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Wednesday, 30 January 2013 14:09

More than ever, schools need forest service money

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By Brent Martin • Guest Columnist When the 1911 Weeks Act was passed, allowing the federal government to purchase land…
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 14:18

State GOP leaders’ tax plan would benefit wealthy

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist A 1996 New Yorker cartoon — poking fun at Steve Forbes’s presidential campaign plank…
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00

Something strange is haunting our dreams

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The teenage cashier at the grocery store is conversing with a customer. “That’s right,” she says. “The only thing that…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

Our state's priorities have gone askew

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The swearing in of new Gov. Pat McCrory this past weekend brought to mind a conversation at a recent holiday…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 03:41

Doesn’t that just melt your face off?

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It all started with a simple book fair at the middle school. My daughter, inspired perhaps by viewing the trailer…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:02

Strong gun laws require strong politicians

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Had Al-Qaeda carried out the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Congress would be…
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:00

Investment in mental health might provide some answers

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By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist After the killing of 26 children and adults by a young man using a…
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:21

Taking advantage of our unique attributes

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The recently announced plans for a Blueways Trail focusing on the recreational uses of Western North Carolina’s waterways is one…
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 13:59

A small but important investment in public transit

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It may seem a relatively unimportant issue, but in truth it is very symbolic because it recognizes a reality that…
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 00:00

When the cat’s away, the boys will play

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We had been dreading it all week, and now, as we stood there on a brisk Friday morning waiting on…
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 15:03

Cullowhee presents a great opportunity

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We have many vibrant, attractive commercial districts in the mountains, some very small and some large and sprawling. I’m talking…
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 00:00

Speaking too loudly sometimes belittles the message

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My father is retired Navy, and I lived on military bases until I was 10. My stepfather is retired Army…
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 00:00

Income disparity much more than a campaign issue

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I’m a late-blooming entrepreneur from a lower middle-class upbringing. My parents came from farming and mill-town childhoods, and they bought…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 01:05

The military bubble will be the next to burst

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Ken Jacobine • Guest Columnist As students of the Austrian School of Economics understand, financial bubbles are caused by central bank…
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 00:00

Support candidates who value early childhood programs

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In the Sept. 19 edition of The Smoky Mountain News, there were some disturbing quotes from some of the local…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:30

Parris lived in the moment, a rare trait indeed

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On any given Saturday morning for the past 20 years, I would roll out of bed, crank up the coffee…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 12:49

HART’s Stage II is a ticket to the future

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I’ve always believed in the adage that success builds success. It’s one of life’s truisms that anyone with eyes wide…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:31

Neither candidate is going to get the job done

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To the Editor: It appears Mitt Romney has committed the unpardonable sin — he told the truth and now must…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:04

A different kind of freedom in the Middle East

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Could you imagine how different it might feel to be an American today if the ideas of individual freedom and…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:30

In Democratic convention’s wake, 44 owes 42 – big time

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By Savannah Bell and Don Livingston In his re-election campaign, President Barack Obama cannot count on the support of many…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:43

An open door makes for a great elementary school

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A trusted friend surprised me the other day. At his child’s elementary school, it had been decided parents should not…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:13

Proud to be an American ... sort of

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Since I was old enough to talk, I’ve been told that being an American was something special, something I could…
Even though there’s little room for compromise, I’m going to step into the fray. Haywood County commissioners are trying to…
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 13:05

Hospital affiliation may be best chance for survival

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Count me among those who hope the MedWest affiliation between Haywood, Jackson and Swain hospitals survives. Otherwise, I fear none…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:59

Raymond Fairchild and a vanishing tradition

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By Charles and Cynthia Seeley • Guest Columnists I am a visitor to Maggie Valley. My husband, two friends and…
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:16

Endowment a fitting legacy for Mib and Phil Medford

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When Lori and I moved to Waynesville with our then 2-year-old daughter Megan, we made a conscious choice to build…
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 13:36

Barking dogs problem a symptom of a cultural shift

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By John Beckman • Guest Columnist I’ve read the letters regarding the barking dogs issue and the responses from both…
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:28

GOP leaders push unfunded mandate to counties

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North Carolina’s General Assembly — under the leadership of Republicans for the first time in more than a century— will…
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:20

Can the dream stay alive for another generation?

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“You know, this is really the only thing I know I’ve wanted to do my whole life.” That was my…
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:23

Thanks for the memories, thanks for being there

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I loved Andy Griffith as much as it is possible to love someone you’ve actually never met. In some very…
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 00:00

Reduced energy use is natural part of Euro life

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We were nearing the end of our European summer vacation with three other families from Western North Carolina when we…
 My daughter has arrived at an impossible age — impossible for her, impossible for me, impossible for her mother, impossible…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:41

No good reason for such a colorful plate debate

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State senators from the mountain region — and we’re especially talking about those representing the southwest, Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin,…
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 18:57

Teachers get sympathy from readers, peers

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You never know what subject in a column will incite readers and friends to open up and express their feelings.…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 13:01

End of school year teaches some bad lessons

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Each spring as the school year winds down, I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry. As preparations for end-of-year,…
You’d be hard pressed to name a state-run entity more closely aligned with the region it serves than the Mountain…
“It’s like déjà vu all over again,” quipped the legendary Yogi Berra after watching Yankee greats Mickey Mantle and Roger…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:41

Tell legislators to keep a good thing going

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The specialty license plates that have provided millions of dollars for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue…
Thursday, 03 May 2012 01:25

Voters should defeat bigotry and Amendment One

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If Amendment One is defeated on May 8, North Carolinians will have made the right decision by refusing to support…
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:54

Hospital system wants dialogue with community

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By Steve Heatherly At the April 16 Jackson County Commissioners’ meeting, a physician stated his concerns about the future of…
I was fortunate enough this past weekend to be present when a mother goat gave birth to two babies, and…
I heard a distinctive gobble gobble gobble one recent evening through the open windows and French doors of the cabin…
The revelation was at first surprising and then disappointing. So I’ll take a stab here at shedding some light on…
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:37

Staring over the edge of the political divide

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Question: How does one come to the conclusion that the upcoming General Assembly short session will almost certainly be an…
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 12:11

Squeezing a little basketball into my life of madness

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While I can appreciate that many citizens get caught up in this so-called “March Madness” every year, I no longer…
From written word to silver screen, Western Carolina University's Spring Literary Festival will celebrate its 10th year by featuring two…
Thursday, 15 March 2012 03:40

Celebrating a society built on open government

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We — this country, its leaders and all of us — are imperfect. We're human, and that means we get…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 13:23

The gorilla on the state’s back is getting heavy

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Government at all levels needs to spend money judiciously. It is, after all, our money. I’m not convinced either major…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:47

When it’s all about the writing, I’m all in

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Even after laboring for some two decades at various news publications I can’t say that I ever particularly considered myself…