By Doug Wingeier • Columnist For some years now I have been promoting fair trade products as a means of…
Some teacher a long time ago explained to my class of intro to political science undergrads the difference between a…
By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Recently my wife and I attended the showing of a documentary film on animal rights.…
By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Even authoritarian regimes like Russia’s pretend to respect the right to vote. The contrast with…
“The less you know, the more you believe.” – Bono Quality journalism is a powerful force. I’ve been fortunate to…
By Clark Lipkin • Guest Columnist I am the vice chairman of the Jackson County Planning Board. I presided over…
If someone had told me 30 years ago that someday I’d be sentimental about a Shoney’s restaurant closing down, I…
By Doug Wingeier • Columnist As I write this, I have just returned from a tiring but exhilarating day participating in the Moral…
The Smoky Mountain News published an excellent analysis of the controversy centered on the current legislation called the “Opportunity Scholarship…
By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Debate is picking up these days on help for the unemployed and low-wage workers. Congress is…
The ramifications of one particularly disturbing directive passed in the last session of the General Assembly is unfolding right now…
Doug Wingeier • Columnist My oh my! Looks like the long arm of Israeli surveillance has reached out to us…
In numerous newspapers in late November 2013, it was reported that six U.S. Forest Service (USFS) employees from Western North…
Each new year brings out the list-makers, pundits and critics who catalogue everything from the year’s best movies, books, and…
Doug Wingeier • Columnist Some years back I spent the Christmas season in the Land of the Holy One. (It is…
John Beckman • Columnist The discussions and debates regarding health care on both the local and national levels have been going…
I was trying to sell myself to my prospective new boss, Scott McLeod. I may not know anyone in the…
We are now — officially — barreling into the holidays. Thanksgiving is already a fading, drowsy memory of turkey carcasses…
By Doug Wingeier • Columnist In early October we spent two weeks in our 150-year-old log cabin situated on a corner…
We had talked about going to Disney World for so long that it had become an abstraction, so distant and…
I’ve heard all the speeches and read all the legislative fantasies, and I’m still not satisfied with what I’ve heard…
By Dawn Gilchrist-Young • Guest Columnist If I could create for you an apt metaphor for public education, it would…
I am writing this in my classroom on a Friday evening in the hours of quiet before the kickoff for…
By Sarah Kucharski • Columnist The government shutdown went into effect on the first night I arrived in Yosemite National…
By John Beckman • Guest Columnist There’s a lot to be said for making careful plans in our lives, crafting a…
By Dawn Gilchrist-Young Of the 120 or so 12th-graders I teach each year, about two-thirds have jobs outside of school.…
By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist Back in March, my wife and I, together with a couple from Brevard, paid a…
My people are rooted in the South. On both mom’s and dad’s sides of the family, very few have moved…
By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist With all the current media attention being focused on Syria, budget deadlines, Obamacare, and the…
From the very first few days I lived in the mountains — as an 18-year-old freshman at Appalachian State University…
By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist It doesn’t seem to matter which political party a president belongs to: if he…
I’ve always loved school. Consequently, I detest what the General Assembly is doing to education. As a kid, I knew…
The photo ID requirements included in the new voting law passed by the General Assembly and recently signed by Gov.…
It’s difficult for me to believe that the new leadership in Raleigh would purposely sacrifice development in the state’s rural…
The General Assembly’s renewal of the specialty license plates for North Carolina drivers surprised many only because it seemed such…
Ever know you are in a good place at the right time? Every now and then that sentiment — about…
By Martin Dyckman Blackbeard, North Carolina's most famous pirate, was a fitting precursor to the modern brigands at Raleigh. As…
“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…
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…
There’s just not much exciting about turning 14, but that’s what The Smoky Mountain News turned a couple of weeks…
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…
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…
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