Opinion: Guest Columnists

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.

Mar. 10, 2015 @ 01:15 PM

DENR permits for Duke lack essential timetable

Duke Energy was caught last year leaking excessive wastewater from its coal-ash ponds into soil and waterways. Duke is negotiating a federal settlement to pay resulting penalties. But the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has found a way to ensure that the company doesn't violate the law that way again: New permits will make future discharges legal.

This sounds absurd at face value, but it doesn't have to be.

Feb. 28, 2015 @ 08:50 PM

Netanyahu not man Congress should applaud and cheer

More than two dozen members of Congress have announced they plan to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial speech to a joint session of Congress on March 3.  G.K. Butterfield, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, was one of the first to take this stance. Congressman David Price should join him. Furthermore, Rep. Price should make plain his opposition to war with Iran and voice the urgent need for Israel to end its subjugation of Palestinians.

Feb. 28, 2015 @ 08:26 PM

Racism is deeply embedded in our culture

I believe that present definitions of racism fall way short because they apply only to whites.  My definition is: Racism is an institutionalized belief system that blacks are oppressed and whites are the oppressors.  That’s it.

Feb. 25, 2015 @ 11:35 PM

The UNC Board of Governors gets it right

Amidst all the clamor and outcry over the proposed elimination of three centers from the UNC system by the Board of Governors, one principle stands out. That is, when the faculty and administrators fail to maintain a proper degree of objectivity concerning the system’s academic mission, somebody else must step up to the plate. If not, the system may devolve into a partisan stronghold for a single ideology.

Feb. 25, 2015 @ 09:36 AM

Put needs of children ahead of tourism dollars

By Ann Rebeck

Guest columnist

Recently, I read a book called “Snow Day!” to my preschool class.  As the exclamation point suggests, this event should be met with excitement and joy for an unexpected day off.  During this round of snow days I wasn’t experiencing much fun and it made me wonder how we lost that joy in our state.

Feb. 23, 2015 @ 12:31 PM

Expand film grants to bolster competitive status

The film industry cried foul last year when state legislators halted an incentives program that had benefited TV and movie production. Lawmakers substituted less-generous grants.

Feb. 21, 2015 @ 09:05 PM

We have to work together to make the most of opportunities

I have been involved with the Durham Chamber for over 20 years.  I occasionally have been asked why I have spent so much time working with the Chamber.  I suppose I have spent thousands of hours of my life on Chamber business.

The simple answer is that I love Durham.  And, in my opinion, the Chamber is the organization which has the most positive, substantive impact on this community that I love so much.

Feb. 21, 2015 @ 04:37 PM

We must work to keep our city everyone’s Durham

I think these will sound familiar to people following Durham discussions of housing, transit, high-speed internet, poverty initiatives, and real estate.

Feb. 19, 2015 @ 02:05 PM

In age of polarization, many in state working together

One of the great things about North Carolina is that we are a state full of determined people.

Feb. 14, 2015 @ 11:38 PM

The "Friendship Nine" show that history keeps evolving

I am a son of the South who grew up in the North without fully grasping the history I needed to know.

Feb. 14, 2015 @ 11:02 PM

Nation’s private prisons pimp the poor

Here in the United States, our great “land of the free,” there are approximately 130,000 inmates housed in privately owned prisons. It‘s a foul stench within a justice system that leads the world in number of people incarcerated within a state, federal or private institution. The latest tally of 2 million inmates equates to 25 percent of the globe’s incarcerated population. This massive waste of human life is commonly known as the Prison Industrial Complex, an oppressive current led from the top down by the highly profitable Prison Privatization Movement.