask our local legislators to put forth a law that will ensure that future elections provide for a runoff.

Mar. 30, 2014 @ 04:36 PM

Could logjam be breaking on CIA torture?

There's a logjam in Washington that's stopping any action on torture accountability.

I learned this several years ago, at an accountability strategy session there. We were briefed by some very smart D.C. insider types. And what they told us hasn't changed.

Until now. Maybe.

Mar. 29, 2014 @ 10:36 AM

Comprehensive vision needed to fix the teacher salary crisis

It’s rare these days to find much consensus on anything related to public education in North Carolina. That’s why it’s encouraging to see such widespread agreement that our state is truly in the midst of a teacher salary crisis. Where there’s less agreement is on what we should do about it.

Mar. 29, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

At 125, the Eiffel Tower’s romance still lights the world

It’s no accident that the Eiffel Tower has appeared on the cover of five of my romance novels. Lovers are drawn to that tower like magnets. And in its light, their love sparkles.

Mar. 29, 2014 @ 09:51 AM

Small town embraces solar – could Durham?

Just over 100 miles from Durham, in Mt. Airy, are two solar farms.  One is on property leased from the city near its wastewater treatment plant.  The other is leased from a landowner who runs the local quarry.  The sites are both visible and welcomed by local residents who seem proud to have them as a neighbor.

Mar. 27, 2014 @ 03:42 PM

Resident satisfaction with city services continues to climb

Every two years, since 2005, City government reaches out to residents through an independently conducted, statistically valid survey to find out what you think about city services, programs and events.  I’m happy to report that your satisfaction is continuing to climb in many areas, though there are a few areas you say need continued work.

Mar. 23, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

An innovative approach to improving water quality

Later this week, leaders in the development and construction industries, landscape designers and planning and regulatory officials will gather for a two-day conference in Raleigh to discuss low-impact development.  The conference will highlight innovative technologies and tools for implementing low-impact development, including the use of green infrastructure. Integrating green infrastructure into new and existing development represents a growing practice in place of traditional stormwater pollution controls.

Mar. 22, 2014 @ 11:51 PM

DHA continues to improve housing despite funding cuts

After scathing criticism of its management practices during the early 2000s, the Durham Housing Authority (DHA) began to show major improvement by 2011.