Opinion: Guest Columnists

Jul. 20, 2014 @ 12:51 AM

Dog tired these days and barking

They call this time of year the “dog days” of summer, long days filled with heat and humidity. When our legislature is still in session lawmakers get dog-tired, resulting in a lot of barking due to short tempers.


Jul. 20, 2014 @ 12:09 AM

Being inconsistent with community values

If they could pull the wool over the eyes of the local chamber of commerce, I suspect it wasn’t too difficult to trick the police department where I live.


Jul. 18, 2014 @ 04:14 PM

Death in the sky in Ukraine

With the firing of one surface-to-air missile Thursday, nearly 300 people -- all innocents -- died in the skies over Ukraine's eastern steppes. The world's collective shrug is now exposed. It's no longer acceptable.


Jul. 18, 2014 @ 02:19 PM

Death in the sky in Ukraine

With the firing of one surface-to-air missile Thursday, nearly 300 people -- all innocents -- died in the skies over Ukraine's eastern steppes. The world's collective shrug is now exposed. It's no longer acceptable.


Jul. 17, 2014 @ 06:04 PM

When did ‘elite’ become a bad thing?

Gov. Pat McCrory has selected a North Carolina poet laureate who has won no major awards and is unknown to most people, including her fellow Tar Heel poets.


Jul. 14, 2014 @ 02:52 PM

Gentrification comes with a price

I confess, I knew. A couple of weeks ago I had heard from a friend that the new owners of the Penny Furniture Building, the Caktus Group, were planning to paint over the Emily Weinstein mural.


Jul. 14, 2014 @ 10:47 AM

Poised to excel: Swearing in of Bert L’Homme as superintendent

What’s more exciting than the return of LaBron James from the Miami Heat to the Cleveland Cavaliers?  Why, it’s the return and swearing in of Bert L’Homme as the new superintendent of Durham Public Schools, his own hometown team. 


Jul. 13, 2014 @ 11:14 AM

Collaborative work fueled the success of ACA enrollment

The initial enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace has officially ended.  Nationally, more than 8 million individuals signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace while more than 3 million young adults were able to gain coverage by being able to stay on their parents’ plan. 


Jul. 12, 2014 @ 11:20 PM

Obama's global challenge

 In President Obama's sometimes maddeningly cautious foreign policy, you can see him struggling to answer what may be the hardest question of his presidency: How should the United States project power in a disorderly world without making the same mistakes it did in Iraq and Afghanistan?


Jul. 12, 2014 @ 01:26 PM

Tutoring brings good times, needed help

Tutoring elementary school students is not for everybody.  When I signed up to join the city's “Rotary Reading Rangers” volunteer program, I was pretty sure I would find the experience annoying, if not painful.  But I understand numbers. Way too many of our kids are behind in their reading skills. That’s bad for the community, the economy and society


Jul. 10, 2014 @ 04:28 PM

Television advice can be another way to build community

I have loved television all of my life. Though I now teach my university students about the regulatory and economic structures of the television business, my friends don’t ask me much about these technicalities. They just want to know what to watch.


Jul. 09, 2014 @ 08:41 AM

Rethinking Wilson's points

As American policymakers ponder the future shape of the Middle East, they should perhaps recall that the United States was opposed to the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, the famous "line in the sand" that is now said to be dissolving.


Jul. 07, 2014 @ 06:55 PM

How to tell tax reform from ‘tax deform’

My mother loves to tell the story of the 1959 hurricane that forced our family to flee our coastal home. After the storm, my father, a Marine sergeant, brought his platoon to our trailer park to stand everyone’s mobile home back upright.


Jul. 06, 2014 @ 11:26 AM

Patchwork education budgets won’t get the job done

In the 2014 legislative session, the General Assembly has shown little interest in restoring public education funding that could repair the damage inflicted by years of underfunding. Having sunk to 48th in per-pupil funding and 46th in teacher pay, we are forced to evaluate the latest budget proposals on a “new” standard. Instead of hoping for the best, we look to avoid the worst. The governor and the legislative majority have proposed a variety of budgets that will only exacerbate the education funding crisis and fail to lift the state’s current low rankings. 


Jul. 05, 2014 @ 09:45 AM

Unreconciled: Forgiveness not the duty of mere mortals

“I know I have to forgive him, because otherwise I won’t get into heaven.”

 A friend said this to me recently about someone who had treated her horribly.   Casting forgiveness as a duty is one take-away message from the New Testament.  But how did that particular bumper sticker receive such tenaciously sticky backing in mainline, evangelical circles?