Opinion: Guest Columnists

Apr. 18, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

Schools, community partners keep students reading

Summertime can be filled with days at the pool or beach, trips to see family and friends and spending time outside. But for too many students, summer also means taking a break from reading. As a result of this lack of reading practice, students lose the literacy skills they worked so hard to build during the previous school year. 


Apr. 18, 2015 @ 11:55 AM

Senator’s legislation on immigrant students points state forward

State Sen. Fletcher Hartsell has introduced legislation, Senate Bill 463, that points North Carolina forward. The bill contains two simple sentences.


Apr. 12, 2015 @ 01:31 PM

Past time to fix medical examiner system

The Observer reports on the blatant failures of North Carolina's medical examiner system. Lawmakers and the public are aghast. Committees are formed, solutions are debated, pledges are made to fix it. And then: Nothing happens.

2001? Or 2015?


Apr. 12, 2015 @ 10:55 AM

Deterring Iran's nuclear intoxication

This week brings a constitutional moment illustrating a paradox of Barack Obama's presidency. The catalyst of the drama is legislation proposed by Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, asserting Congress' foreign policy responsibilities and prerogatives. 


Apr. 11, 2015 @ 12:15 PM

A dramatic and effective civics lesson

We got a refresher lesson in civics recently, one we hope will stick in our memories for many years. North Carolina, following the example of other states, was set to pass a law in the name of religious freedom, but civic groups and corporate America found it distasteful and discriminatory and raised their voices in strong protest. Elected officials got the message and are backing down.


Apr. 11, 2015 @ 11:31 AM

We need a little more noise in North Carolina

Durham County is the 17th smallest land area in North Carolina but created for a city of the same name that is now the fourth largest in population.  It has been the epicenter for two different manifestations of the New South.


Apr. 11, 2015 @ 12:18 AM

Graduate Durham begins long before senior year

Entering kindergarten is one of the most significant events that a young child experiences. It sets the tone for his or her entire educational experience and lays the foundation for future success in school and life. At Durham Public Schools and Durham’s Partnership for Children, our goal is for every child in Durham to enter kindergarten feeling excited, ready to learn and supported by their school, family and community.


Apr. 09, 2015 @ 11:18 AM

Thousands of seniors anxiously await lawmakers’ budget decisions

When state lawmakers return next week from their unusual spring break, debate over the budget will take center stage as the House puts together its spending plan for the next two years.


Apr. 07, 2015 @ 05:36 PM

New breed of engineers needed to meet world’s grand challenges

Our great-great grandparents would hardly recognize the world we have created.

We’ve gone from the horse and carriage to cars that drive themselves. Messages that once took weeks to deliver now zip around the world in seconds. Humankind was once bound to Earth, but now Voyager 1 is exploring interstellar space.


Apr. 04, 2015 @ 10:56 PM

Protest petition rights under assault again

The N.C. General Assembly began its session Jan. 28 and almost immediately neighborhood leaders were put on notice to expect another bill to repeal a neighbor’s time-honored right to oppose a rezoning with an official protest petition.  That bill has cleared the House and is awaiting consideration by the N. C. Senate.


Mar. 26, 2015 @ 02:38 PM

Durham Board of Education can repower schools and county’s future

We expect the best of our students and teachers in the classroom, and we can do more to provide them the best learning environment possible. Durham Public Schools (DPS) has an unprecedented opportunity to save critical school funding to invest in facilities, teachers and school resources by transforming its operations to 100-percent renewable energy.


Mar. 26, 2015 @ 10:07 AM

In appreciation of Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry definitely could turn a memorable phrase. Railing against the Stamp Act in 1765, he said, as a member of Virginia's House of Burgesses, "Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First his Cromwell; and George the Third may he profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it."


Mar. 24, 2015 @ 12:20 PM

Ethics disclosure woes due in part to confusion

The governor didn't correctly report donations and gifts, including free travel, on state disclosure forms. Make that governors, plural -- Mike Easley, Bev Perdue and now Pat McCrory. All needed to amend their filings.


Mar. 21, 2015 @ 12:13 PM

Let’s take a closer look at racism

As I began to read the March 1 guest column, “Racism is deeply embedded in our culture,” I agreed fully with the title. After all, our Constitution initially endorsed slavery, and defined black slaves as only 3/5 of a person. It’s hard to imagine how racism could be more deeply embedded in a country’s history.


Mar. 18, 2015 @ 11:53 PM

Creeks and rivers: veins and arteries of urban society

We turn our tap and safe drinking water flows out.  We flush the toilet or drain the sink and wastes of all kinds are whisked away.  If we bother to think about it -- which we rarely do -- we correctly envision massive, technologically advanced treatment plants for both water and sewage, operated by local government under strict rules set by the state and national authorities.  The system is connected by thousands of miles of iron and concrete pipes, meticulously maintained to prevent leaks and mixing.