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.


Oct. 18, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

What if court rulings’ critics invoked “Sharia law….”

I’ve met Michael Burbidge, the bishop of the Catholic diocese of Raleigh – which encompasses Durham – a couple of times.  He regularly reaches out to media in his diocese. He’s personable, measured, eager to listen and clearly a caring individual.


Oct. 11, 2014 @ 06:09 PM

Bring on the millennials, ‘welcome and accepting’

Monday, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” aired a five-minute segment titled “Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously.”

The next day, the U. S. Supreme Court vaulted same-sex marriage to the cusp of legality from coast to coast when it declined to review five appellate court rulings that bans on those marriages are unconstitutional.


Oct. 04, 2014 @ 01:25 PM

Thoughts on conservation, traffic, sense of place

I suspect no one wants to know what I did on vacation, but indulge me a few precautionary, perhaps even pessimistic, thoughts.


Sep. 27, 2014 @ 01:11 PM

Ashley: Vacation reflections on bunkered air travel

I fly a lot less these days than I have, and for that I am mostly grateful.


Sep. 13, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

Tackling the troubled future of our beloved football

More than a half-century ago, in 1953, when I was in kindergarten in far-away New York, a young aspiring comic and actor from what would later become the hometown of my youth and adolescence recorded his breakthrough record for Orville Campbell’s Colonial Records in Chapel Hill.


Sep. 06, 2014 @ 11:43 PM

Durham embodies shifting economic strength in U.S.

One day last week, headed to lunch at one of the new restaurants lining Blackwell Street across from American Tobacco, I parked in the deck next to the Durham Performing Arts Center. Stepping out onto the brick plaza between it and Diamond View II, Durham’s increasingly urban feel was evident.


Aug. 30, 2014 @ 05:48 PM

What was new to us is old-hat to college freshmen

For carolers, Christmas may be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but for those of us intrigued by the changing nature of cultural touchstones, August may well be that.


Aug. 23, 2014 @ 03:18 PM

Despite some bumps, good progress with our new press

In November 1942, after British forces had won a decisive victory – their first of the war – against German forces in North Africa, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in one of his more famous lines, told the House of Commons:

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”


Aug. 17, 2014 @ 07:52 AM

Health center with its many benefits faces challenges

Several weeks ago, I bumped into Dr. Howard Eisenson, medical director of Lincoln Community Health Center, at the Durham Farmers Market.
He broached an idea for articles in The Herald-Sun talking about Lincoln’s contributions to the community and challenges facing it and all community health care centers.

Aug. 09, 2014 @ 10:51 AM

Let’s weigh value of jobless benefits on the right terms

Justin Wolfers, writing in the New York Times’ column “The Upshot,” a couple weeks ago had a sobering message for those on both sides of the partisan fight in North Carolina over extended unemployment benefits.


Aug. 02, 2014 @ 05:44 PM

Time for a change – new press prints Monday’s paper

Nearly a quarter-century ago, on Sept. 3, 1990, the massive press thundered to life in our new building at 2828 Pickett Road and printed its first copies of The Durham Morning Herald and the afternoon Durham Sun.


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.