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Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:20

A reminder of the inhumanity that is war

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It was pouring last Wednesday as I drove home, the cold rain  painting the winter landscape a dull grey. Standing…
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:32

Vote on NCAE dues like a slap in the face to teachers

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When the state House voted to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto and stop letting teachers use payroll deductions to pay…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:05

A good time to get back to the beginning

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I’ve put my keyboard-soft finger on what is probably the most common flaw of the human species: the unnerving tendency…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:53

Staring down a blank computer on deadline

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It happens to writers much better than me. I know this, because I need only to open a book and…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:41

The story of the Christmas tree and the wife

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Another Christmas tragedy appeared on the horizon with the arrival of our Christmas tree. I have often thought the holiday…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:22

Gingrich’s rise a sad indictment on GOP field

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For Newt Gingrich to have floated to the top of the Republican presidential slough tells what a dismal swamp it…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:02

Backhanded compliments all a part of turning 50

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When I turned 50 last week, I did not feel any older and certainly no wiser, but I did realize…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:02

Could we bring Shangri-La back to the mountains?

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One fall when I was 9 years old, just about the time WWII ended, the Jackson County Elementary School was…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:30

No more important time than now to keep it local

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There’s more than just a little irony the official Small Business Saturday promotion that encourages people to spend their money…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:50

Awful timing for Duke’s rate hike request

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I don’t know Duke Energy CEO James Rogers and don’t have anything against him. But it’s not very hard not…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:34

Once you cross the line, there’s no going back

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I followed the Janet Moore controversy from the beginning to its conclusion, which was all of three days. The former…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:25

Tricks, not literature, impress 6-year-olds

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By all accounts, my wife’s trip to Riverbend Elementary School to talk to Mrs. Gidcumb’s first-grade class about her career…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 12:55

Optimism in the public sphere is always refreshing

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The Occupy Wall Street movement is leaderless, somewhat vague and lacking vision. Still, people are joining in growing numbers around…
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 13:59

Pope is pulling the strings in state politics

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The news media in this country is abuzz with talk about North Carolina. Unfortunately, it’s not flattering. What they’re saying…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:30

It is time to move beyond gay marriage debate

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When will we say, “It is enough”? On Sept. 19, a 14-year-old boy named Jamey Rodemeyer from Buffalo, N.Y., committed…
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 12:47

A witness to the Cherokee renaissance

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has a resilient, independent spirit. When the U.S. government forced the majority of the…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:46

WCU’s future important for entire region

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Once you hit the Haywood County line after heading west on Interstate 40 out of Asheville, Western Carolina University is…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:55

More media is almost always beneficial

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I don’t listen to local radio so much anymore, but the story in last week’s edition about the demise of…
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 13:24

It’s time to approve dealers at Harrah’s casino

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Been to the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino? Even if you don’t gamble, I’d encourage a walk through. My bet is you’d…
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 12:39

The wheels of justice got stuck in the mud

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I’ve loved rock and roll music all of my life. When I was a teenager, I listened to Fleetwood Mac…
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 12:15

Park proposals add insult to injury

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I recently wrote in the Swain County newspaper about a singularly misguided proposal by Great Smoky Mountains National Park leadership…
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 13:25

Leading by example creates lasting legacies

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Many people who lead exceptional lives never break an arm trying to pat themselves on their own back. They just…
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 13:16

Life seems so good that nostalgia sets in

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“It’s like floating on a cloud,” that’s what the man in the booth said about his nifty adjustable hammocks. We…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:59

Wake up America, the world is watching

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From the hotel window in Durban, South Africa, I can see the Indian Ocean. Freighters line the horizon like parapets…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:02

Heat wave makes for a long, slow bake at the beach

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EDISTO, S.C. — If you’re going to roast in a record-breaking heat wave anyway, you might as well do it…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:10

Leave politics at the door and enjoy Folkmoot USA

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I’ve been volunteering with the Folkmoot USA International Dance Festival for about 15 years. It’s one of the most culturally…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:15

Proposed 11th District rips out the center of WNC

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Redistricting is always political, and voters on both sides have to accept that. The party with a majority will get…
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:44

It is time for shared responsibility and sacrifice

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Today, in Macon County and throughout America, debate is under way regarding two basic principles:  (1) the size, shape and…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:51

What does Harvard know about milk, anyway?

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You’ve probably seen the ads. Some famous face sports a white “milk mustache” and encourages you to drink more milk.…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 13:09

Summer in the mountains: baptisms and clotheslines

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“Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows, we shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheets.” — (slight adaptation from…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:42

Expecting little, what we get is even less

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Groucho Marx once said, “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have someone like me…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:59

Appreciating good stories, civic engagement

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A week before this week’s dedication of the new Jackson County Library complex, this newspaper’s 12th birthday passed almost unnoticed…
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 19:39

Six pints of Guinness and a glass of milk

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What do Barack Obama and my son have in common? They both visited Ireland in May. Obama, though, was proud…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:37

SCC road gets mired in questions about motives

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A planned new access road that will provide an exit and entrance into Southwestern Community College in Webster should not…
North Carolina is facing a budget crisis. I get that. What I don’t get is the proposed slashing of so…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:36

Classrooms, like the rest of us, forced to make do

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For both teachers in the classroom and local administrators, this is shaping up to be the most challenging budget year…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:52

Downtown Sylva deserves the support of the town board

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We’ve written before about how important the downtown business districts in our mountain towns are to their communities, but it…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:04

I know the game is rigged, but I’m still all in

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The crane games are beautiful beasts, shiny and brightly lit, with a glass belly full of forlorn and lonely stuffed…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:28

Recession makes McCoy Bridge rehab an even better idea

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Governments at all levels and all across the nation are broke. At every county courthouse and state house, money taken…
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 19:23

Finding a creative way out of the real estate dilemma

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By Mark Jamison • Guest Columnist A fellow once asked me, about a car I was selling, “What’s the least…
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 19:35

For better or worse, for normal or weird

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One of the advantages of getting older is that you learn a few things if you pay attention. For example,…
By Linda Seested-Stanford • Guest columnist In last week’s Smoky Mountain News, coverage of the reorganization of Western Carolina University’s…
The Jan. 10 death of 15-month-old Aubrey Kina Marie Littlejohn was an unspeakable tragedy, one compounded by the questions surrounding…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:20

Make open government a part of constitution

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In this country, the people own the government. It’s ours. End of debate. That’s something we can all be thankful…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:02

What happened to all the big, sweeping ideas?

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Growing up, I knew America was the country of grand ideas carried out from the moral high ground. We could…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:51

Neighbor leaves a legacy of kindness

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It was not my best day. I had just got home with the kids, who seemed a little grumpy because…
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 20:47

Budgets and politics clashing across the land

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Politics and state budgets aren’t usually that interesting, but this year that’s not the case. Ideologies are clashing as lawmakers…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:37

Just look around, and cultural pursuits abound

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After high school, I moved downstate to attend music school. I lived for a number of years in Greensboro and…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 20:36

Turn down the global warming, I’m freezing

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By George Ivey • Guest Columnist Many years ago on Capitol Hill, a politician said to me, “George, as you…