So many good things in one place

The socket wrench felt comfortable in my hands, which was a good thing: a quick look in a nearby box revealed dozens of large bolts with washers awaiting the attention of our crew. I’ve always enjoyed tools, working with my hands, building or putting things together.

A new day dawns for downtown Waynesville

It was tough to witness the demise of the Downtown Waynesville Association. The DWA has a long, proud history, one of dedicated volunteers who through hard work and smarts filled empty storefronts and changed Waynesville forever.

Devastation all around, but there is a light

The time stamp on the photo from my iPhone reads 7:29 a.m. It was Wednesday, Aug. 18, a mountain morning full of sunshine and a cool freshness that’s common after rain the day before. Turning onto Wells Road, which connects N.C. 215 and N.C. 110 in Bethel via a bridge across the Pigeon River, I got my first glimpse of the destruction that the river and the rain had wrought the previous night.

The truth is not as simple as it seems

So here’s a reality of the explosion of information that we all live with today: it is now more difficult than ever — not easier — to discern the truth.

The ‘new normal’ just isn’t acceptable

“It’s the new normal.”

It was the husband who had spoken. The couple we had encountered were lean, fit and tanned, obviously spending a lot of time outdoors.

Let’s talk about all the visitors

In the middle of the tourism season, is there any way to politely state the obvious: this region is being overrun by visitors.

Waynesville attorney didn’t deserve firing

The Waynesville town attorney serves at the pleasure of the board. Elected officials can fire or terminate him for any reason they see fit.

Twenty-two years later, some things haven’t changed

Early morning, June 2, 1999. I remember exactly where I was at and what I was doing. More on that later.

Open up the records of public employees

Last July, The Smoky Mountain News produced a series of stories looking into police reform following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and other incidents of violence by law enforcement officers. One of the takeaways from that reporting was that good law enforcement officers are, perhaps, more critical of bad cops than the general public.

The heart and soul of public education

I got home from work yesterday after running a couple of errands. It was approaching 6 p.m. My wife, a teacher, was scrunched over her computer at our kitchen island, still working, still all in, too busy to even chat. OK. I changed from my work clothes, did a couple yard chores, tinkered around with my motorcycle. At 6:45 I came back and was just closing her laptop as I walked in, finally ready to relax. 

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