Opinion: Guest Columnists

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.

May. 03, 2014 @ 06:41 PM

Replacing Common Core to cost NC more than millions

Ben Owens spent 20 years working as an engineer. During that time, he increasingly had a hard time filling jobs with properly skilled workers -- so he chose to walk away from that career because he wanted to do something about it.

“When I was an engineer, I had a hard time finding graduates with skills that enabled them to collaborate, problem solve, communicate well and think outside of the box -- as cliché as that sounds,” said Owens, who now teaches high school physics and math in Cherokee County.

May. 01, 2014 @ 03:05 PM

Durham’s Literacy Summit: A community commitment

You’ve heard this before.  There is a literacy crisis across North Carolina.  Many of our youngest students enter school not ready for kindergarten and once behind, many of these children often stay behind.  You may also know our schools are making strides, but are hampered by fewer resources and a divided political environment.

Apr. 28, 2014 @ 03:47 PM

Fixated on pitch count, game not real baseball

I’ve been to my last Durham Bulls game. They don’t play real baseball, just a facsimile of it.

Apr. 26, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

Our growing family and the Affordable Care Act

As a self-employed woman in the process of starting a family, I have been personally affected by the Affordable Care Act. When I left the comfort of a large university-affiliated hospital system in 2013 to start my own psychiatry practice, I was excited to set out on my own. But that enthusiasm was short lived when I realized the full cost of paying for my own health insurance.

Apr. 26, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

Two farmers’ markets in Durham begin accepting SNAP benefits

It can be difficult to eat healthy on a tight budget.  Several organizations in Durham, including both of the city's farmers' markets, have found creative ways to make it more affordable to get local, healthy foods.

Apr. 22, 2014 @ 02:22 PM

Read this now. Or save it for later.

This piece should have run last week.

But putting it off seemed easier.

Such rationalization for procrastination may sound lame, but ask the scientists: It's in our DNA.

Apr. 21, 2014 @ 03:02 PM

Another Affordable Care Act success story: maternity coverage

Despite early setbacks, millions of people have now enrolled in private insurance plans that meet new standards set by the Affordable Care Act. All of these policies must now cover a broad set of benefits including prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and hospital stays.

Apr. 19, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

One of the best-kept secrets in Durham Public Schools

More than 180 people -- parents, teachers, principals, students and corporate volunteers and community leaders -- recently filled Bay 7 of the American Tobacco Campus to hear about a project that surely ranks as one of the best-kept secrets in Durham Public Schools.

Apr. 16, 2014 @ 09:33 AM

Glenn Miller's long-standing legacy of hate

When I learned that the man accused of shooting innocent bystanders Sunday at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement home in Kansas City was a former Klansman named Glenn Miller, I shuddered.

Apr. 12, 2014 @ 10:36 PM

Dissatisfaction with Common Core State Standards crosses political lines

Strange bedfellows – two words that may come to mind when considering the growing opposition movement to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that is taking place not only in North Carolina, but also across the nation.

Apr. 12, 2014 @ 10:59 AM

Helping Latino immigrants, to build a better future for us all

"She slumped in her chair with her head down the first time she came to El Futuro.  She felt sad, worried, and didn't know who to trust. The obsessive thoughts and ritualistic behaviors caused her not to eat and not to sleep...." 

I read this story on a thank-you card I received from El Futuro a few years ago. It was part of the 'Hands Project'—a series of photos that capture images of the hands of individuals and families who had came to El Futuro for help.