Displaying items by tag: opinion

Many years from now, Americans are going to look back on the election of the 45th President Donald J. Trump with a mixture of fascination and horror. I think 2016 will be remembered as the year that the Democrats found a way to lose an election that nobody thought they could lose, and the Republicans nominated a man that nobody thought could win, a man who had only one point of intersection with the party — the celebration of centralized wealth.

By Buffy Queen • Guest Columnist

“Sexual violence is a societal issue that requires systemic change. Sexual violence does not occur in a vacuum. It is influenced by our larger social systems, including the workplace.”

(National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Sexual Violence & The Workplace, 2013)

It started with a word. “Sweet!” he exclaimed.

Growing up in Weaverville and living in Waynesville, I’m very comfortable with small town Christmases. I wouldn’t know how to do Christmas in a big city, although I love the thought of trying. Traditions are a big part of anyone’s holiday, but in small-town America where visions of Norman Rockwell permeate the psyche, traditions seem paramount.

“It’s exciting to think about what Haywood County could be. The desire is there.”

— Buddy Melton, fiddler/singer, Balsam Range

It’s inspiring when you come across people who have both a vision and the wherewithal to turn it into reality. It makes me want to climb on board with them and be a part of that success. That’s what I see happening with local bluegrass supergroup Balsam Range and its “Art of Music Festival.”

The day of my stepfather’s celebration of life service was a brisk, sunny Saturday morning, as good a day as any to celebrate life. We got up before daylight, made coffee, put on our nice clothes, packed the car, and hit the road for the three-hour drive up to Sparta, where we would meet the rest of the family before all the people started showing up to hug us or shake our hands as we stood in a long line to greet them.

In a book on the nature of state legislatures, the journalist Frank Trippett coined the term “true constituency” to explain why so many politicians act as badly as they do.

Holidays are all fun and games until death and divorce happen. Then they become an aching headache, if a person lets them. My goal is to ward off that headache by any means possible.

I’ve been throwing around ideas for this column over the past week. Thanksgiving is the obvious choice. It’s impossible to write about this day in the same manner as two or three years ago. I remember writing a column back then titled “Surviving Thanksgiving.” It was a light, humorous piece suggesting activities to entertain kids while the adults cooked, drank wine, watched football and conversed about holiday shopping.

I don’t like following crowds and have a naturally occurring cynicism of trends. That said, there’s one holiday promotional movement that strikes a real chord with me.

I’m talking about the “Small Business Saturday” or “Shop Small Saturday,” whatever name one chooses as a label. It’s this Saturday (Nov. 27), and the concept is to shop at the privately owned businesses in large and small towns across the nation as a way of supporting all they do to help their local communities.

Lightning. It’s a yellow, 20-ounce Vaughn framing hammer with one of the claws broken that I’ve owned for about 34 years. It was purchased brand new at a building supply store in Boone, along with the leather tool belt and speed square that I also still use.

This past Saturday, I spent hours finishing the floor joists on what will eventually be a 20-foot-by-16-foot shed and workshop. This is the workshop I’ve been putting off building for, oh, about 20 years.

The list of allegations is dizzying and depressing. Every day, it seems, there are new reports of predatory behavior by someone famous, maybe someone you have admired. For me, it was Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., both accused of horrendous acts of sexual harassment and/or assault. Both of these men — once beloved and held in the highest regard among lovers of film and television — have confessed and are now suddenly pariahs, having been fired from their various projects and awaiting whatever legal repercussions may obtain.

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The Naturalist's Corner

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