‘You’re OK,’ and more notes from the road

She was 70, or so she said, but looked 15 years younger. She was alone and sipping wine and eating “chips” in the pub at the Ceilidh Inn in Ullapool, Scotland. She was a child of the 60s who spoke of how crazy London had been at that time. Eventually, she had sold her house in the city and relocated to wilds of Scotland. For decades she has been scratching out a living as a painter.

Three education facts you should know

I have strong opinions about education policy in North Carolina and beyond. Maybe you’ve noticed!

A modest proposal to eliminate abortions

I have a modest proposal to solve the abortion dilemma, but first we need to understand the background. 

Being intentional about a life reset

I tend to live on a deeper plane than some, and it’s admittedly an exhausting place to be. I feel the word mindfulness should refer to when the mind is full of every thought and feeling, as opposed to when the mind is free and living in the moment. Nonetheless, my primary goal this summer has been to live more lightly and mindfully, to realize that life is fleeting and finite and that worrying and overthinking is not conducive to a full and joyful existence.

We can overcome WNC’s affordable housing crisis

I am old enough that my first 1,800-square-foot house cost just $31,000 and its purchase was easily financed on my middle class salary of $14,000. Now I live a comfortable retired life in Asheville, having made an inflation-profit each time I sold a house.

Medicaid expansion will save lives, benefit all

North Carolina has one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the country, but our elected officials can cut that number dramatically by expanding Medicaid now. Senate Republicans recently introduced and passed a healthcare bill that includes Medicaid expansion. Now it is on to the N.C. House for action, where we face a bigger hurdle. But make no mistake, now is the time to act.

Election integrity is fundamental to our freedoms

As I was re-reading last week’s issue of The Smoky Mountain News and about the Juneteenth celebrations in the mountains, I started thinking about the upcoming July 4 holiday and of the freedoms Americans take for granted. As a white man I won’t presume to know what Juneteenth means to Black Americans, but there’s little doubt that their experience of being an American is much different from mine. 

New and shiny isn’t always better

In my adult life I’ve noticed an emotional pattern when it comes to appliances. When I have an antiquated appliance, it seems to work well and is a non-issue, but when I have a new, fancy appliance, I often feel annoyed and frustrated. 

Rep. Pless bullies his way over local leaders

“Arrogant.” “Out of control.” “Power hungry.”

I’ve heard all these words — and worse — used to describe Rep. Mark Pless, R-Haywood since he’s filed two bills in the state legislature that would drastically change local politics and municipal powers in Haywood County. 

So what’s the big 
deal about plastics?

The towns of Waynesville and Canton have recently joined hundreds of other communities in declaring a need to dramatically reduce the use of throw-away/single-use plastics.

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