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One of these things just doesn’t belong

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist “We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.” “The people have…

There’s no such thing as a ‘public’ school

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JASON BEDRICK Guest Columnist Perhaps the most pervasive myth about our nation’s education system is the notion that “public schools have to take all children.” Last year, when criticizing charter schools that she claimed, “don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids,” Hillary Clinton quipped, “And so the public schools are often in…

Change of heart is another bellwether moment in demise of death penalty

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JAMES E. COLEMAN Guest Columnist As chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court, I. Beverly Lake voted to affirm nearly 200 death sentences. But last week, he published an essay explaining why he now believes the death penalty is fundamentally unfair and violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual…

On the Racial Justice Act

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Finding justice in a thicket of emotion and law is a daunting task. We have no envy for the hard choices our judges must make. And in cases like the one that will open in the Cumberland County Courthouse, we’re not sure even how justice will be defined. It is…

Reader’s Forum — Rulings on beer are nuanced

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The county did not approve craft breweries. The city just held a referendum on “on-premises sale of malt beverages” (beer). The words “craft brewery” did not appear on the ballot. The county has never held such a referendum. I object to your fuzziness in reporting that the county did something…

OUR VIEW — Beer referendum passage is positive

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City of Lincolnton voters approved a referendum on Tuesday that has paved the way for a craft brewery or standalone beer bar to open in the city. That’s a good thing for the city’s future, and now it’s up to city leaders to capitalize on the vote and help guide…

State tax burden has declined

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist So far this year, we’ve had three state budget plans submitted by the three main actors in the drama: Gov. Pat McCrory, the North Carolina House, and the North Carolina Senate. While important differences remain to be settled between the two chambers, I’m struck by the…

Putting Trump aside; Remembering Ali and Patt Derian

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist The death of Muhammad Ali last week took away Donald Trump’s monopoly of television news coverage, at least for a time. There was some irony, of course, as the “I am the greatest” clips from Ali replaced similar campaign assertions by Trump. Ali and Trump are…

Politics and perception doomed tuition bill

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist The recent firestorm over steep reductions in tuition proposed at five universities – including three historically black ones – illustrates much of what is wrong with North Carolina politics. We had questionable process from Senate Republicans on what was sure to be a highly controversial proposal.…

OUR VIEW — Let campuses be a home for free speech

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There was a time when universities were known as bastions of free speech and the free, unfettered exchange of ideas. Depending upon whom you talk to, that distinction might remain true. But the sad reality is that institutions of higher education are now too often responsible for stifling free speech…