Sept. 11, 2001

September 11 snuck up on me this year. I was listening to public radio this morning when they discussed commemorations happening today at Ground Zero.

All of a sudden it took me back to that Tuesday morning 19 years ago. In my world, the last 20 years of Tuesdays have been press days, the time when all hands are on deck at the newspaper as we try to finish stories, design the paper and send it to the press so it can be delivered on Wednesday mornings.

Pandemic prompts huge absentee ballot request

What’s happening in North Carolina right now with absentee ballot requests is staggering. 

Currently there are around 7.1 million registered voters in North Carolina. Breaking it down, there are 2.55 million Democrats, 2.13 million Republicans, and 2.37 million unaffiliated and a sprinkling of Green, Libertarian and other party affiliations.

If you stay home, just keep quiet

If you don’t vote, then just shut up. You don’t even really deserve the right to be heard. Especially when you consider the treatment many in this country endured before — and after — they earned to right to vote.

Cawthorn’s claims about Davis are ridiculous

Keep electing people who are ideologically too far left or right to reach across the aisle, and we’ll have the same kind of Congress we have today: divided, ineffective, laughable. So despite Madison Cawthorn trying to brand himself as a new face of conservatism, many of his statements since winning the 11th District GOP primary reveal a young man with a narrow, hard-right world view that may make him the darling of a certain segment of his party but will do little to help those in his district or help get Congress moving in a positive direction.

The common thread — we’re Americans

In the streets of Western North Carolina, mostly young protestors calling for an end to structural and sometimes violent racism are being confronted by working-class Americans who think many of those grievances are illegitimate. Statues of Confederates and former slaveholders are toppling, and those that remain will forever be looked upon differently.

Half of 2020 is behind us, thank goodness

I was walking my animal last night at sunset, enjoying the evening views and cool temps, thinking back to the July 4 weekend. Along the way, it hit me that half of 2020 is now in the history books. The verdict is still out as to how this time will be viewed by those who look back, but hell, it sure feels like the world is in a different orbit.

Substance still matters in politics

Haywood County resident Lynda Bennett was beaten badly in the Republican runoff primary for Congress last week against 24-year-old political newcomer Madison Cawthorn. As a reporter and editor who has been involved in the coverage of more than a dozen races for this congressional seat, I was heartened by her loss.

Justice for all? Hopefully, one day in the future

When I saw the video of the mostly young crowd marching Monday night in Waynesville to protest the killing of George Floyd and the systemic, violent racism that still exists in this country, it gave me a jolt. I was proud of those who turned out, but also feared it would turn violent. It didn’t, and it’s these mostly young people who will bring needed changes to this country if those of my generation can just get the hell out of the way. And that this small protest happened in this place in Western North Carolina where people of color are so few made it even more meaningful. 

A powerful need to help those in need

National Emergency Medical Services Week is May 17-23, and in the midst of a global pandemic the timing resonates more this year than at any other moment in recent memory. What these men and women do — whether it be EMTs, those in the medical field, firemen and the police — has never been more essential to helping our society maintain some semblance of normalcy and order. 

What we do to survive, and why

It seems every time I sit down to write these days, it has something to do with journalism and the state of our industry. Forgive me my obsession, but during this time of isolation it’s difficult to concentrate for long on any other topic. I am obsessed — a strong word, I know, but the truth —  with steering our company through this strange, once-in-a-lifetime business disruption.

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