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I’ve always loved school. Consequently, I detest what the General Assembly is doing to education. As a kid, I knew…
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 13:24

New voting law doesn’t pass the smell test

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The photo ID requirements included in the new voting law passed by the General Assembly and recently signed by Gov.…
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 13:26

You can’t take a ‘pig in a poke’ to the bank

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It’s difficult for me to believe that the new leadership in Raleigh would purposely sacrifice development in the state’s rural…
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00

Saving specialty license plates great for WNC

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The General Assembly’s renewal of the specialty license plates for North Carolina drivers surprised many only because it seemed such…
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 13:35

Being in the right place at the right time

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Ever know you are in a good place at the right time? Every now and then that sentiment — about…
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 13:40

N.C. should take politics out of redistricting

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By Martin Dyckman Blackbeard, North Carolina's most famous pirate, was a fitting precursor to the modern brigands at Raleigh. As…
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:30

Legislature leading us down to new depths

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“Thank you sir, may I have another.” The line by Kevin Bacon from the now-classic film “Animal House” kept popping…
I’m not sure it represents a new philosophy or perhaps is just an acknowledgement of reality, but the decision by…
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 01:42

A great country needs a wise immigration policy

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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist In a previous letter, I described how devastating to human beings our current immigration system…
The Lake Junaluska Assembly is marking its 100th anniversary this year, and a plethora of activities will take place at…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:33

At 14, we’re no longer a baby in the business

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There’s just not much exciting about turning 14, but that’s what The Smoky Mountain News turned a couple of weeks…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Even in tight times, libraries deserve priority funding

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By Doug Woodward • Guest Columnist What entity in our community serves the needs of every one of our citizens, whether…
It was a great day for a picnic … or a baseball game. The sun hung there above the horizon…
Alice Aumen, one of the owners of Cataloochee Ranch and a longtime tourism booster in Haywood County and Western North…
Haywood County commissioners drew a line in the sand. The Haywood County School Board decided not to cross it. In…
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 13:38

This time I’m sure of it; at least I think so

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When I sat down to write a piece for this week’s paper my topic was already chosen. I was going…
The “fractured public square” refers to the loss of the place where a community discusses ideas, politics and values. The…
The defeat of gun control legislation in the Senate wasn’t as much surprising as it was disappointing. This is one…
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 01:05

I will miss my conversations with Roger Ebert

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I cannot credit film critic Roger Ebert, who died just a couple of weeks ago after a lengthy battle with…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:24

Legislators should support Haywood room tax hike

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The room tax hike being sought by Haywood leaders needs to pass and deserves the support of the legislative delegation…
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 12:36

Prescription drug industry needs to be reined in

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What’s deadlier than a crazed maniac in a kindergarten class with a loaded assault weapon? In the most horrifying massacre…
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 19:31

Taking it easy on the obnoxious street preacher

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Cigar smoke swirled around my face as the eardrum splitting street preacher invaded the festive mood of the thousands meandering…
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 13:38

Investing in the region’s creative minds

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When the city of Asheville decided that this year’s Bele Chere street festival would be the last it funded, little…
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 13:37

My journey to the center of the Earth, and back

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By Stephanie Wampler • Columnist Our Saturday morning cave adventure started out innocently enough. We would need flashlights. Check. I had…
“The pen is mightier than the sword.” For years I had ascribed those words to Thomas Paine, the fiery British-American…
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 15:21

Making tourism sustainable as economic development

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By Ken Stahl • Guest Columnist There appears to be controversy concerning the proposed 2 percent occupancy tax increase. This…
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 00:00

Increasing Medicare coverage could lower healthcare costs

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist The United States spends twice as much on health care as most other modern…
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 14:20

By chance, by sea, bye bye

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By John Beckman • Columnist Thirty-five years ago, I moved into my first dorm room and this small-town lad had…
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 13:34

This diplomacy stuff just isn’t that hard

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By Stephanie Wampler • Guest Columnist Well, it seems that John Kerry is our new secretary of state, ready to…
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 15:09

Majoring in philosophy? More power to you

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Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is trying to temper disparaging remarks he made early last week about the value of a…
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 14:09

More than ever, schools need forest service money

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By Brent Martin • Guest Columnist When the 1911 Weeks Act was passed, allowing the federal government to purchase land…
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 14:18

State GOP leaders’ tax plan would benefit wealthy

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist A 1996 New Yorker cartoon — poking fun at Steve Forbes’s presidential campaign plank…
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00

Something strange is haunting our dreams

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The teenage cashier at the grocery store is conversing with a customer. “That’s right,” she says. “The only thing that…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

Our state's priorities have gone askew

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The swearing in of new Gov. Pat McCrory this past weekend brought to mind a conversation at a recent holiday…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 03:41

Doesn’t that just melt your face off?

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It all started with a simple book fair at the middle school. My daughter, inspired perhaps by viewing the trailer…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:02

Strong gun laws require strong politicians

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Had Al-Qaeda carried out the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Congress would be…
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:00

Investment in mental health might provide some answers

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By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist After the killing of 26 children and adults by a young man using a…
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:21

Taking advantage of our unique attributes

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The recently announced plans for a Blueways Trail focusing on the recreational uses of Western North Carolina’s waterways is one…
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 13:59

A small but important investment in public transit

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It may seem a relatively unimportant issue, but in truth it is very symbolic because it recognizes a reality that…
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 00:00

When the cat’s away, the boys will play

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We had been dreading it all week, and now, as we stood there on a brisk Friday morning waiting on…
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 15:03

Cullowhee presents a great opportunity

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We have many vibrant, attractive commercial districts in the mountains, some very small and some large and sprawling. I’m talking…
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 00:00

Speaking too loudly sometimes belittles the message

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My father is retired Navy, and I lived on military bases until I was 10. My stepfather is retired Army…
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 00:00

Income disparity much more than a campaign issue

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I’m a late-blooming entrepreneur from a lower middle-class upbringing. My parents came from farming and mill-town childhoods, and they bought…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 01:05

The military bubble will be the next to burst

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Ken Jacobine • Guest Columnist As students of the Austrian School of Economics understand, financial bubbles are caused by central bank…
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 00:00

Support candidates who value early childhood programs

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In the Sept. 19 edition of The Smoky Mountain News, there were some disturbing quotes from some of the local…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:30

Parris lived in the moment, a rare trait indeed

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On any given Saturday morning for the past 20 years, I would roll out of bed, crank up the coffee…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 12:49

HART’s Stage II is a ticket to the future

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I’ve always believed in the adage that success builds success. It’s one of life’s truisms that anyone with eyes wide…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:31

Neither candidate is going to get the job done

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To the Editor: It appears Mitt Romney has committed the unpardonable sin — he told the truth and now must…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:04

A different kind of freedom in the Middle East

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Could you imagine how different it might feel to be an American today if the ideas of individual freedom and…