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  • COLUMNS

    How should state pay for roads?

    My wife recently bought a new car. Well, not exactly “new new,” but “newly used.” Some experts say this is the best way to buy vehicles because you get an almost-new car without paying for the excessive depreciation that occurs when a brand-new car is driven off the lot...

  • COLUMNS

    College adding splashes of color

    The brilliant colors of the holiday season often heighten my awareness of drab when January rolls around. With lights dimmed, decorations stored and dark winter days the norm, we tend to retreat into the doldrums of a long winter’s nap. And so, in response to my sense of melancholy recently...

  • COLUMNS

    A daughter easily betters her father

    After a month at home, our daughter has returned to college. Her mother and I couldn’t be more proud. In her first semester at Western Carolina University, our daughter made friends, became active in campus life and, most important, came home for the holidays with a grade point average that...

  • COLUMNS

    2014: The year in quotes

    Each year, state lawmakers and observers make memorable comments that sum up the news of the day. The following are quotes from 2014 that reflect major news in state government and politics, with brief explanations to remind you of the issues.

  • COLUMNS

    What Internet knows can be a little scary

    I have always been a fan of technology. As a kid, when the JCPenney catalog arrived in the mail, I flipped first to the electronics. From there, I made my Christmas wish list.

  • COLUMNS

    An American Christmas

    A couple of days before Christmas, I was talking to Mohammed, a Muslim who works at the grocery store near my home. When out of curiosity I asked if he observed the holiday in some way, he replied, “I love Christmas.” He planned to celebrate at the home of Christian friends.

  • COLUMNS

    5 ways to get along better

    Jan. 14 brings a new legislative session and a fresh slate to the General Assembly, where old wounds should be healed, old habits forgotten.

  • COLUMNS

    A blue Monday made worse

    The email from my employer’s health-insurance provider asked, “Feeling blue this holiday season?” Why yes, as a matter of fact I was, at least this past Monday, the first full workday between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

  • COLUMNS

    Torture and N.C. culpability

    It should be harder and harder for North Carolina’s top elected leaders to sustain their nine-year posture of willful blindness to our state’s place in the global infrastructure of torture.

  • COLUMNS

    Let’s talk about race

    “We North Carolinians don’t have a sterling track record in race relations – fact of life. We need to confront that directly,honestly. We need to look behind the curtain and address a fundamental cause and fundamental solutions.”

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