Columnist: DG Martin

May. 31, 2014 @ 12:13 PM

What will author of 'The Kite Runner' tell folks in Chapel Hill?

What will the world’s most famous Afghani tell people in Chapel Hill about his thoughts on President Barack Obama’s plans to reduce the U.S. troop level in Afghanistan to 9,800 by the end of 2014?

The famous Afghani is Khaled Hosseini, author of the bestselling, and now classic, “The Kite Runner,” as well as “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” and his most recent, “And the Mountains Echoed.” All three are deeply entwined with the recent history of Afghanistan. For many Americans, Hosseini’s fiction has been their most reliable guide to the country’s rich and complicated heritage and its tragic disintegration in civil war and invasion.


May. 27, 2014 @ 08:51 AM

Would a real veto power help Gov. McCrory?

There’s a secret nobody in the Raleigh power establishment will confirm.

It is this. Our Republican governor, Pat McCrory, would not mind if there were a few more Democrats in the General Assembly after this fall’s elections.

May. 24, 2014 @ 11:34 AM

The ‘go-to’ store in Carrboro

I can’t pass by an army surplus store without walking in and seeing what is for sale.
So it was good news for me when Barry Keith, who opened Surplus Sid’s in Carrboro in 1988, told me, “I plan to be here for a long time. Honestly, they’ll have to carry me out.”
The other day, Keith was in front of the store working on a pole decorated with a dragon, one that would break apart into two swords.

May. 20, 2014 @ 06:01 PM

May 20 -- Did you miss it again this year?

“It is probably not known to many of our readers, that the citizens of Mecklenburg County, in this state made a declaration of independence a year before Congress made theirs.”

This item could be an introduction to a contemporary story about the anniversary of the May 20, 1775, Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.

May. 15, 2014 @ 12:44 PM

Albert and Gladys Coates and their school of government

On my morning run, I pass by the building near my house in Chapel Hill. And every time, I say a word of thanks.
Other North Carolinians are grateful, too. A friend of mine told me last week, “The Institute of Government has made all the difference for our state. But, today, not enough people appreciate how much we owe it.”

May. 13, 2014 @ 12:53 PM

Looking for a hand salute from Duke

As the discussion about the consequences of the coal ash residue leakages continues, there is one thing about Duke Energy about which there is widespread agreement.

May. 10, 2014 @ 11:18 AM

Shirley Temple and John Kasson cheer up Chapel Hill

Just when it seems that all the news about the university and Chapel Hill is bad, Shirley Temple comes to the rescue.
But, since Temple died a few months ago, her help came courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill professor John Kasson.
His new book, “The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America,” has been on the booksellers’ shelves for only a few weeks. But it is getting widespread and favorable attention for the book and for the Chapel Hill author in publications ranging from “The Weekly Standard” and “USA Today” to “The Washington Post.”

May. 06, 2014 @ 12:47 PM

The South -- a dilemma for both parties

“Just be patient,” some North Carolina Democrats are telling each other.

“The demographics,” they say, “are on our side. The older white conservative Republicans are dying off. They are being replaced by younger, multi-ethnic, social liberals who tilt Democratic when they go to the polls. It is just a matter of time until these factors give the edge in North Carolina politics back to the Democrats.”

May. 03, 2014 @ 10:52 AM

Celebrating a love of words and a first novel

In the 1990s, Alena Graedon was growing up in Durham and Chapel Hill, learning to write and think at the Carolina Friends School.

She lives in Brooklyn now. But she came back last week to visit the school, read from her debut novel, “The Word Exchange,” and to thank the school and her teachers for their guidance and inspiration.

Apr. 28, 2014 @ 11:27 PM

Would a Shirley Temple help?

What President Obama needed was a Shirley Temple!

Not the popular non-alcoholic drink named for the childhood star.

What he needed as he faced the nation’s worst economic situation since the Great Depression was the kind of help President Franklin D. Roosevelt got from a bright, cheerful, optimistic child actor who lifted the spirits of almost every American during the dark times of the 1930s.

Apr. 26, 2014 @ 09:54 PM

Mark your calendars to celebrate the twin sisters and their garden

Mark your calendar for April 20, 2015.
Chapel Hill’s favorite twin sisters are planning their 100th birthday party.
Right now, however, they are resting, recovering from the celebration of their 99th birthday a few days ago. Family and friends from all over the country gathered to bask in the glory of the generous spirit of Barbara Stiles, Bernice Wade, and their famous garden on Gimghoul Road.

Apr. 22, 2014 @ 08:05 AM

North Carolina is ‘Variety Literatureland’

“Variety Vacationland.” Do you remember that slogan from our state’s past?

I suggest a new one: “Variety Literatureland.”

Apr. 19, 2014 @ 11:30 AM

'How Jesus Became God'

What, actually, can we know about the resurrection?
At sunrise services and church sanctuaries today in Chapel Hill and all over the world, Christian worshippers are giving their answers to this question.
In the introduction to his new book, “How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee,” Bart Ehrman asks the same question.

Apr. 15, 2014 @ 11:07 AM

chnws 3-23 martin column for web.jpg

Deirdre Haj, executive director of Full Frame Film Festival.

Apr. 15, 2014 @ 10:41 AM

Saying thanks is not enough

We say, “Thanks for your service,” when we met veterans of the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq veterans.

They can be forgiven if they think “Thanks for your service” is an incomplete thank you, an insincere and hollow expression, showing a lack of understanding and real appreciation of what these men and women had been through.