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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…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:51

What does Harvard know about milk, anyway?

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You’ve probably seen the ads. Some famous face sports a white “milk mustache” and encourages you to drink more milk.…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 13:09

Summer in the mountains: baptisms and clotheslines

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“Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows, we shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheets.” — (slight adaptation from…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:42

Expecting little, what we get is even less

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Groucho Marx once said, “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have someone like me…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:59

Appreciating good stories, civic engagement

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A week before this week’s dedication of the new Jackson County Library complex, this newspaper’s 12th birthday passed almost unnoticed…
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 19:39

Six pints of Guinness and a glass of milk

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What do Barack Obama and my son have in common? They both visited Ireland in May. Obama, though, was proud…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:37

SCC road gets mired in questions about motives

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A planned new access road that will provide an exit and entrance into Southwestern Community College in Webster should not…
North Carolina is facing a budget crisis. I get that. What I don’t get is the proposed slashing of so…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:36

Classrooms, like the rest of us, forced to make do

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For both teachers in the classroom and local administrators, this is shaping up to be the most challenging budget year…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:52

Downtown Sylva deserves the support of the town board

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We’ve written before about how important the downtown business districts in our mountain towns are to their communities, but it…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:04

I know the game is rigged, but I’m still all in

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The crane games are beautiful beasts, shiny and brightly lit, with a glass belly full of forlorn and lonely stuffed…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:28

Recession makes McCoy Bridge rehab an even better idea

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Governments at all levels and all across the nation are broke. At every county courthouse and state house, money taken…
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 19:23

Finding a creative way out of the real estate dilemma

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By Mark Jamison • Guest Columnist A fellow once asked me, about a car I was selling, “What’s the least…
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 19:35

For better or worse, for normal or weird

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One of the advantages of getting older is that you learn a few things if you pay attention. For example,…
By Linda Seested-Stanford • Guest columnist In last week’s Smoky Mountain News, coverage of the reorganization of Western Carolina University’s…
The Jan. 10 death of 15-month-old Aubrey Kina Marie Littlejohn was an unspeakable tragedy, one compounded by the questions surrounding…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:20

Make open government a part of constitution

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In this country, the people own the government. It’s ours. End of debate. That’s something we can all be thankful…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:02

What happened to all the big, sweeping ideas?

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Growing up, I knew America was the country of grand ideas carried out from the moral high ground. We could…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:51

Neighbor leaves a legacy of kindness

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It was not my best day. I had just got home with the kids, who seemed a little grumpy because…
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 20:47

Budgets and politics clashing across the land

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Politics and state budgets aren’t usually that interesting, but this year that’s not the case. Ideologies are clashing as lawmakers…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:37

Just look around, and cultural pursuits abound

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After high school, I moved downstate to attend music school. I lived for a number of years in Greensboro and…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 20:36

Turn down the global warming, I’m freezing

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By George Ivey • Guest Columnist Many years ago on Capitol Hill, a politician said to me, “George, as you…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:57

Vindication for HEP, a little satisfaction here

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This is a very odd business, the telling of the news. It’s even more odd as part of an independent…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 20:46

This epiphany is shiny, new and has all-wheel drive

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My epiphany occurred on a bitter cold Sunday afternoon, the snow having momentarily given way to a stray and fleeting…
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 19:18

A place where two worlds collide head-on

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By Scott Muirhead • Guest ColumnistFrog Level is what remains of the golden age of the railroads, the age when…
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 13:50

Words have a power we often forget

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Just as I was sitting down to write my column on the controversy surrounding a new edition of Mark Twain’s…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:29

Mistake is a reminder to tell it like it is

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“… but a belief in hard work and treating others fairly was ingrained from a very early age in my…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:11

Property values affected election and are a looming problem

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By Mark Jamison • Guest Columnist During the recent election for county commissioner in Jackson County, both sides made reference…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:34

Hagan, Senate wrong on DREAM Act

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Few things are as maddening to me as when politics gets in the way of doing the right thing. That’s…
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 20:38

Jackson’s new leaders have room for improvement

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A bit of a stumble out of the gate can be forgiven among newcomers in any endeavor, but that stumble…
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 20:47

Remembering Terry … and not too fondly

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When I was in the fourth grade, some dirtbag stole my hat. But it wasn’t any old dirtbag, and it…
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 21:31

Shuler is making the most of his opportunities

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I don’t particularly remember U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, from our days growing up in Swain County. He is younger…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:08

Kephart, transplants and the debate over legitimacy

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You can be excused for perhaps having overlooked the recent fireworks, but a minor war has erupted over one of…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:17

Striking a balance between objectivity and truth

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There is an interesting disconnect in how some people perceive my job and how I perceive my job. This was…
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 20:41

All of it – glory, honor, M&Ms – just one hit away

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It was a perfect day for baseball: blue sky, a crisp breeze, the sun still hanging like a pop fly…
It’s Election Day (or very early morning, actually) as I sit to finish this, and the theme of the day…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:15

Thirty years later, partying like it’s 1979

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James looks at me, briefly averts his eyes, then looks at me again, this time with a purpose and a…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:02

Sometimes public comment just muddies the water

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When Haywood county commissioners decided a few weeks ago to adopt new rules guiding public comment at their meetings, some…
I’ve been thinking recently about what makes Sylva so cool. In my view, it has only been in the last…
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 20:07

The truth still matters, even in politics

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Just tell the truth. That’s what we teach our children, it’s what we need from our loved ones, and it’s…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 20:25

Obama’s stumbles open door for conservatives

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By Kirkwood Callahan • Guest Columnist Two years ago, America’s newest political superstar, Barack Obama, walked across campaign stages to…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:27

I go to carnivals, therefore I love my children

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Part of becoming a parent is making peace with the proposition that virtually everyone in the world except you knows…