Columns / Opinions
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There are, perhaps, men out there in the world right now who fear their wives might someday try to poison them. Me? My wife, to my culinary chagrin, goes far off in the opposite direction. A … more
Too many things are occurring for even a big heart to hold. The Irish poet W.B. Yeats penned that sentence in 1889. It echoes across the Atlantic Ocean more than a century later. In this country, … more
During my 43 years of teaching economics at N.C. State, my favorite part of the introductory economics class was the topic of the Federal Reserve. I’d open the lecture asking students if … more
We must talk more openly overall about suicide and suicide prevention while also making tangible strides to fund mental health resources. Because such efforts work and help save lives. more
I’d see her name pop up on the screen of my ringing cell phone and before even answering, I knew exactly how the call would start. “Bill, this is your mother, Shirley Yvonne Pendergast … more
Every time anyone my age asks what I do, we step through the same canned interchange. “I’m a reporter,” I say. “Oh, no way, you’re on TV?” “No, a … more
For at least a decade, online travel sites have eroded clientele from once indispensable travel agencies. But the new complexities of travel in a pandemic-ridden world — from vaccine … more
One of the advantages of being a pack rat is that when you run across something you haven’t seen in awhile and forgotten you have said item, it’s almost like seeing it for the first time — and … more
The next time somebody asks you to describe North Carolina, pull out and read aloud this quote from the beginning pages of Bland Simpson’s new book. “It is a line of sandbars some nearly 30 … more
Last Friday was the first camping trip my wife and I took with our three young children. As our middle son bounded out of the minivan at the Lake Jordan campsite, he called out, “Remember, Mom’s … more
The first female chancellor of Germany has stepped down after serving her country since 2005. To put Angela Merkel’s longevity into perspective, America has had presidents Bush, Obama, Trump and … more
When you hear about the state budget negotiations happening in Raleigh, it is hard to discern exactly how that budget impacts you and your family here in Chatham County. Specifically, how does the … more
Some years ago, a television commercial — it was for a brand of margarine — featured a lovely lady playing the character of Mother Nature. The spot opened up with Mother Nature walking … more
North Carolina’s economy has enjoyed a substantial recovery from the depths of the Great Suppression — that is, from the COVID-19 downturn of 2020. Most businesses are back up and operating. So … more
Every columnist keeps a “clip file” — articles, stories or ideas from which to write future pieces. Sometimes that file becomes so full it’s hard to choose just one topic on which to write. I … more
Every family has a member they don’t talk about or talk about only in hushed tones because of the shame it might bring to the family name. In my family, it was me, a notorious — for that time … more
I was just about to head to the gym four Saturdays ago when I received an unwelcome — and unexpected — piece of news. “Your sister’s just tested positive for COVID,” … more
Climate change is a nebulous dilemma; its ramifications can seem obscure. But there’s at least one tangible effect that will make most Americans shudder: coffee supplies are drying up. “U.S. … more
In some North Carolina houses, this is a time of empty rooms and empty spaces. Children, so long ever-present, are now suddenly gone away to college. Even though they knew the day was coming, … more
The income of the median American household fell by nearly 3% last year as the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent regulations shuttered many businesses for months, closed others for good, and forced … more
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