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OUR VIEW — The president’s sandbox

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President Barack Obama wants us all to play nice. According to The New York Times headline about Obama’s final State of the Union address, “Obama’s plea to ‘fix our politics’ leaves both sides looking inward.’” It’s doubtful that there’s much soul-searching going on in Washington after Obama’s speech, and the…

Need both sides in drilling debate

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist As a state government reporter, I’ve covered hundreds of committee meetings and legislative debates during the past six years. I’m bothered when I leave one of those events with the feeling that the discussion was one-sided, especially when the issue is highly controversial. It doesn’t happen…

European history lessons for North Carolinians

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist What does a new 800-page history of 20th Century Europe have to do with North Carolina politics of the 21st Century? First, a few words about the book itself, “Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century,” by UNC-Chapel Hill Professor Konrad…

NC sets a good example

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist If you think government is too large and wields too much power, then you have plenty of reasons to be dismayed by recent national developments. But if you live in North Carolina, there is some good news mixed in with the bad. Since the onset of…

OUR VIEW — Hatley takes the reins

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Lincolnton Mayor Ed Hatley, in just a few months since his election in November, has proven himself to be a positive force for the city. Hatley has already voted more times than former mayor John Gilleland did during his entire tenure on the council (the mayor only votes to break…

Powerball a boom for state

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Fueled by a nearly $1 billion Powerball jackpot, Saturday, Jan. 8, set a single-day record for lottery ticket sales in North Carolina – a whopping $23.3 million. Of that, hopeful players in the Tar Heel state spent $17.2 million on Powerball alone. That day shattered the…

Reader’s Forum: DDA chair bids farewell — 1-13-16

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DDA chair bids farewell I will likely step on the toes of each and every one who reads this at some point or another during this letter. We are all entitled to our opinion and this is mine in hopes that I will spur the determination in someone else to…

Reader’s Forum: Start school later — 1-11-16

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Start school later Dear Editor, Im 11 years old and I think education is very important to the country and world. It is a gift to have a education. But school starts way too early. The time that most kids get up is ridiculous. It can affect how well they…

Make a federal case of it

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Lately I’ve been reflecting on North Carolina’s history as, well, the political equivalent of a cantankerous old coot. You know the fellow I mean. Perhaps despite himself, he won’t keep his mouth shut. He won’t go to a reception and just enjoy the festivities. No, he…

The governor tries and fails to put a positive spin on 2015

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ROB SCHOFIELD Guest Columnist Recently, Governor Pat McCrory issued video statement in which he proffered a scattershot array of claims about where the state stands at the start of 2016 and the performance of his administration. As usual, the gist of Governor McCrory’s pitch was that North Carolina is in…