Columnists

Nobody’s taking the train — except the policymakers

Benita Dodd's picture

The drumbeat for more public transportation by planners and policy-makers rises in inverse proportion to the public’s enthusiasm. The reality of the steady decline in Americans’ use of public transportation fades into the background, overwhelmed by transit-oriented hype.

It started with “smart growth” and “new urbanism.” Now this elitist focus on public transit as the solution to congestion now has a frightening hold on the U.S. Department of Transportation. Read More»

Anybody seen a good hair day?

Ronda Rich's picture

In looking back at photos, I am left to wonder if I have ever had a truly good hair day. I’m amazed because when I see the snapshots, I think, “Now, I’m sure that when I left home that day, I felt pretty good about my hair. How could it look like that?”

Mama was notorious for grumbling comments about my hair. “You know,” she said on more than one occasion, “I liked you hair a lot better back when you used to comb it.”

Maybe she was right. Read More»

Airplanes and peaches

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

“One day is just like another when you’re retired and it’s too hot to do anything outside.” Dave speaks from the couch, where he reads between naps. His daily outing is Driving Miss Sallie to work out at Curves, by golf cart.

So when he said he wanted to drive to a small airport about 25 miles south, I felt obliged to keep him company. After all, it was Saturday and I was tweaking the column I had started, due Friday. I was practically done. I could afford to take a break. Read More»

Why aren't you rich?

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Like most, every morning I have a certain routine. By 6:30 I arrive at the quaint corner coffee shop an easy mile walk from our house. Not that I walk there in morning, mind you, or any other time of the day, for that matter. But if I did, I presume it would be easy, and just about a mile.

The owner greets me by my first name. I like that. I like to think that makes me special, but it doesn’t. He just has a great memory and greets everyone by their first name. Read More»

Remembering Jean Massengill

David Epps's picture

Jean Masengill was an imposing presence at Dobyns-Bennett High School. It wasn’t that she was harsh or mean — quite the opposite. But she was serious about the subjects of English and literature.

The fact that I was a jock, a center on the school’s football team, impressed her not one whit. Neither was she impressed by my attempts to play the cool guy or the class clown. Any charm that I may have possessed was lost on her. She was there to teach and she assumed that you were there to learn. Read More»

Remembering August 1945

Dr. Paul Kengor's picture

This week marks 65 years since the United States dropped the atomic bomb. On Aug. 6, 1945, President Harry Truman delivered a “rain of ruin” upon Hiroshima, Japan, with Nagasaki hit three days later, killing 100,000 to 200,000.

Truman’s objective was to compel surrender from an intransigent enemy that refused to halt its naked aggression.

The barbarous mentality of 1940s Japan was beyond belief. An entire nation lost its mind, consumed by a ferocious militarism and hell-bent on suicide. Read More»

Britain’s National Health Service: It’s coming to America

Cal Thomas's picture

PORTSTEWART, Northern Ireland — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a group of liberal activists meeting in Las Vegas they shouldn’t worry about not getting the single-payer provision in the new healthcare law. “We’re going to have a public option,” Reid said. “It’s just a question of when.”

Remember the objections conservatives and many Republicans raised during the debate about government-run healthcare and the danger of eliminating private health insurance, despite its many flaws? Read More»

Code of the mountains

Ronda Rich's picture

There is a saying among the people of the rural South used to condemn anyone who has changed the terms of an agreement, especially those done with a word and a handshake.

“You went back on your word.” That is not just a comment, it is a curse, for nothing riles the Scotch-Irish more than to have someone renege on their word.

There is a code of conduct that you will find in the Southern mountains that is passed down generation to generation: a handshake agreement stands, your word is your bond, and when you take on one of us, you take on all of us. Read More»

A Rose by any other name...

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

In Sunday’s paper, two adorable little blondes in frothy blue dresses are seen rollicking in puddles after a rainstorm. They were at a Butterfly Festival, and could almost be taken for butterflies themselves.

The photo drew me in, but their names held my attention. The 5-year-old is Happy and her 2-year-old sister is Coco Bluebell. At least that’s what the cut-line says; I hope they are real. They are unusual without being cumbersome and should stand up to use for years. Read More»

Five minute asphalt egg

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Bubba Hanks was the biggest kid in Mrs. Crabtree’s third-grade class. In fact, Bubba was the biggest kid in all of Mt. Olive Elementary school. Some say it was due to his fondness for Mrs. Wilma’s sticky buns. Wilma was the head lunch lady and for an extra nickel, you could get an extra sticky bun.

Bubba had a lot of nickels.

Others said Bubba’s largeness was because of a kidney infection in the first grade that put him in the hospital for a week and home in bed for three months. Which caused him to be held back a year. That meant an extra year of eating sticky buns. Read More»

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