Community colleges should admit children of all immigrants

Too often debates about immigration veer way off course, inhabiting some netherland of hysteria that is so far from reality it borders on the ridiculous. In the past couple of weeks we in North Carolina have witnessed just such a situation as the decision that community colleges should admit illegal immigrants exploded into newspapers and radio talk shows.

Free press and tribal politics

The decision by Michell Hicks, chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, to do away with a column in The Cherokee One Feather was a mistake.

How do we really support the troops?

This is about war, but only from a distance. When I read about deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan, it mostly seems a world away. On the rare occasion it gets personal, I can’t help but be reminded that war, particularly this war, seems a waste of young lives.

Real estate school for elected leaders

Money and politics. Right now in the mountains, we can add real estate to that equation.

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.

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.

Giving up too much for fear

There’s been a lot of discussion about the attack on the student in the cafeteria of Tuscola High School a few weeks ago where one student beat up another and inflicted some relatively serious injuries. Apparently it wasn’t the guilty party’s first incident. I never have understood those for whom fighting is just something that happens on a semi-regular basis, but then again, there are a lot of personality traits I see in others that I can’t comprehend.

Filling in the blanks ain’t always easy

When my nephew came walking in with a letter from one of our state’s universities, he handled it like something valuable, a precious jewel, perhaps, or a map that would lead him to a world he suspected was out there but had not yet visited.

Overcoming a dysfunctional relationship

Haywood Regional Medical Center, the entire medical community and its volunteer board of directors have some work to do. That is, they do if they want to protect the hospital’s competitive position in this region. Repairing the damage done by the controversy surrounding the firing of the emergency room physician group is vitally important.

Backroom deals should all just go away

In the years I’ve been going to Swain County, David Monteith has emerged as a barometer of sorts. One may disagree with Monteith on a particular issue, but the independent-thinking county commissioner can almost always be counted on to vote with a conscience, a commitment to what he feels is right.

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