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Transit issues are worth attention

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If you don’t regularly ride one of the Charlotte Area Transit System’s 70-plus bus routes, its much-debated uptown streetcar or its oft-praised light rail line, you probably didn’t pay much attention to recent news reports about the system’s challenges. You should. That’s because those stories spelled out how CATS faces…

Transparency a casualty of legislative speed

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Legislation is moving at a feverish pace through the General Assembly, as lawmakers try to finish their work by early July. Many who work around the legislative complex see this as positive, not wanting the session to drag on like last year. But while some might…

School reform is good economics

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Although the debate about education policy is robust, complicated, and sometimes vitriolic, there is actually broad agreement about the bottom line: if our students were better prepared for college, careers, and the responsibilities of citizenship, North Carolina would reap tremendous benefits. Liberals and conservatives disagree about…

Books for summer: Mountains and Military

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist If you want some more tips for good summer reading from recent books by North Carolina authors, I have four suggestions, two set in the mountains, two about our military. An obvious choice if you are planning a trip to the mountains is Randy Johnson’s book,…

The dissent channel goes public

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EMMA ASHFORD Guest Columnist On Friday, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal published excerpts and summaries of an internal memo by 51 State Department officials calling for airstrikes against the Assad regime in Syria. The key idea expressed in the memo is simple: take military action immediately…

General Assembly must repeal HB2

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There are rumors going around the North Carolina General Assembly that some compromises, to be proposed by Democrats, may be coming forward on HB2, the ridiculous bill curbing the rights of transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity. HB2 requires them to go by the sex designated…

Tax dispute has a solution

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist The federal government has just released another set of economic statistics — and they again show North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing economies in the United States. According to the latest measurements of gross domestic product (GDP), which extend through the end of 2015, North…

Tax dispute has a solution

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist “You would vote for the devil if he were a Democrat, wouldn’t you?” Thus begins an old story that makes fun of an old-time party-loyal, “yellow-dog” Democrat. His friend was teasing him about his unwillingness ever to stray from his party’s candidates even if they were…

Governor should focus on coal-ash cleanup

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If only Gov. Pat McCrory’s righteous indignation at the legislature’s coal ash regulatory bill came out of a desire for stronger regulation that would truly get tough with the governor’s former employer, his veto would be welcomed. Unfortunately, the governor’s veto — like other vetoes, certain to be overridden —…

Do Senate leaders believe their own claims on teacher pay?

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KRIS NORDSTROM Guest Columnist Senate leaders made a big splash touting their two-year plan to raise teacher salaries. They held a packed press conference and launched www.NCTeacherRaise.com, the strange website that – in exchange for handing your contact information over to the NC Republican Senatorial Committee – will let you…