Selling the library out for all the wrong reasons
 

Selling the library out for all the wrong reasons

Back last fall, about the time the Jackson County Library controversy mutated into an issue with all of the appeal…
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An encore for mama
 

An encore for mama

By Joanne Meyer • Guest Columnist A soft, spring breeze wafted through the open window, sending a sheer, cafe curtain…
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Tammy deserved better
 

Tammy deserved better

Mother’s Day was probably not everything Tammy had hoped for. She may have had visions of sleeping in until 9…
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Osteoporosis is real – get tested
 

Osteoporosis is real – get tested

By Darcia Bondurant I would like to think of myself as a healthy, 46-year-old woman. My weight, blood pressure, blood…
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Leadership is all about good ideas
 

Leadership is all about good ideas

Ideas. Those who have them become leaders and gravitate to places where they can implement them. All of the counties…
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Becoming one with the multi-taskers
 

Becoming one with the multi-taskers

By Stephanie Wampler • Guest Columnist Multi-tasking? Not me. Or so I’ve always thought.
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Gas prices, HCC’s needs and Sylva’s liquor dilemma
 

Gas prices, HCC’s needs and Sylva’s liquor dilemma

Around the region and throughout the world, there’s a lot going on right now. My “column ideas” folder runneth over,…
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Reflections on May 2 – what’s really going on?
 

Reflections on May 2 – what’s really going on?

By Lee Shelton Those who stated that Haywood County Commission Chairman Mark Swanger, who lost in last week’s primary election,…
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The past, present and future on Alarka
 

The past, present and future on Alarka

By Dawn Gilchrist-Young (Editor’s note: Writer Dawn Gilchrist-Young is conducting a series of interviews with mountain natives to gauge their reaction…
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The life-long legacy of a few brushmarks
 

The life-long legacy of a few brushmarks

By Lew Garnett Without his ever knowing it, Blaine Richardson was one of my heroes. It was a recent breezy…
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Declare war on incumbents
 

Declare war on incumbents

By Marshall Frank • Columnist Time to send a message to our government leaders. Our democracy is ruled by the…
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Tailgate markets a reminder of something too valuable to lose
 

Tailgate markets a reminder of something too valuable to lose

Every year when the local tailgate farmers markets begin opening, it’s a good time to ponder just what it means…
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Frank may be gone, but not frugality
 

Frank may be gone, but not frugality

Some people say I can be cheap, or at the very least, my priorities are out of whack. They say,…
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Get over the fear and say it: ZONING is GOOD
 

Get over the fear and say it: ZONING is GOOD

Note to all candidates seeking office in Western North Carolina, and all their constituents: repeat these words, over and over…
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Get ready for the backroom abortionists
 

Get ready for the backroom abortionists

Three cheers for crime. If moralists have their way, it will only get worse. How coincidental that within three short…
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Baseball’s scapegoat
 

Baseball’s scapegoat

San Francisco Giant outfielder Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player of this era, and one can make a good…
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Mixed drinks won’t be good for Sylva
 

Mixed drinks won’t be good for Sylva

By Jason Kimenker • Guest Columnist What makes Sylva great? The people of rural Sylva, North Carolina are as unique…
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Taylor tangled in Abramoff’s web
 

Taylor tangled in Abramoff’s web

The recent revelations about Rep. Charles Taylor’s ties to a lobbyist who has confessed to federal bribery charges is a…
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Forging a wise immigration bill
 

Forging a wise immigration bill

Amnesty? In the immigration controversy that is dividing Congress and the nation, this has become the most misused term in…
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Changing budget laws would save taxpayer money
 

Changing budget laws would save taxpayer money

The words still ring in my ears, coming as they did from a teacher who had spent years playing by…
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Lottery funding formula needs to be changed now
 

Lottery funding formula needs to be changed now

It’s past time to keep rehashing the same old arguments about whether having a state lottery is a good idea.…
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Slaves to titillating news and ....
 

Slaves to titillating news and ....

