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

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

Her name was Glenda. She was a senior and one of the more popular girls in school, a volleyball star…
Read More

Comment

Beer town bragging rights go west of Asheville
 

Beer town bragging rights go west of Asheville

I heard about this story from the Facebook crowd, so I imagine some of you have already read it. There…
Read More

Comment

The chronic complainers will never change
 

The chronic complainers will never change

Some people complain all the time, about everything. They complain about the weather, the price of gasoline, their neglectful friends,…
Read More

Comment

When should government help private industry?
 

When should government help private industry?

“Government’s job is NOT to fund private industry!” “Shouldn’t the mill pay to keep themselves up to par as far…
Read More

Comment

Kindness can make difference between ‘waving’ and ‘drowning’
 

Kindness can make difference between ‘waving’ and ‘drowning’

The reason that the death of Robin Williams seemed so particularly shocking, so cruel, even so personal, very nearly like…
Read More

Comment

Is torture an aberration or a trend?
 

Is torture an aberration or a trend?

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Based on actual events, the movie “The Railway Man” tells the story of how British…
Read More

Comment

Visions of a kitten color this beach trip
 

Visions of a kitten color this beach trip

EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. – My daughter has ordered an elaborate omelet, with spinach and cheese and who knows what else,…
Read More

Comment

‘Trust’ is insufficient check on any elected official
 

‘Trust’ is insufficient check on any elected official

Most anyone who has worked for a living, volunteered, or held elected office has stood at the edge of the…
Read More

Comment

Man of action and education proves popular
 

Man of action and education proves popular

There are movies that I simply cannot turn off once I stumble into them when I am switching channels, which…
Read More

Comment

Changing mind now won’t undo the damage
 

Changing mind now won’t undo the damage

“Absolutely ridiculous.” Those are the words of Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, to describe the actions of Rep. Michelle Presnell,…
Read More

Comment

The Tillis-Berger-McCrory axis hoping that N.C. ain’t like Kansas
 

The Tillis-Berger-McCrory axis hoping that N.C. ain’t like Kansas

By Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist Although Kansas is among the reddest of red states, its Republican governor, Sam Brownback,…
Read More

Comment

All that talk of the tourists? True that
 

All that talk of the tourists? True that

True story. My wife Lori and I were enjoying a delicious, refreshing IPA at the Wedge Brewery on Sunday afternoon,…
Read More

Comment

Remind leaders that we are tired of political games
 

Remind leaders that we are tired of political games

By Kathy Ross • Guest Columnist In the last few weeks, I’ve been stuck between speaking my mind and doing what…
Read More

Comment

If war is not the answer, then what is?
 

If war is not the answer, then what is?

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist A group calling ourselves “Neighbors for Peace” have been holding a peace vigil in front…
Read More

Comment

Obstacles to voting and fair elections are intolerable
 

Obstacles to voting and fair elections are intolerable

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Occasions such as Memorial Day and the D-Day anniversary remind us of the fallen…
Read More

Comment

Suddenly dad is interesting — as artifacts go
 

Suddenly dad is interesting — as artifacts go

The kids and I are in this strange new bonding phase of our relationship. For years, they displayed not the…
Read More

Comment

Haywood’s economic path was set early last century
 

Haywood’s economic path was set early last century

The rapid pace of change these days often leaves many of us feeling helpless in its wake. Things change, then…
Read More

Comment

County leaders need to help public education
 

County leaders need to help public education

For school systems in relatively poor, rural areas where resources are scarce and student achievement is low, there’s no magic…
Read More

Comment

Steep slope issue headed for a November showdown
 

Steep slope issue headed for a November showdown

I think Jack Debnam was wise to delay action on the rewrite of the Jackson County steep slope rules until…
Read More

Comment

Making adjustments for mom’s new job
 

Making adjustments for mom’s new job

Friday afternoon on the deck. The kids are home from school, and the three of us are enjoying another beautiful…
Read More

Comment

Cheerios are clean, but what about other foods?
 

Cheerios are clean, but what about other foods?

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Good news! General Mills has recently announced that — in response to consumer pressure —…
Read More

Comment

Emergency management plan helps when disaster hits
 

Emergency management plan helps when disaster hits

By Mark Swanger • Guest Columnist Regardless of their magnitude, all disasters — natural or man-made — are local events and…
Read More

Comment

Enough of the labels, I’ve got band practice
 

Enough of the labels, I’ve got band practice

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

Comment

Support fair trade but beware free trade
 

Support fair trade but beware free trade

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist For some years now I have been promoting fair trade products as a means of…
Read More

Comment

In Rep. Presnell’s view, it’s local leaders be damned
 

In Rep. Presnell’s view, it’s local leaders be damned

Some teacher a long time ago explained to my class of intro to political science undergrads the difference between a…
Read More

Comment

Dealing with those who are just ‘wrong’
 

Dealing with those who are just ‘wrong’

