Nurses deserve support for speaking up

By Michael Rey

I would like to offer some words of support for those Emergency Department Nurses at Haywood Regional Medical Center who were brave enough to contribute to the debate over recent changes there (I am referring to the article that appeared in The Smoky Mountain News on April 24). Even speaking anonymously, they have all put their jobs on the line.

A distant memory of child’s play

By Kathryn Stripling Byer

Soon school will be over for the year. Students will leave their classrooms and bound out into a summer day, feeling free, at least for a little while. But free to do what?

Bush’s obstinance is a rare opportunity

With President Bush’s veto of the Democrats’ bill to set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, the stage is now set for a showdown. Lacking the votes for an override, will the Democrats now roll over and risk losing the momentum they have been building since before the mid-term elections last year, or will they challenge Bush by threatening to cut off further funding for a war that most Americans — according to the polls — no longer support?

Re-thinking transportation is a must

Dark clouds were rolling in on Saturday as I sat in our Sylva office while Western North Carolina’s original environmental festival — Greening Up the Mountains — was in full swing on the streets below. With me were two idealists, people who want to change the way we think about transportation.

West Waynesville roadwork needs to be designed well

Imagine how this scenario could work, if it was a reality: a state Department of Transportation in lockstep with the wishes of the state’s citizenry, an organization that went to great lengths to work with towns, counties and other entities to try to help reduce congestion by managing traffic with an eye toward quality of life instead of simply moving more cars.

No time for sentimentality

By Dawn Gilchrist Young


“ ... and all day I turn over my own best thoughts,

each one as heavy and slow to flow

as a stone in a field full of wet and tossing flowers.”

— Mary Oliver

“Writing keeps me company living here by myself.”

— Zora Walker

What does a woman of 74 do with her spare time when her husband dies and her grown children all have lives of their own?

Media blew it at Virginia Tech

The same popular culture that some have alleged to produce yet another mass murderer wasted no time in trying to explain him to us in the hours and days following the massacre at Virginia Tech last week.

WNC is at the forefront of the green revolution

The expansion announced last week by Smoky Mountain Biofuels and Mountain Energy will help place Western North Carolina at the forefront of a homegrown energy industry that holds great promise for the region and the country.

I know just what you’re thinking ...

Call me a little superstitious, but I defend my right to harbor a few fears. That’s why, after breaking my ankle and wearing a cast for nine weeks, I waited almost eight weeks after the darn thing was off before writing about the experience. The doctor says I’m healed, but the last thing I wanted to do was slip up — literally or figuratively — and find myself back on crutches.

Let’s stop the hypocrisy

Thank goodness for Don Imus.

After 25 years of gutteral lyrics in the name of entertainment, none of which was protested, banned, boycotted or demonstrated against by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, the Imus faux pas has finally brought trash music to a level of national outrage where it should have been long ago.

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