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GUEST VIEW — Sick leave for food-service workers

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It seems self-evident that people with contagious illnesses should not be preparing or serving food. Unfortunately, they often are forced to choose between endangering public health or going without essentials. Food-service jobs include seven of the 10 lowest-paying jobs in the Asheville area, according to recent data from the Bureau…

Public dissatisfaction is hardly new

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist In this highly charged political year, it’s important to keep in mind that most North Carolinians, like most Americans, have been dissatisfied most of the time during the administrations of both Democratic President Barack Obama and his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush. That doesn’t mean that…

Court decision won’t temper China’s territorial claims

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DOUG BANDOW Guest Columnist As expected, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled against China’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Philippines was exultant. Beijing responded angrily. Territorial disputes pose a perennial international problem. Great powers, including the U.S., typically refuse to be bound by…

Visa caps are protectionist occupational licenses on steroids

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DAVID BIER Guest Columnist Conservatives across the country, from Michigan to Arizona, are challenging burdensome occupational licenses. “Insiders use the false cover of consumer protection to get laws enacted that keep out new competitors,” Minnesota Republican state Sen. Chris Gerlach recently said, explaining his reform bill. While a welcome development,…

North Carolina is headed backwards on childhood lead poisoning

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FAWN PATTISON and TOM VITAGLIONE Guest Columnists When the NC legislature adjourned last week, they left behind some unfinished business. One bill left hanging, House Bill 1074, would have required (and paid for) lead testing in the drinking water of every school and child care center in North Carolina. We…

A property rights bill

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A bill enacted last week gives a tough assignment to the Department of Transportation. It’s supposed to recommend “a process that equitably balances the interest of the State in protecting proposed transportation corridors from development, the property rights of affected landowners, and the taxpayers of the State.” This is meant…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Free speech isn’t always pretty

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MICHAEL GEBELEIN Managing Editor My favorite part of any newspaper has always been the opinion page. Opinion writing, when it’s done right, can be better than any hard news because it combines the best of reporting with analysis, it helps put the news into context. Opinion writing is also where…

Liberals change subject to H.B. 2

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — Do you want to know why the Left has tried to make North Carolina politics into an “all H.B. 2, all the time” zone? Here are some reasons: Since mid-2013, when Gov. Pat McCrory’s first budgets and other policy priorities were enacted, North Carolina’s…

Our two great Robert Morgans

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist North Carolinians of my generation have been blessed with two important Robert Morgans. One is the mountain-born-and-raised and acclaimed writer who is featured this week on North Carolina Bookwatch for his latest novel, “Chasing the North Star.” The other, the former U.S. senator, died on Saturday.…

One Legislator’s parting words – or shots

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH – Frustrated, defeated and over it. Those words sum up the feelings of Rep. Nathan Baskerville, a Henderson Democrat, as he finishes his second, two-year term in the state House. He isn’t running for re-election. Baskerville spoke matter-of-factually in a lengthy interview on Domecast, the…

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