Opinion: Guest Columnists

Sep. 13, 2014 @ 09:19 AM

Embracing and planning for new career paths in the automotive sector

Industry never stands still. New ideas, thus new technologies, are constantly bubbling up. With these new ideas comes the need for workers who are ready to convert ideas to products, systems and services. Community colleges have always been at the forefront in their ability to respond to this need, creating programs quickly that transform students into well-equipped workers.

Sep. 11, 2014 @ 06:57 PM

Coal ash legislation shows the political system can work

Our water supply is now safer thanks to coal ash legislation passed during the waning hours of this summer’s session of the N. C. General Assembly.

Sep. 11, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

For youth, gaps in state’s mental health system of care remain

“Mental health system failure is personal, and it’s painful.  It has different names for different people,” says Julie Jarrell Bailey, a mother and mental health advocate.  “In my case, system failure is also known as Joshua, Jacob, and Isaac Bailey.”  Julie and her husband, Steve, adopted the Bailey boys from the state’s foster care system in 1996.  Josh was 8, Jacob was 7, and Isaac was 4.  All three boys have mental health issues, and in every step of their lives, Julie and Steve have had to advocate for appropriate care for their children.

Sep. 07, 2014 @ 10:46 AM

Durham’s schools’ bright future – we all have a role

Public schools in Durham are primed for a renaissance. The school board’s selection of Bert L’Homme as the new superintendent – by unanimous vote, no less – has injected a contagious spirit of optimism about the future of public education in our community. Whether this optimism will translate into quality education for every one of our children is up to all of us who call Durham home.

Sep. 06, 2014 @ 09:18 AM

Bring students back into the conversation

As vice chair of the Durham Public Schools board of education, I’m no stranger to heated conversations around complex topics. Often, my colleagues and I must balance competing priorities, make tough choices and get creative with limited resources that never seem to stretch quite far enough.

Sep. 04, 2014 @ 02:29 PM

Creole a key to Haitian literacy

International Literacy Day approaches on Monday, Haiti's embarrassing annual reminder that it bears the lowest literacy rate among countries independent for more than 80 years.


Aug. 30, 2014 @ 06:53 PM

Old and new, overlapping in Durham – will they co-exist?

The following articles were published (by different newspapers) in quick succession on Aug. 8 and Aug. 13. Both are about Durham.

 “Public school teachers, low-level city workers, even journalists can’t afford many, if not most, of the 2,400 new apartments and condos being built in central Durham.”

--From “Durham development: What’s being built where and who can afford it?”, Lisa Sorg, Indy Week.

“Like firecrackers exploding around downtown Durham, clusters of small businesses are popping up and enlivening one desolate block after another.”

From “Surfacing: A Corner of Durham, N.C., Comes to Life”, Ingrid K. Williams, The New York Times.

Aug. 30, 2014 @ 06:45 PM

Lessons on privilege and the unexpected

Since graduating from college, I have never thought twice about filling up my tank. On occasion, I might look at the final price and grumble under my breath, but at the end of the transaction, I drove off the lot with a full tank – every time.

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 06:20 PM

Should we return to the village?

In the 1950s, the black community relied on family, neighbors, the church and their exclusive   communities for advice and support in most situations . The motto was “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 03:49 PM

Should we return to the village?

In the 1950s, the black community relied on family, neighbors, the church and their exclusive   communities for advice and support in most situations . The motto was “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

Aug. 24, 2014 @ 12:18 PM

Stop the EPA’s war on North Carolina

The Environmental Protection Agency is on a cross-country roadshow this summer to sell its newest mandate, which will cut the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent. The agency’s and the Obama administration's sales pitch is simple: This will usher in a “cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future.”

Aug. 18, 2014 @ 12:32 PM

You know this, but are you doing it?

An old story is told of a monk named Birdsnest who sits high atop a tree and dispenses wisdom to the curious below.

Aug. 17, 2014 @ 04:14 PM

Free to choose: Union members have the right to leave

Imagine talking with a friend who tells you that he’s been forced to support the Duke basketball team for the past five years, even though he doesn’t like the Blue Devils. He’d much rather be a fan of the University of North Carolina, but he doesn’t think he has a choice in who he cheers for.

Aug. 16, 2014 @ 01:01 PM

Unearthing more of the state budget’s details

The dust is still settling on the $21.1 billion budget signed into law earlier this month, with details still emerging about the lesser-known policy and funding changes buried deep in the 260-page document.

Aug. 10, 2014 @ 11:49 AM

The next era of college sports

Not long ago, you never would have heard the words University of Texas athletic director Steve Patterson blurted out Wednesday.