Opinion: Guest Columnists

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 02:16 PM

Climate change, the Outer Banks and cherished traditions

Since before I can remember, my family has been spending Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks. The tradition started when my mom and her siblings were young, and it has grown to include generations of relatives who live all up and down the Atlantic coast. Every year of my life, my family has stayed in the same house on Cape Hatteras. Every year, that is, except for the last one.

Jun. 08, 2014 @ 04:25 PM

Spanish people owe King Carlos a debt of gratitude

Spanish King Juan Carlos made the right decision to abdicate his throne. 

The 76-year-old long-time king suffers both from visibly ailing health and a plummeting approval rating. Of late, family members of his have been linked to economic and political corruption. And a 2012 elephant-hunting expedition to Botswana -- during which the king broke his leg -- didn’t help either, given its appearance as an offensive luxury during some lean years in Spain.

Jun. 07, 2014 @ 07:47 AM

Making sure we have enough doctors

This spring, 99 new doctors graduated from Duke University’s School of Medicine, where we serve as dean and vice dean of education. Another 190 master’s and doctoral students earned degrees from the school in health-professions-related fields.

Jun. 07, 2014 @ 06:32 AM

Durham Tech continues to build education-to-career pathways

While it remains a necessary first step, a high school diploma no longer serves as the credential that assures Durham’s youth of a self-sustaining job that pays a living wage. Entry into today’s workforce requires a skill set that includes job-specific aptitudes along with the ability to communicate effectively, work both independently and in teams, and a general understanding of critical workplace behaviors—the so-called “soft skills.” At Durham Technical Community College, we recognize the best way to provide our graduates with this combination of skills is through work-based learning opportunities.

Jun. 06, 2014 @ 08:02 AM

‘When our children fail, we are all at fault’

Many of you will recognize this quote from the late 1990s: “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” 

Ann Denlinger, then superintendent of Durham Public Schools, used these words to mobilize the community around a common goal -- that all students would read proficiently by the end of third grade.

Jun. 01, 2014 @ 04:22 PM

In talking about pornography, key word: Perform

I am a Christian ethicist, and I teach about sex.  So, I’ve had way, way too many former students send me emails about the student at Duke University who has helped pay her college tuition by performing sexual relations with men while being filmed.   My gut reaction to the news story was simple.  If she performs one act of heterosexual sex on film once a month, she is making $10,000 more than I am after teaching for 15 years at Duke. 

May. 31, 2014 @ 12:12 AM

Another chance

When do kids become adults in the eyes of the law? Last month, the N.C. House of Representatives decided it wants to rewrite the answer. It passed and sent to the Senate the Young Offenders Rehabilitation Act, which would remove 16- and 17-year-olds who are charged with misdemeanors from the adult criminal-justice system and handle their cases in juvenile court.

May. 30, 2014 @ 07:53 AM

Hashtag activism proliferating, but is it effective?

In the wake of the April 14 Boko Haram kidnappings, where 276 girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, the Internet has born a new sensationalized campaign: #BringBackOurGirls.

May. 25, 2014 @ 06:41 PM

Strengthening Durham’s ‘Beloved Community’

When the Durham Bulls opened the baseball season this spring, my wife, Carlisle, and I were anxious to go to a game. On the evening of the second game, we were a few rows behind the third base dugout, cheering for the home team.

It was a glorious spring evening, and the Bulls were doing battle with the Gwinnet Braves (What a shame for a name!). We were enjoying one of those experiences that make Durham such a special place to live. The expanded and renovated stadium is remarkable.

May. 22, 2014 @ 01:38 PM

We need a level playing field on sales tax

Congress needs to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) so there is real and fair competition reflecting 21st-century commerce.  America was built on promoting economic growth and business in a fashion that ensures fair competition for all.

May. 17, 2014 @ 04:25 PM

How to watch a Minor League game

Most Durham Bulls fans go to a game rooting for the home team. Well and good. But there is another way to watch a Bulls game, or any other minor league baseball game. Maybe it’s best not to root too hard for the home team, but just watch how well the game is played.

May. 11, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

Takeaways from Tillis’ predictable but unconvincing win

The horse-race watchers in the national media couldn’t be more excited about the results of the North Carolina Republican senate primary Tuesday where state House Speaker Thom Tillis won the nomination by capturing 45 percent of the vote, handily defeating Tea Partier Greg Brannon and Charlotte minister Mark Harris -- both making their first run for public office.

May. 10, 2014 @ 08:42 AM

Legislative effectiveness: Lots to consider, but voters make final call

Citizens can think about the effectiveness of their legislators in a variety of ways.  Rep. Larry Hall, from the Durham delegation, is the Democratic minority leader in the N.C. House of Representatives.  Rep. Mickey Michaux has served more terms than anyone else in the House. 

The six legislators in the delegation have a combined 70 years of institutional memory among them.  But they don’t rank highly in the legislative effectiveness rankings released recently by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.

May. 08, 2014 @ 01:37 PM

Real justice: keeping what you earn

With April 15 behind us, North Carolina taxpayers can look forward to a new era, because 2013 will be the final year of the state’s “progressive” income tax. 

Good riddance!

May. 03, 2014 @ 06:51 PM

Telling stories to save lives

Rob, Kim, Angeloe, Delores, Althea, Kaaren, Sean, Clay, Brian:  These names are just a few of those living in Durham whose lives have been transformed by someone who simply answered, “Yes” when they were asked if they wanted to register as an organ donor.  These neighbors of ours have led extraordinary lives both for what they have endured and survived -- and for how they are now living their lives in service to our community and their families.