If not wind, then what?
 

If not wind, then what?

To the Editor: Well, I am at a disadvantage in this discussion on wind energy development in North Carolina. My…
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Funding cut for after school program is a mistake
 

Funding cut for after school program is a mistake

“I can see test scores going down and higher dropout rates in high school,” he said. “These kids are struggling.…
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Jackson County’s mosaic is still being painted
 

Jackson County’s mosaic is still being painted

Although I sometimes wish that the maps of my Jackson County had a more beguiling shape — perhaps a bear…
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The pains of summer vacation
 

The pains of summer vacation

There, swirling miserably in the bottom of my morning coffee mug, are the dregs of summer. I had such plans…
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Workers will come if we create jobs, great lifestyle
 

Workers will come if we create jobs, great lifestyle

When Macon County economic development officials met last week and decided the aging workforce was among the county’s most pressing…
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A few moments – and 10 days – to celebrate cultural understanding
 

A few moments – and 10 days – to celebrate cultural understanding

The end of this year’s Folkmoot USA, some of the acquaintances I made during the festival, and my own ongoing…
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Waynesville’s South Main presents a vexing problem
 

Waynesville’s South Main presents a vexing problem

Sounds like Waynesville’s leaders heard just what they expected last week regarding South Main Street — many people feel many…
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Can Duke supporters sleep at night?
 

Can Duke supporters sleep at night?

By Carl Iobst • Guest Columnist Over the past few weeks several individuals and one media outlet have provided Jackson…
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Jackson Paper proud of its successes
 

Jackson Paper proud of its successes

By Tim Campbell • Guest Columnist Jackson Paper Manufacturing Company has been a proud part of Sylva and Jackson County…
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A door opens and the light shines for Irene
 

A door opens and the light shines for Irene

Irene has been in this country for only four years. When she came, she could not speak a word of…
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Cherokee could do better regulating bear zoos
 

Cherokee could do better regulating bear zoos

“Cherokee has so much to offer, such as its beautiful mountains, museums, cultural and historical exhibits, Native American shops, friendly…
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Sanford affair is either high school drama or Greek tragedy
 

Sanford affair is either high school drama or Greek tragedy

There is only so much you can do to help a child recover from a broken heart, especially the first…
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Ode to the Sylva Coffee Shop
 

Ode to the Sylva Coffee Shop

Most small southern towns have a place like The Coffee Shop in Sylva — a cafe that has become a…
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Lawmakers veer way off path
 

Lawmakers veer way off path

By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist North Carolina Legislators have declared war on tube roses. Tube roses are little roses…
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No we aren’t becoming socialists
 

No we aren’t becoming socialists

Don’t you just love how words and labels take on a life of their own in the ideological debate that…
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Education cuts deal harsh blow to public schools
 

Education cuts deal harsh blow to public schools

By John Sanderson • Guest Columnist It was great to learn recently about the effort the Haywood County Schools Foundation…
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Doing the public’s business in the open
 

Doing the public’s business in the open

By Avram Friedman Receiving public input is not a discretionary part of the decision-making process for elected public officials in…
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Save the kids – and me – from the madness
 

Save the kids – and me – from the madness

When people say that Jim Carrey can’t act and that his movies are terrible, I always point to “The Truman…
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Time to go all in at Harrah’s
 

Time to go all in at Harrah’s

It’s time for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino to offer alcohol to patrons, especially since the Tribe is counting on receipts from…
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You can’t stash true wealth in a bank
 

You can’t stash true wealth in a bank

By John Beckman • Guest Columnist The concept of wealth has been sideswiped over the last few decades. It seems…
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A funeral story of necessity and pragmatism
 

A funeral story of necessity and pragmatism

By Dawn Gilchrist-Young This is an Appalachian story because it is about resourceful people taking care of their own with…
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The many rewards of home improvement
 

The many rewards of home improvement

Lately, the days whiz by faster than usual. Now that we have finally decided to put our house up for…
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The new frugality is an old idea
 

The new frugality is an old idea

There’s talk all over about America’s newfound love affair with frugality. What Time magazine has dubbed the Great Recession is…
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Miss California takes on gay marriage
 

Miss California takes on gay marriage

I cannot remember the last time I watched a minute of a beauty pageant. I never had much of an…
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Paying homage to the early park supporters
 