You have already read or heard about the three guys who were arrested for “operating” — yeah, I guess the…
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A public grace worth emulating
 

A public grace worth emulating

By Stephanie Wampler I didn’t know her. I never met her. I haven’t even read that much about her. I…
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Media consolidation just ain’t good
 

Media consolidation just ain’t good

It happened months back, but the request was typical of what we hear everyday in this business: will you do…
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There are many good reasons to get slope ordinances on the books
 

There are many good reasons to get slope ordinances on the books

There’s no more pressing issue in this region than enacting ordinances to control steep slope development. If we snooze on…
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Savoring the coming political season
 

Savoring the coming political season

When the political season cranks up, as it’s about to, this business gets a lot more fun. I’m one of…
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So many reasons to oppose forest sale
 

So many reasons to oppose forest sale

“This is an administration that believes in natural resource exploitation, and hang any future cost to the public owners. This…
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Radical Islam is infiltrating U.S.
 

Radical Islam is infiltrating U.S.

By Marshall Frank “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.” — Ariel…
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We admired Andy but related to Barney
 

We admired Andy but related to Barney

We lost Barney Fife last week. When the news came that Don Knotts had died of pulmonary and respiratory failure…
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Power carries a yoke of responsibility
 

Power carries a yoke of responsibility

By Michael Beadle • Columnist The recent worldwide protests against cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed have given humanity a…
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No loaves, just fish ... sticks
 

No loaves, just fish ... sticks

I pride myself on being a good cook. After 10 years of effort, I have finally mastered homemade cinnamon rolls.…
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Banning tobacco in schools shouldn’t be so difficult
 

Banning tobacco in schools shouldn’t be so difficult

There’s really not much to say except this: why has it taken so long? The Haywood County School Board apparently…
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With Mike gone, train’s call is truly lonesome
 

With Mike gone, train’s call is truly lonesome

Mike and I were not exactly a match made in heaven. In fact, I didn’t think we were much of…
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A thank you for helping hands
 

A thank you for helping hands

Editor’s note: Barbara McCarty worked on a flood task force that allocated more than $800,000 in private donations to victims…
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Open government always a good thing
 

Open government always a good thing

It’s easy for elected leaders to say they support open government. Proving that support is something altogether different and more…
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TDA board on track, confident in director
 

TDA board on track, confident in director

By Dori Pope • Guest columnist I recently had the honor and exciting challenge of being voted the Chair of…
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Time for change at Cherokee’s ‘Unto These Hills’
 

Time for change at Cherokee’s ‘Unto These Hills’

“It’s going to be a bit of a change, but change is not always bad. This is just one little…
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Small towns make for different news
 

Small towns make for different news

I remember the specific moment in my journalism career when I sealed my future as a small-town newspaperman. I was…
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A primer on the right way to use a gun
 

A primer on the right way to use a gun

By Sarah Kucharski On a chilly, rain soaked Sunday morning the last weekend of January I stood under a peaked,…
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Religion and public schools a volatile mix
 

Religion and public schools a volatile mix

When a high school biology teacher in Macon County asked students to compare evolution and creation from a scientific perspective,…
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Customers say restaurant grades matter
 

Customers say restaurant grades matter

Editor’s note: Last week The Smoky Mountain News cover story was about cleanliness at restaurants and what health department inspectors…
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Looking in on the iPod cocoon
 

Looking in on the iPod cocoon

It is now official. I am not young anymore. I guess I should have paid more attention to the signs,…
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The difference between precaution and fear
 

The difference between precaution and fear

By Lee Shelton I found Scott McLeod’s column, “Living in Fear....” , in theJan. 18 issue of the Smoky Mountain…
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The vicarious lives of parents
 

The vicarious lives of parents

I wasn’t very good at sports when I was a kid. I wanted to be good — the star of…
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Celebrating culture and the need for a library
 

Celebrating culture and the need for a library

There are many worthwhile upshots from The Sounds of Jackson County recording project, but two stand out among them: one,…
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There were valid reasons for Horton’s departure
 

There were valid reasons for Horton’s departure

(Editor’s note: Haywood County Manager Jack Horton tendered his resignation to the board of commissioners on Jan. 3. The three…
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Storytime just didn’t work out for me
 

Storytime just didn’t work out for me

By Stephanie Wampler One day last year, I had high hopes for a glorious time at the library. I envisioned…
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Time apparently not right for casino alcohol sales
 

Time apparently not right for casino alcohol sales

The proposal to hold a referendum on whether alcohol could be sold at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino was withdrawn before it…
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Living in fear of ... everything
 

Living in fear of ... everything

It started over a discussion about the merits of that sanitizing gel that is now so often found in restrooms,…
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A long history culminates in one tumultuous day
 

A long history culminates in one tumultuous day

When Haywood County Manager Jack Horton was asked to resign or be fired last week, it was, potentially, a watershed…
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