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Over the past few months, my 10-year-old son, Jack, has developed an insatiable appetite for all things basketball. We spend…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:04

All information is not created equally

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Google is a wonderful thing, but it sometimes makes things harder for journalists. That’s why a new emphasis on transparency…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:14

The delicious taste of the wait is disappearing

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It must have been 20 years or more since I heard a futurist telling a skeptical crowd the extent to…
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 16:39

Time for universal, free pre-K is long overdue

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“… the long-term benefits of a high-quality pre-K program can be substantial. These include higher high school graduation rates, lower…
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 16:34

For some, facts just don’t matter

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“It is an Internet Age paradox: We have more information than ever before and yet, seem to know less. Indeed,…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 16:07

Too much of a good thing can be dangerous

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I wish those planning to open a new charter school in Haywood County the best. Their intentions are completely honorable.…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:25

Pardon the explanation, but I can’t help myself

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I am living the days I have dreamed of all my life. “One day,” I said, somewhere ages and ages…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:29

Surely there is a solution for noise dispute

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Here’s hoping No Name Sports Pub and the town of Sylva can work out their differences on noise so that…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:08

School boards need to fight the good fight

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The Haywood County School Board narrowly voted (5 to 4, with Chairman Chuck Francis breaking a tie) to contribute money…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Going ‘all in’ on free speech takes backbone

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I watched world leaders with arms linked lead a march of about 1.5 million people in Paris to commemorate the…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:15

Time to break the holiday laws of inertia

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Two miserable characters — the larger one in a terry cloth bathrobe and fleece pajama bottoms, the smaller one in…
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 15:01

The only lesson may be that there is no lesson

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One of my wife’s childhood friends lives near Wilmington. Her daughter, a senior at Appalachian State, died last week in…
We’re all at home, on vacation at last. Ella Fitzgerald is wishing us a swinging Christmas, as she does every…
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 15:45

This is no time to devalue our wild heritage

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By Bill McLarney • Guest Columnist We humans are highly skilled and devilishly clever. We can create ball fields, schools,…
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 15:31

Hard to believe that it has been 14 years

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I am in my office between classes, eating egg drop soup out of a little plastic container with a white…
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 16:51

The meaningful moments that make memories

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Moments, mostly the ones unplanned, are the stuff of important and lasting life memories.  We had a great Thanksgiving day…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:56

Sorry, I don’t buy meat out of the back of a truck

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I cannot take a nap, at least not on purpose. Whenever I try, I twist and turn as if my…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:20

Obama poised to give the GOP the finger

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Just as President Obama seems poised to sign an executive order preventing the deportation of up to 5 million illegal…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:04

Trade you an itchy shirt for a little shiver

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We called it “in-between weather,” too warm for a coat, too chilly for short sleeves. Back then, just about every…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:37

Give Cullowhee a chance to fulfill potential

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Cullowhee rising. Sounds like a fitting name for some aspiring college band, but it best describes what’s happening at Western…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 15:23

‘Remember, the flying itself is the thing’

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It is a fine day for a cookout, this Father’s Day. It is hot enough that most of the younger…
Getting an education is about reducing ignorance. Whether it’s in a rural second-grade classroom or at one of this nation’s…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 13:59

I’ve had enough of Donnie Earl Dipstick at 5 a.m.!

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Though I will wear one sometimes as a “fashion statement,” on most days I do not wear a watch. I…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:16

Celebrate community, support local (newspapers)

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When National Newspaper Week (Oct. 5-11) was started 74 years ago, there wasn’t much competition for newspapers. If you didn’t…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 15:35

Burning the couch and chair, now that’s practical

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Tammy is out in the yard burning the couch. There is no telling where this will end. All by herself,…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:44

Webster wants to keep post office open

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To the Editor: The letter from Mark Jamison of Webster that’s published in your most recent edition (“What does Webster…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:14

There’s cool ... and then there’s Glenda cool

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Her name was Glenda. She was a senior and one of the more popular girls in school, a volleyball star…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 19:57

Beer town bragging rights go west of Asheville

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I heard about this story from the Facebook crowd, so I imagine some of you have already read it. There…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:27

The chronic complainers will never change

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Some people complain all the time, about everything. They complain about the weather, the price of gasoline, their neglectful friends,…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:22

When should government help private industry?

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“Government’s job is NOT to fund private industry!” “Shouldn’t the mill pay to keep themselves up to par as far…
The reason that the death of Robin Williams seemed so particularly shocking, so cruel, even so personal, very nearly like…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:49

Is torture an aberration or a trend?

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Based on actual events, the movie “The Railway Man” tells the story of how British…
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 13:21

Visions of a kitten color this beach trip

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EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. – My daughter has ordered an elaborate omelet, with spinach and cheese and who knows what else,…
Most anyone who has worked for a living, volunteered, or held elected office has stood at the edge of the…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 14:04

Man of action and education proves popular

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There are movies that I simply cannot turn off once I stumble into them when I am switching channels, which…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 03:25

Changing mind now won’t undo the damage

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“Absolutely ridiculous.” Those are the words of Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, to describe the actions of Rep. Michelle Presnell,…
By Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist Although Kansas is among the reddest of red states, its Republican governor, Sam Brownback,…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:56

All that talk of the tourists? True that

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True story. My wife Lori and I were enjoying a delicious, refreshing IPA at the Wedge Brewery on Sunday afternoon,…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:40

Remind leaders that we are tired of political games

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By Kathy Ross • Guest Columnist In the last few weeks, I’ve been stuck between speaking my mind and doing what…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:39

If war is not the answer, then what is?

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist A group calling ourselves “Neighbors for Peace” have been holding a peace vigil in front…
By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Occasions such as Memorial Day and the D-Day anniversary remind us of the fallen…
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:58

Suddenly dad is interesting — as artifacts go

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The kids and I are in this strange new bonding phase of our relationship. For years, they displayed not the…
The rapid pace of change these days often leaves many of us feeling helpless in its wake. Things change, then…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:53

County leaders need to help public education

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For school systems in relatively poor, rural areas where resources are scarce and student achievement is low, there’s no magic…
I think Jack Debnam was wise to delay action on the rewrite of the Jackson County steep slope rules until…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Making adjustments for mom’s new job

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Friday afternoon on the deck. The kids are home from school, and the three of us are enjoying another beautiful…
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:46

Cheerios are clean, but what about other foods?

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Good news! General Mills has recently announced that — in response to consumer pressure —…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:54

Emergency management plan helps when disaster hits

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By Mark Swanger • Guest Columnist Regardless of their magnitude, all disasters — natural or man-made — are local events and…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:54

Enough of the labels, I’ve got band practice

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Words sometimes change meaning. It may take a few years, but it happens, and it especially happens in politics. A…