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Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:51

My family will miss the Shoney’s on the hill

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If someone had told me 30 years ago that someday I’d be sentimental about a Shoney’s restaurant closing down, I…
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:54

Moral March is not a moment, but a movement

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist As I write this, I have just returned from a tiring but exhilarating day participating in the Moral…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:30

Vouchers are just bad education policy

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The Smoky Mountain News published an excellent analysis of the controversy centered on the current legislation called the “Opportunity Scholarship…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:50

Low-wage workers deserve a better deal

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Debate is picking up these days on help for the unemployed and low-wage workers. Congress is…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:49

Plan for teacher raises a bone of contention

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The ramifications of one particularly disturbing directive passed in the last session of the General Assembly is unfolding right now…
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 14:50

Views on Israel based on life experiences

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Doug Wingeier • Columnist My oh my! Looks like the long arm of Israeli surveillance has reached out to us…
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:48

Lots of problems with ‘Something Bruin’

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In numerous newspapers in late November 2013, it was reported that six U.S. Forest Service (USFS) employees from Western North…
Each new year brings out the list-makers, pundits and critics who catalogue everything from the year’s best movies, books, and…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Christmas ‘peace’ in the land of the Holy One

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Doug Wingeier • Columnist Some years back I spent the Christmas season in the Land of the Holy One. (It is…
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:10

Healthcare is people, not logos

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John Beckman • Columnist The discussions and debates regarding health care on both the local and national levels have been going…
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:54

The horse ‘network’ warmly welcomes a stranger

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I was trying to sell myself to my prospective new boss, Scott McLeod. I may not know anyone in the…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:38

Righting what’s wrong means making changes

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We are now — officially — barreling into the holidays. Thanksgiving is already a fading, drowsy memory of turkey carcasses…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:30

Resilient living on a different planet

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist In early October we spent two weeks in our 150-year-old log cabin situated on a corner…
We had talked about going to Disney World for so long that it had become an abstraction, so distant and…
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 00:00

Community help needed to save education

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I’ve heard all the speeches and read all the legislative fantasies, and I’m still not satisfied with what I’ve heard…
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 02:37

Legislative actions suck life from public schools

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By Dawn Gilchrist-Young • Guest Columnist If I could create for you an apt metaphor for public education, it would…
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 01:53

Legislators pass judgement on the poorest among us

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I am writing this in my classroom on a Friday evening in the hours of quiet before the kickoff for…
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:00

Shutdown ignites strong feelings about public lands

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By Sarah Kucharski • Columnist The government shutdown went into effect on the first night I arrived in Yosemite National…
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:12

Give chance a piece, or something like that

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By John Beckman • Guest Columnist There’s a lot to be said for making careful plans in our lives, crafting a…
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:28

Lawmakers in denial about plight of poor

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By Dawn Gilchrist-Young Of the 120 or so 12th-graders I teach each year, about two-thirds have jobs outside of school.…
Thursday, 03 October 2013 00:45

Meadows should re-think vote on food for poor, elderly

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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist Back in March, my wife and I, together with a couple from Brevard, paid a…
My people are rooted in the South. On both mom’s and dad’s sides of the family, very few have moved…
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:36

Needed: a just, humane immigration policy

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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist With all the current media attention being focused on Syria, budget deadlines, Obamacare, and the…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:23

What a great day in Western North Carolina

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From the very first few days I lived in the mountains — as an 18-year-old freshman at Appalachian State University…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 14:05

War-weary Americans don’t want to get involved in Syria

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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist It doesn’t seem to matter which political party a president belongs to: if he…
I’ve always loved school. Consequently, I detest what the General Assembly is doing to education. As a kid, I knew…
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 13:24

New voting law doesn’t pass the smell test

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The photo ID requirements included in the new voting law passed by the General Assembly and recently signed by Gov.…
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 13:26

You can’t take a ‘pig in a poke’ to the bank

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It’s difficult for me to believe that the new leadership in Raleigh would purposely sacrifice development in the state’s rural…
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00

Saving specialty license plates great for WNC

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The General Assembly’s renewal of the specialty license plates for North Carolina drivers surprised many only because it seemed such…
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 13:35

Being in the right place at the right time

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Ever know you are in a good place at the right time? Every now and then that sentiment — about…
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 13:40

N.C. should take politics out of redistricting

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By Martin Dyckman Blackbeard, North Carolina's most famous pirate, was a fitting precursor to the modern brigands at Raleigh. As…
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:30

Legislature leading us down to new depths

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“Thank you sir, may I have another.” The line by Kevin Bacon from the now-classic film “Animal House” kept popping…
I’m not sure it represents a new philosophy or perhaps is just an acknowledgement of reality, but the decision by…
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 01:42

A great country needs a wise immigration policy

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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist In a previous letter, I described how devastating to human beings our current immigration system…
The Lake Junaluska Assembly is marking its 100th anniversary this year, and a plethora of activities will take place at…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:33

At 14, we’re no longer a baby in the business

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There’s just not much exciting about turning 14, but that’s what The Smoky Mountain News turned a couple of weeks…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Even in tight times, libraries deserve priority funding

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By Doug Woodward • Guest Columnist What entity in our community serves the needs of every one of our citizens, whether…
It was a great day for a picnic … or a baseball game. The sun hung there above the horizon…
Alice Aumen, one of the owners of Cataloochee Ranch and a longtime tourism booster in Haywood County and Western North…
Haywood County commissioners drew a line in the sand. The Haywood County School Board decided not to cross it. In…
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 13:38

This time I’m sure of it; at least I think so

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When I sat down to write a piece for this week’s paper my topic was already chosen. I was going…
The “fractured public square” refers to the loss of the place where a community discusses ideas, politics and values. The…
The defeat of gun control legislation in the Senate wasn’t as much surprising as it was disappointing. This is one…
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 01:05

I will miss my conversations with Roger Ebert

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I cannot credit film critic Roger Ebert, who died just a couple of weeks ago after a lengthy battle with…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:24

Legislators should support Haywood room tax hike

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The room tax hike being sought by Haywood leaders needs to pass and deserves the support of the legislative delegation…
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 12:36

Prescription drug industry needs to be reined in

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What’s deadlier than a crazed maniac in a kindergarten class with a loaded assault weapon? In the most horrifying massacre…
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 19:31

Taking it easy on the obnoxious street preacher

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Cigar smoke swirled around my face as the eardrum splitting street preacher invaded the festive mood of the thousands meandering…
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 13:38

Investing in the region’s creative minds

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When the city of Asheville decided that this year’s Bele Chere street festival would be the last it funded, little…
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 13:37

My journey to the center of the Earth, and back

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By Stephanie Wampler • Columnist Our Saturday morning cave adventure started out innocently enough. We would need flashlights. Check. I had…