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Stress inspires a call to the wilderness

In my life, the internal call to the wilderness — to the trees — is my reminder that life has gotten too hectic, too stressful and it’s time to slow down and sooth my soul.For as long as I can remember time in the woods has been essential to my being. Raised by parents who had us out in the wilderness for much of our childhood, I find it only natural to find my grounding outside the confines of the walls in life.

4 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Both camps collaborate on job skills bill

As your Representative, it’s a priority of mine to build relationships across the aisle and find pragmatic solutions to the problems facing our nation. Now — more than ever – our families, our students, our workers and our veterans need real solutions. You deserve solutions to help create jobs, build a healthy economy, provide more opportunity and ensure access to quality health care. I’ve had a busy week in Congress, and we have made good progress to pass bipartisan s...

4 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Report a reminder of misplaced priorities

While folks inside the beltline in Raleigh were parsing every rumor about the budget dance between House and Senate leaders, a new national report provided a stark reminder of just how out of touch the negotiators in the corner rooms of the Legislative Building are with many of the people they represent.The 2014 Kids County Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation released this week ranks North Carolina 34th in the overall well-being of its children and 38th in their economic w...

5 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Welfare should not be hidden in tax code

When liberals debate tax policy, it can be hard to keep track of their current positions. They keep changing.Right now, for example, Democratic politicians and left-wing activists are castigating Republicans in the General Assembly for proposing a reduction or elimination of North Carolina’s tax credit for film and television production. They say that the tax break, with a state fiscal impact of $61 million a year, is critical to luring and retaining businesses that employ th...

5 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Bill forces counties into false choice

Plans to finance both public education and transit at the local level would be stopped in their tracks under the version of legislation (House Bill 1224) that has emerged from the state Senate Finance Committee. The bill not only places a hard cap on the local sales tax rate at 2.5 percent but also only allows counties to levy a sales tax increase for either education or transit — not both. This bill joins a slate of other bills that would restrict local control.

6 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Speech-stifling ordinance grants notable exemption

On June 26, in McCullen v. Coakley, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law requiring pro-life activists to stay outside a 35-foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinics. Although the outcome of this landmark First Amendment ruling was unanimous, the justices were deeply divided in their legal reasoning.

6 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Good fire protection stems from great partnerships

When government increases taxes there is a general push back from citizens. This year the Board of Commissioners voted to increase the fire tax from 2 cents to 5 cents, and the action was greeted with more support than outrage. Unlike most county funded services, fire protection is easy for people to understand. The need is simple — when your property is on fire, the fire departments responds and put it out.Why did the commissioners increase this tax? Why was there no outrage...

6 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

School board should be praised for discussion of system’s needs

To the editor:Our community needs to thank our school board for the time and effort spent in meeting to address our public educational needs. Such clear-eyed, common sense as they show is a much-needed antidote to the heated political churning going on in Raleigh under the guise of “helping our children.”

6 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Where are the charges against owners of sweepstakes cafes?

To the editor:Looking at the paper, I see that Scotland County again has the highest unemployment rate in the state, at 12.7 percent.

7 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Ol’ Charley done found religion

Last week we left Ol’ Charley Perkins as mad as a setting hen ‘cause he thought someone had poisoned his bear. Charley won’t never much of a religious man anyway, no-sir-re. Why he never would go to Sunday school, church or revival meeting. In fact, if’en you didn’t watch him, he’d cheat you blind. He’d go to weigh out a customer a mess of fish, looking them straight in the eye, and I be dog gone if’en Charley wouldn’t have his thumb on th...

7 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Scotland offers plenty of things to do

“There’s nothing to do in Scotland County!”Have you ever heard this? I have and every time I hear it, I really want to scream. There are at least two to three times a month when I either have to decide which event I attend or I go somewhere and leave early, so that I can make it to the next event. Yet, there are people who think there is nothing to do in Scotland County. I just don’t understand it!

7 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Don’t let back-to-school tasks sneak up on you

Parents, if this is your first time at the back-to-school rodeo, let me share a few lessons my wife and I have learned the hard way. Chances are you’ll be spending the next few weeks filling out piles of pre-enrollment paperwork, lining up carpools and, of course, taking the dreaded shopping excursions for clothes and school supplies.If you’re a first-timer or simply need a back-to-school refresher course, here are a few suggestions that can help you save time, money an...

8 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

Where did all of NC’s new voters come from?

“Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.”So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory.So what? What difference does it make to us that almost half of North Carolina voters were born somewhere else?To begin to show the importance of such a large number of non-North Carolina natives participating in the state’s election process, DataNet gives us a sh...

8 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

No blessing for those who hurry

“Pole’, pole’ child … haraka, haraka, akuna baraka.” Slow down child. There is no blessing for those who hurry.The voices of the elders in Matondoni, Kenya ring out to me 25 years later. Slow down child. How often I have forgotten that lesson over the years. But today their voices are loud and clear in my head. Slow down.

11 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

The U.S. border must be secured

As many of you know, we currently have a crisis along our southern border. While the White House continues to claim that border security is at its strongest in history, tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have illegally made their way into the United States this year. The administration’s slow reaction to this problem and failure of leadership has led to this humanitarian crisis. To add insult to injury, as tens of thousands of minors stream across the border, the president refuse...

11 days 1 hours ago | | | Email

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