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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:41

No good reason for such a colorful plate debate

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State senators from the mountain region — and we’re especially talking about those representing the southwest, Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin,…
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 18:57

Teachers get sympathy from readers, peers

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You never know what subject in a column will incite readers and friends to open up and express their feelings.…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 13:01

End of school year teaches some bad lessons

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Each spring as the school year winds down, I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry. As preparations for end-of-year,…
You’d be hard pressed to name a state-run entity more closely aligned with the region it serves than the Mountain…
“It’s like déjà vu all over again,” quipped the legendary Yogi Berra after watching Yankee greats Mickey Mantle and Roger…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:41

Tell legislators to keep a good thing going

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The specialty license plates that have provided millions of dollars for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue…
Thursday, 03 May 2012 01:25

Voters should defeat bigotry and Amendment One

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If Amendment One is defeated on May 8, North Carolinians will have made the right decision by refusing to support…
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:54

Hospital system wants dialogue with community

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By Steve Heatherly At the April 16 Jackson County Commissioners’ meeting, a physician stated his concerns about the future of…
I was fortunate enough this past weekend to be present when a mother goat gave birth to two babies, and…
I heard a distinctive gobble gobble gobble one recent evening through the open windows and French doors of the cabin…
The revelation was at first surprising and then disappointing. So I’ll take a stab here at shedding some light on…
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:37

Staring over the edge of the political divide

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Question: How does one come to the conclusion that the upcoming General Assembly short session will almost certainly be an…
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 12:11

Squeezing a little basketball into my life of madness

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While I can appreciate that many citizens get caught up in this so-called “March Madness” every year, I no longer…
From written word to silver screen, Western Carolina University's Spring Literary Festival will celebrate its 10th year by featuring two…
Thursday, 15 March 2012 03:40

Celebrating a society built on open government

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We — this country, its leaders and all of us — are imperfect. We're human, and that means we get…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 13:23

The gorilla on the state’s back is getting heavy

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Government at all levels needs to spend money judiciously. It is, after all, our money. I’m not convinced either major…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:47

When it’s all about the writing, I’m all in

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Even after laboring for some two decades at various news publications I can’t say that I ever particularly considered myself…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:20

My go-to source for a shot of inspiration

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Do you have a muse? At different times in my life that role has been filled by different entities. As…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:34

Shuler’s ‘no’ ends successful run in politics

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No. It’s the biggest word in politics, often setting off a firestorm when delivered at a crucial moment. Gov. Beverly…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:15

Counties don’t need to be in the banking business

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In this country built on capitalism, it’s a constant source of antagonism among politicians and citizens. I’m talking about the…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 01:36

New LTLT an important voice for the region

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Western North Carolina residents will be well served by the merger of the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee and…
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:20

A reminder of the inhumanity that is war

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It was pouring last Wednesday as I drove home, the cold rain  painting the winter landscape a dull grey. Standing…
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:32

Vote on NCAE dues like a slap in the face to teachers

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When the state House voted to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto and stop letting teachers use payroll deductions to pay…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:05

A good time to get back to the beginning

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I’ve put my keyboard-soft finger on what is probably the most common flaw of the human species: the unnerving tendency…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:53

Staring down a blank computer on deadline

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It happens to writers much better than me. I know this, because I need only to open a book and…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:41

The story of the Christmas tree and the wife

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Another Christmas tragedy appeared on the horizon with the arrival of our Christmas tree. I have often thought the holiday…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:22

Gingrich’s rise a sad indictment on GOP field

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For Newt Gingrich to have floated to the top of the Republican presidential slough tells what a dismal swamp it…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:02

Backhanded compliments all a part of turning 50

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When I turned 50 last week, I did not feel any older and certainly no wiser, but I did realize…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:02

Could we bring Shangri-La back to the mountains?

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One fall when I was 9 years old, just about the time WWII ended, the Jackson County Elementary School was…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:30

No more important time than now to keep it local

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There’s more than just a little irony the official Small Business Saturday promotion that encourages people to spend their money…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:50

Awful timing for Duke’s rate hike request

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I don’t know Duke Energy CEO James Rogers and don’t have anything against him. But it’s not very hard not…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:34

Once you cross the line, there’s no going back

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I followed the Janet Moore controversy from the beginning to its conclusion, which was all of three days. The former…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:25

Tricks, not literature, impress 6-year-olds

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By all accounts, my wife’s trip to Riverbend Elementary School to talk to Mrs. Gidcumb’s first-grade class about her career…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 12:55

Optimism in the public sphere is always refreshing

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The Occupy Wall Street movement is leaderless, somewhat vague and lacking vision. Still, people are joining in growing numbers around…
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 13:59

Pope is pulling the strings in state politics

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The news media in this country is abuzz with talk about North Carolina. Unfortunately, it’s not flattering. What they’re saying…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:30

It is time to move beyond gay marriage debate

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When will we say, “It is enough”? On Sept. 19, a 14-year-old boy named Jamey Rodemeyer from Buffalo, N.Y., committed…
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 12:47

A witness to the Cherokee renaissance

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has a resilient, independent spirit. When the U.S. government forced the majority of the…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:46

WCU’s future important for entire region

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Once you hit the Haywood County line after heading west on Interstate 40 out of Asheville, Western Carolina University is…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:55

More media is almost always beneficial

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I don’t listen to local radio so much anymore, but the story in last week’s edition about the demise of…
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 13:24

It’s time to approve dealers at Harrah’s casino

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Been to the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino? Even if you don’t gamble, I’d encourage a walk through. My bet is you’d…
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 12:39

The wheels of justice got stuck in the mud

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I’ve loved rock and roll music all of my life. When I was a teenager, I listened to Fleetwood Mac…
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 12:15

Park proposals add insult to injury

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I recently wrote in the Swain County newspaper about a singularly misguided proposal by Great Smoky Mountains National Park leadership…
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 13:25

Leading by example creates lasting legacies

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Many people who lead exceptional lives never break an arm trying to pat themselves on their own back. They just…
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 13:16

Life seems so good that nostalgia sets in

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“It’s like floating on a cloud,” that’s what the man in the booth said about his nifty adjustable hammocks. We…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:59

Wake up America, the world is watching

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From the hotel window in Durban, South Africa, I can see the Indian Ocean. Freighters line the horizon like parapets…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:02

Heat wave makes for a long, slow bake at the beach

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EDISTO, S.C. — If you’re going to roast in a record-breaking heat wave anyway, you might as well do it…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:10

Leave politics at the door and enjoy Folkmoot USA

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I’ve been volunteering with the Folkmoot USA International Dance Festival for about 15 years. It’s one of the most culturally…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:15

Proposed 11th District rips out the center of WNC

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Redistricting is always political, and voters on both sides have to accept that. The party with a majority will get…
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:44

It is time for shared responsibility and sacrifice

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Today, in Macon County and throughout America, debate is under way regarding two basic principles:  (1) the size, shape and…