A year later, there is still much to be done

Earlier this week, I had started writing a column about the progress made in the year since the flooding from Tropical Storm devastated parts of Haywood County. Then, as I started talking to our writers about the stories they were preparing for this week’s edition — one year after the flood — I could tell they had the recovery efforts well covered. 

Back-to-school season is upon us

In May my boys were counting down the days until school ended; now, they are counting down the days until school begins. It’s intriguing what summer vacation can do to a young mind. 

Let’s have a discussion without hate and anger

As a pediatrician, I spent many years on hospital call in Haywood County and many long hours in the middle of the night trying to keep a newborn alive. So, I do understand and share the passion and concern expressed in the recently published response to my July 6 column in The Mountaineer about political violence and the reproductive rights of American women.  

The importance of streamside vegetation

Some people consider streamside vegetation a nuisance in need of being cut back. However, it serves a valuable purpose. It decreases pollution, erosion and keeps sunlight from reaching the stream.

Do opinions still belong in newspapers?

“Not all opinion pieces have to be complaints or deal with issues. Sometimes it is enough to share old memories or new experiences with others. Sometimes, it is actually better as it brings us together rather than driving us apart.”

— SMN reader

Living in the moment, cleaning the mind

I’m writing this column from Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo in Mexico. We just watched the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea, and now I’m sitting on our balcony listening to the euphony of tropical birds and relishing in a fleeting morning breeze that will soon turn to heavy humid heat. 

Better cops make for better communities

I never did buy in to the “defund the police” movement that swept the country a few years ago. Yes, the spate of police shootings and beatings of innocent people or of people accused of minor crimes revealed serious problems in many law enforcement agencies. Those crimes captured on video ignited an important debate.

Don’t forget Hiroshima Day

At this moment we are all struggling  with many critical issues. The war in Ukraine, the increasing disasters of climate change, inflation and growing gun violence are constantly on our minds. But lurking far out of the public’s acottention is a danger so vast and inconceivable that most people just block it out.

Breaking down walls and sharing some magic

“… I hear Mariachi static on my radio / And the tubes they glow in the dark / And I’m there with her in Ensenada / And I’m here in Echo Park ….” —Warren Zevon, “Carmelita”

Lessons learned from superheroes

In a previous column, I talked of my personal challenge to undergo “The Great Susanna Reset” this summer. One of my goals is to be more playful and to remember the little girl that still lives deep inside my hardened womanly shell. Interestingly, superheroes have become a part of my journey. 

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