Columnist: Bob Ashley

Jul. 05, 2014 @ 09:28 AM

Patriotism scarce? No, it abounds in many forms

As the Fourth of July, that most patriotic of American holidays, approached last week, Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer on Fox News ginned up the specter of a patriotism crisis in the country.


Jun. 26, 2014 @ 07:09 PM

Durham’s robust economy promises to continue

If you have, as I do, a sense that Durham’s economic buoyancy over the past several years is about to kick into an even higher gear, a study released last week provided a significant confirmation.


Jun. 14, 2014 @ 01:59 PM

Industry realizing valuable news merits a price tag

A couple decades ago, I was in a crowded, stuffy hotel room at a group editors’ meeting, looking over the shoulder of an editor from the San Jose Mercury News. He was demonstrating the paper’s new on-line news operation.


Jul. 26, 2014 @ 10:38 PM

Durham political distinctiveness sharpens

A snippet in D. G. Martin’s column on our editorial page Wednesday caught my eye, and sent me to his topic – the latest issue of N. C. Data Net – to drill a little deeper.


Jul. 19, 2014 @ 02:12 PM

We can expect growing debate over the g-word

Rodrigo Dorfman, in a guest column on this page Tuesday, tossed out the g-word – gentrification -- and set off a minor round of debate on neighborhood discussion groups. Dorfman often does that. He’s outspoken, thoughtful and prone to poke at painful issues.


Jul. 12, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

Code or cursive – what do students need more?

An intriguing report from the U S. Census Bureau last week offered yet more support to drawing far more students into the fields of science, technology, engineering and math – the so-called STEM fields.


Jun. 28, 2014 @ 05:21 PM

Education, availability help break bad food habits

When this paper commented editorially on the county’s recognition by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize, we also noted the continued challenges we as a community face for better health outcomes.


Jun. 07, 2014 @ 03:50 PM

Historic anniversaries chance to report veterans’ stories

My memory may be playing tricks, but I think I recall a story-planning conversation from my days as city editor of The Raleigh Times.

It was spring 1974, and we were thinking about D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy.


May. 31, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

Barely 5 years old, food trucks now mainstream

This is hardly a new development, but it struck me last week that food trucks have truly gone mainstream in Durham.

The latest sign? Since late March, the Research Triangle Foundation and Fidelity Investments have partnered to sponsor weekly food truck rodeos in the park. 


May. 25, 2014 @ 10:32 AM

Apartment building boom latest downtown revival chapter

An item in a recent emailed newsletter from the Durham Rotary Club grabbed my attention.

Scott Selig, Duke University’s vice president for real estate, gave the club an enthusiastic report on the downtown revival in which he and Duke have been major players.


May. 17, 2014 @ 05:40 PM

Proximity underscores tornado’s potential for harm

What’s with this weather, anyway?

This area is no stranger to tornadoes, and we’ve seen the destruction that it could bring.


May. 10, 2014 @ 05:34 PM

Baby boomers will now bloat ranks of elderly

I know all of you who are younger than the baby boomers are beyond tired of listening to us talk about how politics, protest, movies, sex, drugs and rock and roll will never be what they were in the 1960s and ’70s.

Well, take heart. The inexorable march of time is at work.


May. 03, 2014 @ 06:48 PM

Building community, home by home, block by block

A couple of sentences in an article last Sunday by Blake Strayhorn, executive director for Habitat for Humanity, stuck with me.

Strayhorn wrote about a Habitat success, citing a story from a young man, Adriel “AJ” Holland, who described the apartment where he lived as a youngster.

“In 17-D, AJ learned to tell gunshots from fireworks,” Strayhorn wrote. “Before he was 10, AJ saw a man shot as he took out the trash.”


Apr. 26, 2014 @ 07:25 PM

WUNC, NPR – voices of civility in broadcast news

Public radio listeners – and there are lots of us in this area – are suffering through the price we pay for our passion last week and this. It is the fund drive, that much lampooned staple of listener-financed radio.


Apr. 19, 2014 @ 05:56 PM

A better world for movement Steinem, others led

At 80, Gloria Steinem is still a powerful voice for equal rights and opportunities for women, causes for which she has championed since being one of the founders of the feminism movement in the 1960s.