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Raleigh desperately needs nonpartisan think tank

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Attention millionaires and billionaires and anyone else with extra money who wants to spend it in a meaningful way in North Carolina. Raleigh desperately needs a nonpartisan, independent think tank to examine important issues from a neutral perspective and bring some level of clarity to debates…

Climate change can’t be ignored any more

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Those coastal homeowners and developers in North Carolina who have their heads in the sand with regard to global warming and climate change have had a tough few days. This weekend’s searing days are not in themselves evidence of a warming planet and the rising seas that will come with…

A climate change on free speech

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ED FEULNER Guest Columnist A few months ago, news broke of an astounding assault on free speech. No, the media didn’t present it that way, but that’s how some conservatives, myself included, characterized it. And with good reason. The assault in question came via a group of Democratic attorneys general.…

GUEST VIEW — On the state’s economy

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The governor and many of his cabinet members are trumpeting this state’s economic resurgence as they head down the trail into what will be a hard-fought 2016 election. And there’s no doubt that some of our numbers are good: Unemployment is falling steadily, even as jobs are created by new…

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…