Columnist: Bob Ashley

Sep. 07, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

Grateful for the kindness of strangers

Torrential rain had stopped, and I was lugging bags, shelves and so forth from my Honda, up a flight of stairs into my son’s new apartment.


Aug. 31, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

Awakened by King’s passionate dream

In the summer of 1963, I was a teenager about to start my sophomore year in high school, already manifesting my lifelong geekiness by devouring newscasts and newspapers.


Aug. 24, 2013 @ 11:15 AM

Dude, remember when a chat involved talking?

Several weeks ago, a snarky email rebuked us for some error in The Herald-Sun of omission or commission. I can’t remember the details of our transgression, but the email closed by saying something along the lines of “no wonder your industry is dying, dude.”


Aug. 17, 2013 @ 12:12 PM

Letters tell much about community’s life

A few years ago, the folks at the Press Enterprise in Bloomsburg, Pa., not far from State College, where I was then editor, published a delightful retrospective from the paper’s archives.


Aug. 10, 2013 @ 12:11 PM

A post-war tale of two cities

Reading the past couple of weeks of about Detroit’s bankruptcy has been a depressing experience.
Detroit, of course, once was one of the major cities in the United States, its auto industry a colossus astride the world’s markets, its recording industry influencing popular culture, its arts organizations respected widely, its middle-class prosperity a hallmark.


Aug. 03, 2013 @ 04:34 PM

New window on our past taking shape

The Museum of Durham History, if you haven’t noticed, is rapidly taking shape at the western end of the downtown loop.


Jul. 27, 2013 @ 12:50 PM

Hairston case reflects larger college athletics picture

UNC basketball star P. J. Hairston is in the clear on the criminal charges from an arrest in early June.  But Hairston’s troubles – and those of basketball coach Roy Williams and his bosses at UNC – are far from over.


Jul. 06, 2013 @ 05:33 PM

Remembering a mentor

Stuart Dim died last month.

That name that will mean nothing to most folks reading this – with a few exceptions, like my good friend and old colleague Marion (Art, to many here) Ellis, a fellow alum of The Charlotte Observer in the 1970s.


Jun. 22, 2013 @ 10:03 AM

Should we note a victim’s criminal record?

One day last week, a 37-year-old Durham man was gunned down at midday on North Hyde Park Avenue in East Durham.


Jun. 08, 2013 @ 01:28 PM

Capital protests make for interesting summer

Watching the weekly arrest of protesters at the General Assembly the past several Monday evenings, I’ve been struck by how many of those going to jail seem to be, well, sort of my age.

Or older.


Jun. 01, 2013 @ 02:25 PM

Pivot point on downtown growth?

Have you been to the Ninth Street area lately?


May. 18, 2013 @ 08:03 PM

Ashley: Chilling effect on free expression worth worrying about

What's going on here?

By coincidence or terrible karma, the unsettling developments on the free expression of ideas, open government and our ability to monitor that government are reason for concern and anger.

For weeks now, publishers, editors and the N.C. Press Association have been trying to forestall several initiatives in the General Assembly to loosen or eliminate requirements that local governments publish legal notices -- on new ordinances, public hearings, board and commission meetings and the like -- in general-circulation newers where people can see and are accustomed to seeing them. Lawmakers this session appear poised to reject those efforts but, the recent past suggests that those who want to make it more difficult for people to find these notices will keep trying.


May. 11, 2013 @ 11:04 AM

Ashley: East Durham efforts bearing fruit

I heard a great story from a former colleague last week, a story of small but telling measures to tackle seemingly overwhelming challenges.


May. 04, 2013 @ 10:53 AM

Ashley: Downtown becoming a neighborhood

For all of downtown Durham’s exploding renaissance in the past decade or so, there’s been one area lagging a bit more than downtown’s many fans and boosters would like.


Apr. 16, 2013 @ 06:02 PM

Ashley: Better to watch making sausage

An old and well-worn cliché has it that watching a legislative body in action is like watching sausage being made.

A couple years ago, The New York Times ran a delightful article in which it talked to a group of people who take considerable umbrage at that comparison.

They weren’t legislators. They were sausage-makers.