The heart and soul of public education

I got home from work yesterday after running a couple of errands. It was approaching 6 p.m. My wife, a teacher, was scrunched over her computer at our kitchen island, still working, still all in, too busy to even chat. OK. I changed from my work clothes, did a couple yard chores, tinkered around with my motorcycle. At 6:45 I came back and was just closing her laptop as I walked in, finally ready to relax. 

Sitting in the mess can be worth it

I’m not the traditional church-going type. “Christianity” is an antiquated, laden term of which I’m not a fan. My faith is unique, evolving. My God is changing and alive with the times. My Bible is a book of stories, metaphors and poetry. It is not a hard and fast guidepost.

I’ll take growth over stagnation any day

While not a surprise to anyone in Western North Carolina walking around with their eyes open, new Census data released this week confirms that North Carolina and this region are gaining population. Net migration — how many people are moving in versus how many are moving out — was the primary engine of growth for the state, allowing it to pick up a 14th congressional seat. The U.S. population now stands at 331.5 million, and in North Carolina we have grown by 9.5 percent since 2010 to 10.45 million residents today.

My own 1971 history project

My boyfriend and I recently bought a vintage house. It was built in 1971. When the realtor gave us a tour, I furrowed my brow trying to imagine our blended family of seven settling into such an abode. Prior to finding this house, we’d been looking at modern homes with open floor plans, bright and airy kitchens, two-car garages and large closets. 

The benefits of Community Response Teams

By Hannah Minick • Guest Columnist | To say that we are currently living in unprecedented times is an understatement, and it is absolutely true. If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me, it is that we are all connected and what affects one of us affects all of us. As we have learned, the time period we are in requires innovative and collaborative community solutions as we move forward together, through the multitude of issues and challenges we collectively face. I believe it is imperative for our community, Haywood County, to continue to proactively implement evidence-based community interventions.   

Sometimes, the urge to just go is irresistible

They didn’t know where they were going, their only waypoint the “S” on the compass rose.

They were both from Minnesota. For a laugh they could turn on the accent that became the humorous aside of the Coen brothers’ film “Fargo,” with the “yaah” and “geez” and “you betcha.” In their 50s, both had been able to retire early, she a landscape architect and he an Air National Guard pilot.

Corridor K a model for future highway projects 

WaysSouth, a regional nonprofit organization working to protect the unique heritage and environment of the Southern Appalachians by promoting sustainable transportation practices, commends the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the final proposal put forward for the Corridor K highway expansion project.

GOP election tactics threaten our republic

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist | A political party that stakes its future on allowing fewer people to vote does not deserve a future. A democracy that accommodates such a party will not have a future.

That is our nation’s present crisis, 234 years after the Constitutional Convention created a government with no prescribed role for political parties.

Libraries extend beyond four walls

It’s National Library week, and for someone who loves books and was the child of a librarian, this week is special to me.  Aside from two years as a business teacher, my mom spent her entire career in public education as the librarian of Weaverville Primary School. When she retired, she went back and served part-time in the media center of Fairview Elementary.

Compromise on new jail project urged

Bob Clark • Guest Columnist | The request to the Haywood County commissioners from the Sheriff’s Department for $15 million to expand the county jail helped create a great opportunity for the commissioners. That opportunity arose when a significant, broad-based and factual public response was made questioning whether some of that money wouldn’t be better spent to help people stay out of jail as well as out of our clogged court system.

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.