Opinion: Guest Columnists

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. 


Apr. 10, 2014 @ 04:41 PM

North Carolina women deserve equal pay for equal work

In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act making equal pay for equal work the rule of law. Yet 51 years later, pay discrimination continues to shortchange working North Carolina women and their families.


Apr. 06, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

Media shades the truth when it comes to colorism

Nude pantyhose don’t look good on me. That’s because they are not made for me.

Every woman of color knows that she has to dig through the department store shelf in the hopes of finding hosiery that matches her skin shade. And by doing so, we accept that we are not the norm, not the default. 


Apr. 06, 2014 @ 10:43 AM

Invest in young children for everyone’s benefit

I do not have children. I have lived in Durham for more than two decades and I run a small private equity firm here. I have been married for 10 years. My wife has devoted her professional life to early childhood education, and I have recently taken on the role of vice-chair of the board of directors of Durham’s Partnership for Children, our community’s Smart Start Initiative. So how did a business owner without kids end up being so invested in issues surrounding the education of young children?


Apr. 05, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

Telepsychiatry: Mental health care comes to you

Getting mental health care to the rural areas of North Carolina has never been easy.  Twenty-eight counties across the state still do not have a psychiatrist.  This work force shortage is real, and it has a real impact on the lives of those needing mental health treatment in places that are far away.