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Recently my wife and I attended the showing of a documentary film on animal rights.…
Read More

Comment

This state’s GOP has violated the Voting Rights Act
 

This state’s GOP has violated the Voting Rights Act

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Even authoritarian regimes like Russia’s pretend to respect the right to vote. The contrast with…
Read More

Comment

Tools to help cope with an uncertain future
 

Tools to help cope with an uncertain future

“The less you know, the more you believe.” – Bono Quality journalism is a powerful force. I’ve been fortunate to…
Read More

Comment

Reasonable people can disagree on development ordinance
 

Reasonable people can disagree on development ordinance

By Clark Lipkin • Guest Columnist I am the vice chairman of the Jackson County Planning Board. I presided over…
Read More

Comment

My family will miss the Shoney’s on the hill
 

My family will miss the Shoney’s on the hill

If someone had told me 30 years ago that someday I’d be sentimental about a Shoney’s restaurant closing down, I…
Read More

Comment

Moral March is not a moment, but a movement
 

Moral March is not a moment, but a movement

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist As I write this, I have just returned from a tiring but exhilarating day participating in the Moral…
Read More

Comment

Vouchers are just bad education policy
 

Vouchers are just bad education policy

The Smoky Mountain News published an excellent analysis of the controversy centered on the current legislation called the “Opportunity Scholarship…
Read More

Comment

Low-wage workers deserve a better deal
 

Low-wage workers deserve a better deal

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Debate is picking up these days on help for the unemployed and low-wage workers. Congress is…
Read More

Comment

Plan for teacher raises a bone of contention
 

Plan for teacher raises a bone of contention

The ramifications of one particularly disturbing directive passed in the last session of the General Assembly is unfolding right now…
Read More

Comment

Views on Israel based on life experiences
 

Views on Israel based on life experiences

Doug Wingeier • Columnist My oh my! Looks like the long arm of Israeli surveillance has reached out to us…
Read More

Comment

Lots of problems with ‘Something Bruin’
 

Lots of problems with ‘Something Bruin’

In numerous newspapers in late November 2013, it was reported that six U.S. Forest Service (USFS) employees from Western North…
Read More

Comment

If the shelf was small, these are the books I’d fill it with
 

If the shelf was small, these are the books I’d fill it with

Each new year brings out the list-makers, pundits and critics who catalogue everything from the year’s best movies, books, and…
Read More

Comment

Christmas ‘peace’ in the land of the Holy One
 

Christmas ‘peace’ in the land of the Holy One

Doug Wingeier • Columnist Some years back I spent the Christmas season in the Land of the Holy One. (It is…
Read More

Comment

Healthcare is people, not logos
 

Healthcare is people, not logos

John Beckman • Columnist The discussions and debates regarding health care on both the local and national levels have been going…
Read More

Comment

The horse ‘network’ warmly welcomes a stranger
 

The horse ‘network’ warmly welcomes a stranger

I was trying to sell myself to my prospective new boss, Scott McLeod. I may not know anyone in the…
Read More

Comment

Righting what’s wrong means making changes
 

Righting what’s wrong means making changes

We are now — officially — barreling into the holidays. Thanksgiving is already a fading, drowsy memory of turkey carcasses…
Read More

Comment

Resilient living on a different planet
 

Resilient living on a different planet

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist In early October we spent two weeks in our 150-year-old log cabin situated on a corner…
Read More

Comment

Once we did it, dancing with the Mouse was well worth it all
 

Once we did it, dancing with the Mouse was well worth it all

We had talked about going to Disney World for so long that it had become an abstraction, so distant and…
Read More

Comment

Community help needed to save education
 

Community help needed to save education

I’ve heard all the speeches and read all the legislative fantasies, and I’m still not satisfied with what I’ve heard…
Read More

Comment

Legislative actions suck life from public schools
 

Legislative actions suck life from public schools

By Dawn Gilchrist-Young • Guest Columnist If I could create for you an apt metaphor for public education, it would…
Read More

Comment

Legislators pass judgement on the poorest among us
 

Legislators pass judgement on the poorest among us

I am writing this in my classroom on a Friday evening in the hours of quiet before the kickoff for…
Read More

Comment

Shutdown ignites strong feelings about public lands
 

Shutdown ignites strong feelings about public lands

By Sarah Kucharski • Columnist The government shutdown went into effect on the first night I arrived in Yosemite National…
Read More

Comment

Give chance a piece, or something like that
 

Give chance a piece, or something like that

By John Beckman • Guest Columnist There’s a lot to be said for making careful plans in our lives, crafting a…
Read More

Comment

Lawmakers in denial about plight of poor
 

Lawmakers in denial about plight of poor

By Dawn Gilchrist-Young Of the 120 or so 12th-graders I teach each year, about two-thirds have jobs outside of school.…
Read More

Comment

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

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

By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist Back in March, my wife and I, together with a couple from Brevard, paid a…
Read More

Comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.