Opinion: Guest Columnists

Apr. 26, 2015 @ 07:31 PM

Police videos belong in full public view

It starts with this: It's our government, and what it does should be fully visible to the people whose consent formed it.

That should -- and must -- apply to the agents of government whose salaries are funded by our tax dollars.


Apr. 26, 2015 @ 10:34 AM

Best business practices could improve VA medical care

Last year, Americans were shocked to learn about the widespread systematic failures of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with many veterans being forced to wait months to see health care providers. One VA center in Phoenix, Arizona, was so criminally mismanaged that at least 40 veterans died as a result. Soon after, a nationwide audit was released that revealed North Carolina VA facilities had some of the worst wait times in the nation.


Apr. 25, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

Celebrating the life and legacy of George W. Newton

Great communities are comprised of great institutions. They celebrate great traditions, provide great opportunities for their residents, build on great histories and create great futures.


Apr. 25, 2015 @ 10:39 AM

Where do we go from here? A call for honest conversations

The southern writer, William Faulkner, wrote: "The past is not dead. It is not even past." The recent hanging of a noose from a tree at Duke University, a racist chant from a fraternity at Oklahoma University, and the tragic shooting death of another African American male by a police officer are rude awakenings to the reality that our horrific racial past is not dead.


Apr. 24, 2015 @ 12:43 PM

A president enters N.C. school debate

The modern presidency seems as located on Air Force One as in that grand white mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue. Presidents dash around the country not only when they campaign for votes, but also, increasingly, as a means to rally public support for policies originating in the White House.


Apr. 23, 2015 @ 11:18 AM

U.S., others, must sustain the fight against malaria

On World Malaria Day, April 25, there’s much to celebrate and acknowledge when it comes to the fight against this disease. Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen a huge ramp-up of international funding, and the latest statistics show impressive progress -- a 46 percent decrease in malaria infections among children in sub-Saharan Africa and an estimated 4.3 million deaths averted globally over time.


Apr. 21, 2015 @ 02:59 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.