Opinion: Guest Columnists

Dec. 15, 2014 @ 11:23 AM

Racial strife can lead to progress, if slowly

Big-city mayors have to stay as neutral as possible when asked about disputes between their citizens and the police. But New York Mayor Bill de Blasio found his voice in a profoundly moving way when he responded not as a mayor, but as a parent.

Dec. 13, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

Working to be sure Durham isn’t overrun

After she read a recent post of mine entitled Mitigating Halloween and Our Obsession with Risk, a neighbor asked me if Durham is in danger of being overrun.

Dec. 12, 2014 @ 10:47 AM

Why we have opposed torture for the last 500 years

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA detention and interrogation program this week quickly stirred up a white-hot debate on the use of torture to extract information from our enemies.

And though there is great passion on both sides, this is not a new topic to be argued.

Dec. 11, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

18th Airborne can take pride in mission

They boarded the plane Monday afternoon and said goodbye to the country where some of them had worked on and off since 2002.

As many of them told Observer military editor Drew Brooks who traveled with them, the country that U.S. troops from Fort Bragg left behind this week does not resemble the place they knew just a few years ago.

Dec. 06, 2014 @ 08:36 AM

McCrory’s energy push leaves public drilling for truth

The administration of Governor Pat McCrory blatantly misled environmental groups, the media and the public last month about a meeting on offshore drilling that included state and federal officials and oil industry groups.

Nov. 29, 2014 @ 07:58 AM

GOP has a golden opportunity during the lame duck session

What will the new political year in Washington bring? According to some analysts, the new GOP congressional majorities tilt more toward “the establishment” and away from the Tea Party wing. According to others, however, the new majorities are the starter’s signal for a full-fledged campaign to “repeal” the Obama presidency and even impeach the President himself.

Nov. 29, 2014 @ 07:36 AM

Let’s remove ‘forbidden fruit’ label from school gardens

Imagine it’s lunchtime. Sitting in front of you is a ripe bowl of juicy raspberries.  You stealthily turn your head to the side to see if anyone is watching.  Seeing that the coast is clear you slowly reach your hand towards the bowl and select the tastiest looking berry.  Just as you are about to pop it in your mouth an alarm sounds, a government official rushes towards you and the bowl of fresh fruit is snatched away.  You are scolded and handed a fruit-flavored juice instead.

Nov. 26, 2014 @ 11:32 PM

Gratitude, a recipe to calm our fears

We are celebrating Thanksgiving Day when there is fear all around. There is so much going on in our world, our country and our lives that causes us to be afraid.

Nov. 22, 2014 @ 11:49 PM

‘With success comes growth, with growth comes success’

For more than half a century, Durham Tech has worked to educate and train residents of Durham and Orange counties with the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in today’s competitive global economy. For the past five years, the college’s work has been guided by a strategic plan that involved visioning and values, guiding principles and strategic initiatives, captured in the mission statement: Durham Technical Community College’s mission is to enrich students’ lives and the greater community through teaching, learning, and service.

Nov. 22, 2014 @ 05:27 PM

Our kids are downing energy drinks at an alarming rate

As North Carolina begins its beloved college basketball season, fans of Duke, UNC and N. C. State can rest assured that the NCAA has done its due diligence to protect college athletes by restricting their caffeine use. However, a similar protection is missing for more than 19,000 North Carolina high school athletes beginning their basketball games this month.  

Nov. 22, 2014 @ 04:51 PM

Hyperventilating over UNC scandal is out of proportion

On the editorial pages of The Herald-Sun I have seen the money in big-time college sports described as an “ocean of revenue” and UNC’s recent athletic scandal as part of the “swamp of today’s academic-athletic complex.” If you look close enough that ocean looks more like a quiet pond and that swamp just a dewy lawn.

Nov. 22, 2014 @ 11:50 AM

Easy way to stop Obama's order

Republicans are apoplectic about the possibility of President Barack Obama issuing an executive order on immigration, and understandably so. Their ability to stop him -- and get much of what they want -- rests right under their noses.

Nov. 21, 2014 @ 11:42 AM

You Decide: What’s happening to the middle class?

By Mike Walden

North Carolina Cooperative Extension


During the campaigns leading up to the recent elections, we heard a lot about the middle class. Many – if not most – candidates tailored their messages and promises to helping those in the middle class improve their lives.

Nov. 15, 2014 @ 07:44 AM

Proposing an agenda for our state’s new leaders

It’s one of the great conundrums of modern society: All around us, images of wealth, comfort, individual freedom and swiftly advancing technology tell a story of promise and progress. For millions and millions of people, life really is safer, freer, healthier and wealthier than ever before. And yet, as nearly all of us can sense, something is clearly amiss in this picture.

Nov. 13, 2014 @ 09:17 AM

Berlin’s evolution in the 25 years since fall of the Wall

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. In that time, Berlin has become a vibrant, cultural and political powerhouse, going through rigorous reconstruction while simultaneously incorporating the city’s dark history.