Opinion: Guest Columnists

Jul. 02, 2014 @ 02:38 PM

Safety first on the Fourth

The Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous holidays on the nation's calendar. But with precautions and caution, the festivities associated with this long weekend need not turn tragic.


Jun. 29, 2014 @ 11:16 AM

Voting, Mississippi and Freedom Summer

The irony of black voters in Mississippi rescuing long-time Republican Sen. Thad Cochran from incongruous defeat last week in his runoff against upstart tea party favorite Chris McDaniel cannot be overstated -- especially as many remember Freedom Summer of 50 years ago.


Jun. 28, 2014 @ 11:53 AM

Folly at the beach

Since it opened right before World War II, Jennette's Pier in Nags Head has survived nasty nor'easters, full-blown hurricanes and hordes of tourists from New Jersey. But there's a man-made disaster that might finally do it in:

The General Assembly.


Jun. 28, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

Independence Day celebrations dependent on rest of world

Durham celebrates Independence Day with fireworks following the Bulls’ home game.  The whole country celebrates, and I wonder just how independent our celebration is of the rest of the world. 


Jun. 26, 2014 @ 07:06 PM

Commitment to one school offers benefits

Recently my family watched our youngest daughter as she was promoted from elementary school.  Promotion ceremonies were going on all over Durham and are not the kind of thing that warrants front-page coverage.  What was significant for my family was that it was our ninth year learning, playing and growing at that particular school.  It’s a big change for all of us to leave our school community behind and to know that we are moving on.


Jun. 27, 2014 @ 07:10 AM

Changes needed to keep great teachers in classrooms

While this is not likely to come as news to any of us who have ever sat in a classroom, the quality of teachers matters a lot -- and not just because they can make a dull subject more interesting. 


Jun. 26, 2014 @ 03:02 PM

EPA court ruling is win for public

The Supreme Court's decision Monday wisely keeps intact the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate carbon emissions. The importance of that power for North Carolina was highlighted in an academic study published also on Monday.


Jun. 25, 2014 @ 01:10 PM

Senate jumping the judge

The state Senate recently approved what could be called the Judge Robert H. Hobgood provision.

Hobgood has been a thorn in the side to legislative Republicans this year.


Jun. 22, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

Return to Iraq has a familiar look about it

As deployments go, this is a trickle, a tiny blip on a graph that has tracked the movements of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the past dozen years.

But it is significant nonetheless, because it's a return to a country where we'd already shut the door and turned out the lights.


Jun. 22, 2014 @ 12:29 PM

A big idea -- the GI Bill -- turns 70

My family benefited from a “big idea.” After dropping out of high school to enlist in the Navy, my grandfather, Leonard “Mac” McLean, returned from the Pacific and enrolled in college.


Jun. 19, 2014 @ 02:23 PM

'Slow violence' against North Carolina schools harms us all

It has been another long year for North Carolina public educators and students. No teacher pay raises. Inadequate buildings and classroom supplies. State legislators attacking teacher job security and school budgets.


Jun. 18, 2014 @ 11:52 AM

America's woeful health care ranking

Today, given everything the United States has going for it, there's no reason why American health care shouldn't be among the world's best.


Jun. 17, 2014 @ 11:29 AM

Diaper bank needs help to transition to ‘Operation Cover’

I can hardly believe only two weeks has passed since I walked into the Diaper Bank of North Carolina (DBNC) to discover the aftermath of a theft of 13,000 diapers, a loss that emptied our shelves.


Jun. 15, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

Local governments feel impact of tax, budget decisions in Raleigh

Local communities across North Carolina are already feeling the impact of recent tax policies and budget decisions made by state policymakers. A recent news article in the Greenville Daily Reflector quotes a Pitt County commissioner as lamenting with disapproval that “the state is pushing off on local governments what they should be funding.”


Jun. 14, 2014 @ 05:49 PM

A blueprint for school discipline reform

On June 3, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released a new report, titled, “The School Discipline Consensus Report: Strategies from the Field to Keep Students Engaged in School and Out of the Juvenile Justice System.”