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Building a path back to power

North Carolina progressives have earned a good deal of deserved praise at the national level over the last year or so for their spirited resistance to the conservative political takeover that has afflicted our state. Let’s hope that resistance continues.That said; there’s clearly a need for more than just saying “no” to the right. But how? Is there a way to get ahead of the current stampede to the right and start winning back some of what we have lost, as we...

1 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Low wages beat no wages

Labor unions and “moral” activists once again have convinced a few of the poorest and least educated workers in the Triangle to walk off their jobs and demand publicly that they all be priced out of work and their jobs be taken by machines.True, that isn’t what they think would happen if the federal minimum wage rose to $15 an hour. Practically, however, if they got what they wanted, that’s what would happen.Working for the lowest allowable wage i...

1 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Being gay still a fireable offense

North Carolina Congressman Robert Pittenger made headlines recently for suggesting that firing people from their jobs solely because they are gay is one of the “freedoms we enjoy” as Americans.Pittenger’s startlingly offensive remarks came as supporters of a federal employment non-discrimination act that would protect gay workers on the job are trying to force a vote on the proposal in the U.S. House.

2 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

School funds increased under Tillis

Just before Labor Day, the publicly available polls of likely voters had incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan roughly tied with Republican challenger Thom Tillis. Since Labor Day, the polling average has shifted about three points in Hagan’s direction.How come? The main cause, it seems, is that Hagan and her allies have vastly outspent Tillis and his allies on TV ads since Labor Day — and the claims in those ads, on education funding, have both pulled some swing voters into Ha...

2 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Clean water should not be taken for granted

The coal ash problem in North Carolina was here long before the Dan River spill in February. This is a decades-old problem — one that should not take decades to correct. Senate Bill 729, the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 passed, making North Carolina the first state to adopt a comprehensive plan to clean up its coal ash dumps. I voted for the bill. It is a good first step. However, it goes neither far enough, nor fast enough. The Yadkin-Pee River is the lifeline for this region, provi...

3 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

A letter to Scotland County visitors

As I mentioned in this column a few weeks ago, few people work 51 weeks of the year in anticipation of coming to Scotland County for a week’s vacation. However, we do get a number of people that come in for events, or stay a few extra hours or day when passing through. In that case, they often reach out to find out “what is going on” in the area. Therefore, I thought I would share a general letter I sent to someone recently.Thank you for your inquiry to Scotland C...

3 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

A big snake and a cruel trick

Last week, I told you a little about old grist mills and how most are of a by-gone era. This week, I’m going to tell you a true story about the creepy crawling things that still hang around these old mill sites.

4 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Volunteers the best part of the Chamber

When people ask me what I like most about my job, I always have a quick answer — it is the volunteers. It always has been my favorite thing about working for a Chamber of Commerce. Of course, when I was at the High Point Chamber of Commerce, I thought I had the best volunteers in the world. After 11 years of working with those volunteers, I really had a boo-hoo session when I left. It was because I was leaving the best volunteers in the world.

4 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Smoking can lead to SIDS

Do you know that secondhand smoke can increase the chances of your infant becoming a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, known as (SIDS)? Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is crib death, or an unexpected death of an infant, and continues to be a tragic puzzle of life. September marks “Baby Safety Awareness Month” and why this article is so important.

5 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Apply lessons learned in old wars

At the end of a two-day conference about World War I at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I asked a leading military historian what approach he would recommend to the United States to deal with the challenge of ISIS.I will tell you about his response in a minute.The World War I conference was one of a series of planned events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of that Great War and to learn what lessons might help us deal with present day challenges.

5 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Basics of college savings plans

For many people, their biggest expenses in life are funding retirement, buying a home and paying for their children’s college education — or a portion of it, anyway. Setting aside money for these and other financial goals is difficult, especially when you’re trying to save for them all simultaneously and from a young age.One of the more popular college savings vehicles is the 529 College Savings Plan. Every state and Washington, D.C. offers at least one 529 plan o...

5 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

2 ways to improve NC’s economy

A strong state Earned Income Tax Credit and a robust minimum wage are twin pillars that together form the foundation of a stronger economy — even for those with low-income jobs. Unfortunately, North Carolina state leaders recently demolished one of those pillars and are letting the other one slowly disintegrate.In North Carolina’s current economy, where the vast majority of job growth is occurring in industries that pay wages below what it takes to make ends meet, the c...

8 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

U.S. must fight to eradicate ISIS

This week marked a very solemn date for our nation and a stark reminder that evil exists around the world. On Sept. 11, 2001, the United States of America fell victim to the most horrific terrorist attack in our history — an attack spurred by cowardice and hatred for our way of life. Thirteen years later, we remember the innocent lives lost and the sacrifices that were made; we remember the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and despair; and we remember the heroism and courage of our...

8 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Independent assessments needed

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s public schools have just released end-of-grade and end-of-course test scores for the 2013-14 school year. You may have heard something about them, particularly from districts eager to claim a large increase in the share of students who test at or above grade level.It’s a good example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.

9 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Coal ash commission not the problem

Raleigh was abuzz this week with the decision by Gov. Pat McCrory to let the coal ash legislation passed by the General Assembly this summer become law without his signature.McCrory told a television interviewer a couple of weeks ago that he was planning to sign the bill despite reservations about the new coal ash commission it creates with legislative leaders making the majority of the appointments.This week McCrory said he was still upset about the commission he believ...

9 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Columns

Building a path back to power

North Carolina progressives have earned a good deal of...

1 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Editorials

Manufacturing jobs have changed

After months of hushed planning and work behind closed...

1 months 2 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

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