Opinion: Guest Columnists

Mar. 20, 2014 @ 01:20 PM

If you can read this, pay a teacher

I handed my mechanic a coffee mug last week when I picked up my car. Printed on the mug was "I heart my mechanic."

"Don't worry, I will pay you sometime soon," I told him, "but there are a few other things I want to do first."

I could not make out what he was shouting as I drove away, but it did not sound like "thank you."


Mar. 15, 2014 @ 10:23 PM

Allergic to sex? On book pulping and pursed lips

Allergic to sex? A number of major organized religions seem to be. Recently  the severe separation of sex and religion came dramatically to light once again, and from a somewhat unlikely direction.


Mar. 15, 2014 @ 01:19 PM

Allergic to sex? On book pulping and pursed lips

Allergic to sex? A number of major organized religions seem to be. Recently  the severe separation of sex and religion came dramatically to light once again, and from a somewhat unlikely direction.


Mar. 13, 2014 @ 06:39 PM

Resurrection fantasy

Just imagine coming home and finding something you thought you’d lost forever waiting on your front porch  -- in exactly the state in which you last saw it. Once upon a time, my relative died and then rose again and … well almost, but not quite.


Mar. 12, 2014 @ 08:05 AM

Speaking clearly is a skill that’s, like, lacking, you know?

When the entertainment blog Crushable interviewed comedian Vanessa Bayer last fall about her experience as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” and spending time with celebrities on the show, her reply proved a tad tough to digest.


Mar. 08, 2014 @ 11:57 PM

Tuition freeze, but also more fees for college students

Most students in the UNC system will pay more to attend college next year, but the increase for in-state undergraduates comes in the form of increased fees and not tuition hikes.


Mar. 08, 2014 @ 04:25 PM

Cherry-picked jobs data are not a true reflection of N.C. economy

Over the past few months, Gov. Pat McCrory has been claiming his policies -- especially cutting unemployment benefits -- are responsible for reducing the state’s unemployment rate. He’s even branded this the “Carolina Comeback.”


Mar. 08, 2014 @ 01:22 PM

A testament to the economic significance of sense of place

Durham is undergoing another wave of hotel development in response to increased visitation spearheaded by community-destination marketing.


Mar. 07, 2014 @ 06:44 AM

Investing in food, not fighter jets, for security

A child of the “Cold War,” I grew up less than half a mile from where Republic Aviation Corporation was building and testing the Air Force’s F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bomber.  


Mar. 01, 2014 @ 12:26 AM

Up with people, down with surveillance

I have been shaking my fist on the way to church on Sunday mornings.  I am more prone to dance in the car (much to my daughters’ embarrassment) than to shake my fist, but I admit to fist shaking at certain lights between my house and Trinity United Methodist Church. 


Feb. 27, 2014 @ 09:07 PM

Make education a real priority in North Carolina

North Carolina has many educational firsts of which to be proud -- the first residential math and science high school, the first governor’s school and the first public university. So it baffles me as to how a state with such a rich history and strong record of valuing education has now become an embarrassment with regards to the treatment of its teachers.


Feb. 15, 2014 @ 11:22 PM

Durham, where people do impossible things

Durham is an impossible city. And I love it.

Because people in Durham do impossible things, like electing a Jewish mayor in 1951.


Feb. 08, 2014 @ 11:47 PM

Popular tax deduction for 529 Plans repealed: Did you know?

In July 2013, the N.C. General Assembly repealed the state tax deduction for contributions to North Carolina’s 529 College Savings Plan.  There was no discussion or debate.  Students and parents did not weigh in.  It was not reported in the media.


Feb. 01, 2014 @ 11:50 PM

'Broken schools' -- or broken debate over education?

 “I don’t want to hear the words ‘broken schools’ one more time!”  This senior scholar of education usually speaks with the tone of a high school physics teacher -- measured, clear, and calm.  But she is fed up.  We were at a forum on North Carolina women and politics recently, and a young woman had just used the phrase to ask a reasonable question about child-to-teacher ratios.  This scholar responded by sternly warning us not to buy into the jargon of “brokenness.” 


Jan. 30, 2014 @ 03:30 PM

Big picture health reform

Much has been said about the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, especially since the botched launching of the healthcare.gov website. However, several big-picture changes deserve more attention.