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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…
“The pen is mightier than the sword.” For years I had ascribed those words to Thomas Paine, the fiery British-American…
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 15:21

Making tourism sustainable as economic development

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By Ken Stahl • Guest Columnist There appears to be controversy concerning the proposed 2 percent occupancy tax increase. This…
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 00:00

Increasing Medicare coverage could lower healthcare costs

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist The United States spends twice as much on health care as most other modern…
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 14:20

By chance, by sea, bye bye

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By John Beckman • Columnist Thirty-five years ago, I moved into my first dorm room and this small-town lad had…
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 13:34

This diplomacy stuff just isn’t that hard

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By Stephanie Wampler • Guest Columnist Well, it seems that John Kerry is our new secretary of state, ready to…
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 15:09

Majoring in philosophy? More power to you

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Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is trying to temper disparaging remarks he made early last week about the value of a…
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…