Opinion: Guest Columnists

Jul. 07, 2015 @ 12:21 AM

No budget? No problem. Just lock'em up.

A reader recently pointed out a beautiful thing: Chapter 143C of North Carolina state law. It's called, quite simply, the State Budget Act.


Jul. 04, 2015 @ 11:25 PM

Charleston massacre: a perspective on explicit and implicit bias

Implicit bias refers to the way people unconsciously and sometimes unwillingly exhibit bias toward other individuals and groups.

--Center for Social Inclusion


Jul. 04, 2015 @ 10:39 PM

No idea about voter ID

No one in authority has said why both houses of our legislature mysteriously, rapidly and overwhelmingly passed modifications to their 2013 election law changes or why Gov. Pat McCrory just as unceremoniously signed them into law. The trial challenging voter ID and other provisions was due to begin shortly and the changes left the judge, lawyers on both sides and the public trying to determine how to proceed.


Jul. 02, 2015 @ 02:24 PM

In funding DPS, education, achievement, accountability matter

On May 26, during the presentation of my recommended 2015-16 Budget to the Board of County Commissioners, I explained the appropriations planned for Durham Public Schools. This included sharing historical data about Durham County’s fiscal investment in our district and compared to other major school systems in the state, along with comparative performance data.


Jun. 28, 2015 @ 12:47 PM

Fund government now and restructure it later

North Carolina's new fiscal year begins Wednesday, but government may wait months for a new budget.


Jun. 28, 2015 @ 12:16 AM

Puzzling folly on billboards is North Carolina’s tragedy

It isn’t clear why a powerful North Carolina senator from Onslow County, has been relentlessly working over the past five years on behalf of the billboard lobby, but it is extremely puzzling.


Jun. 27, 2015 @ 11:41 AM

Example of Jonathan Howes’ work guides retired faculty group

The term “public scholar” must have been invented for Jonathan Howes. He moved smoothly among the bureaucracies of academe and government. He led and followed with a quiet confidence and endless patience, virtues not so evident these days. His guidance to engage and “find out and work it out” produced many a new and productive program or policy. To say there is avoid now is to understate.


Jun. 24, 2015 @ 06:14 PM

Budget ‘needed to go further’ for schools

Voting no on this budget was a tough decision since I don’t recall voting against a county budget before. There are some good things about this year’s budget.  There is no tax rate increase.  Also, after much debate last week, we funded a teacher salary supplement to help keep the pay for experienced teachers more competitive with surrounding counties.


Jun. 20, 2015 @ 11:24 PM

Promoting energy efficiency in homes

Earlier this spring President Barack Obama signed into law The Energy Efficiency Act of 2015, legislation which had been approved by Congress with broad bipartisan support.  Among other things, the new law will create a program to improve energy efficiency practices in commercial buildings and require federal agencies to utilize energy assessments in their leased buildings. 


Jun. 20, 2015 @ 10:40 PM

Orange County Commissioners see solar as part of the community

Over the past few months, St. Paul AME and the Rogers Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA) – a voice for an increasingly diverse community in Orange County – engaged an energetic and dedicated coalition of community organizations, churches and governments to host Unity in the Community, a neighborhood block party in Orange County’s Rogers Road community.


Jun. 19, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

North Carolina pro-choice advocates give the governor all Fs

On June 5th, with the stroke of a pen, Gov.r Pat McCrory restricted the rights of North Carolina women by signing a bill imposing a 72-hour mandatory delay on abortions.


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 12:06 PM

Testing the educational purpose of athletics

Last year, 16 North Carolina high school boy’s football teams played 16 games between late August and mid-December. Over the same period, the UNC Tar Heels and N.C. State Wolfpack men’s football teams played 13 games, counting the post-season bowls.


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

North Carolina’s Medicaid debate will continue

For years now, legislators, policy analysts, medical providers, and lobbyists for various interest groups have been arguing about North Carolina’s Medicaid program. Whether you find this argument interesting, confusing, or boring, I have some news for you: It’s far from over.


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 11:47 AM

The education fork in the road

Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” With presidential vacancies in both the University of North Carolina and community college systems we may have reached such a fork. Further, there are persistent rumors that Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson will not seek re-election next year, so all three branches of our education system could be looking for top leadership. It’s an ideal time for serious examination of how we organize, fund and administer public education.


Jun. 12, 2015 @ 12:31 AM

State is crumbling and bond package is the fix

This should be a no-brainer. But instead, it's a political football that's bouncing all over the road and into the potholes.