Paying homage to the early park supporters

“When I first came into the Smokies the whole region was one of superb primeval forest. My sylvan studio spread…
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Perdue’s no-show was a missed opportunity
 

Perdue’s no-show was a missed opportunity

“Gov. Beverly Perdue probably didn’t set out to give Western North Carolina a slap in the face Wednesday. “But we…
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Fighting the fear that comes at night
 

Fighting the fear that comes at night

I don’t really know when nightmares begin. I guess it is possible that babies have nightmares, shaken awake in the…
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Green Initiative a great fit for Haywood County
 

Green Initiative a great fit for Haywood County

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce’s Green Initiative is one of those projects that is good on many different levels,…
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Nuisance debate both crass and credible
 

Nuisance debate both crass and credible

Every now and then a government proposal takes on such a vigorous life of its own that its intent gets…
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Get ready for life in the fast lane
 

Get ready for life in the fast lane

It seems impossible that my niece is going to have a baby. She is 20 years old, which is about…
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Shuler proving his independence
 

Shuler proving his independence

Openly conservative Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, is blazing his own path in Congress. That characteristic is easy to admire,…
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Pondering the future of newspapers
 

Pondering the future of newspapers

Much as I dislike posing the question, here it is: can you imagine a future without newspapers? Would it be…
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Mountain beauty is an asset we all own
 

Mountain beauty is an asset we all own

To the Editor: We appreciate The Smoky Mountain News coverage on the steep slope issues in Macon County and would…
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Peace Jam provides unique opportunity for students
 

Peace Jam provides unique opportunity for students

By Linda McFarland • Guest Columnist Imagine you are an eighth-grade student intent on learning all you can about social…
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Around here, March madness is a religion
 

Around here, March madness is a religion

March Madness is upon us, and if you or anyone in your house has ever played basketball or perhaps even…
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Water task force gives a glimpse of the future
 

Water task force gives a glimpse of the future

Sometimes what at first seems utterly ridiculous turns out to be a foreshadowing. It’s happening with water use in this…
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Landslide highlights, once again, need for new laws
 

Landslide highlights, once again, need for new laws

Another landslide occurred a little over a week ago, this one leaving a home teetering on the edge of a…
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A tax break for one business is not a plan
 

A tax break for one business is not a plan

Before Haywood County commissioners approve a request to cut property taxes on a business that plans to build an $8…
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A community can provide real help to those in need
 

A community can provide real help to those in need

By Marsha Crites • Guest Columnist It occurred to me as I was hiking up my mountain today that one…
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Mr. February, me and my wife make happy
 

Mr. February, me and my wife make happy

I love dogs. Except during that period in my life when I lived in a seemingly endless series of shoebox…
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Flood Relief Funds: What really happened
 

Flood Relief Funds: What really happened

By Denise A. Mathis • Guest Column One of the most publicized criminal cases in Haywood County history centered around…
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Tough year for HRMC teaches hard lessons
 

Tough year for HRMC teaches hard lessons

It’s a cultural tradition in nearly every society, the firm belief that people and institutions become stronger once they’ve been…
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Jackson library deserving of community support
 

Jackson library deserving of community support

Deduction would tell us that in the information age libraries would be accorded great respect, but somehow that isn’t universally…
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For young illegals, a coming-of-age quandary
 

For young illegals, a coming-of-age quandary

Irene is not just a good student. She is one of the very best at her school, near the top…
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Free clinic plugs mental health holes
 

Free clinic plugs mental health holes

By Marth Teater • Guest Columnist The Good Samaritan Clinic of Haywood County has served the medical needs of our…
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A ray of hope in the mental health crisis
 

A ray of hope in the mental health crisis

When it comes to caring for the mentally ill in North Carolina, there’s been very little good news over the…
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A call to action for the Southern Appalachians
 

A call to action for the Southern Appalachians

By Brent Martin • Guest Columnist In an article in Blue Ridge Country magazine, author and professor Steve Nash provided…
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Closed session minutes an opportunity for openness
 

Closed session minutes an opportunity for openness

What a great way to earn public trust: a public body decides that minutes from closed sessions no longer need…
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For Terry, the world was too much
 

For Terry, the world was too much

“Unique” is a word much abused as a descriptor for human beings. I have heard many, many people described as…
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Dillsboro dam is simply worth preserving
 

Dillsboro dam is simply worth preserving

By Anna Fariello • Guest Columnist OK, so I have to admit that part of the appeal of the Dillsboro/Duke…
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