Drive-thru decision-making is maddening

Let me say this first. This is not really a column about restaurants. The last time I wrote a column about restaurants, I suggested that Pizza Hut bring those poor young ladies holding signs on the curb out of the blazing afternoon sun and let them work inside in air conditioning. Two days after that column appeared, we saw one of those same young ladies holding a sign that read, “Chris Cox, We Love Our Job!”

In the heat of summer, it’s every tomato for itself

By Stephanie Wampler

With a long flash of silver, the golf club revolved in a wide, smooth arc. The glinting club head cut through the air. Splat! It crashed against the tiny tomato and there was an explosion of juice and seeds. The lifeless remnant of the little fruit spun through the air and deep into the woods. It was gone.

It’s all over but the texting

By David Curtis

The 21st Century arrived at the Curtis residence this past Friday.

We have evolved from caveman, cavewoman and cave children into the cellular age. Yes, our foreheads no longer slant and we can now stand erect while we call and text all of our friends and family, who will be now be known as our “contacts.”

DOT needs to hit the brakes on Southern Loop

There’s one fundamental reason the Southern Loop needs more discussion before it is considered a done deal — the simple fact that the citizens whose tax dollars pay for roads should, ultimately, decide the transportation future of the community in which they live. So far, the Southern Loop has not officially been endorsed by the leaders who act as the voice for Jackson County’s citizens. It’s that simple.

What I don’t know about parenting

The central paradox of parenting is that by the time you have it figured out, it’s over. Now that I have written that sentence, I immediately see two flaws in it, regardless of how wise it sounds. First, parenting is never over. Well into my late 30s, my father was still giving me an “allowance” and buying my meals whenever we ate out at restaurants, and my mother still fretted over my lack of sleep. You don’t stop being a parent the day your child turns 18. Second, you never figure it out. Never. You’ll figure out Rubik’s Cube before you have the first clue about parenting. You’ll learn two languages and write a novel first. Learn to play the violin. Run the Boston Marathon. Dance with the stars.

The menagerie grows by one well-trained possum

By David Curtis

I would like to think Haywood County is still considered a rural county. At least to me, sexing a possum is something I can’t really associate with an urban lifestyle.

Preservation is good for the economy; time for all to get on board

Haywood County commissioners have taken a first step forward — albeit a small one — to protect farmland in the mountains, but they and leaders in other counties need to do more. If they don’t, the region’s agriculture traditions is going to just fade away before our eyes.

Time to fix NCLB to better reflect the real world

Congress is likely to re-authorize the No Child Left Behind Act sometime this fall. If that is indeed the case, then we can only hope it makes some significant changes in this flawed bill that will help school systems use their resources to educate children instead of turning out students whose most memorable public school lessons will be a useless ability to ace bubble tests.

Dillsboro Dam important part of Jackson’s heritage, economy

By Susan Leveille

Editor’s note: This letter, which contains some updates, was sent by Susan Leveille to the Maggie Salas, secretary of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in 2004. She asked that we publish it as a guest column.

Dear Secretary Salas:

As a lifelong resident of Jackson County and one who has always lived within a few thousand yards of the Tuckasegee River, I would like to state some concerns with the proposals made by Duke Power as they seek to receive the exclusive license to use this river for monetary profit derived from the production of electric power.

School gets scant attention out in the jungle

By David Curtis

As a teacher in the public school system I have often heard teachers express their frustrations by using the famous middle school axiom, “How do they expect us to train a wild animal if each night we send it back to the jungle?”

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