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Columns

  • You decide: Will interest rates remain low?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    The year was 1978. A young, newly hired economics professor was making one of his first public presentations to a group in Washington, N.C. The professor quickly learned locals referred to their town as “Little Washington,” to distinguish it from the nation’s capital. He was also told Little Washington was founded years before Washington, D.C., and was the first city to be named after George Washington.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we received the governor’s proposed budget, we began meeting to discuss the proposed budget and establish a process timeline and we met with Republican women during their day at the legislature.

  • You decide: What’s the best timing for valuing property?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Recently, Wake County, the state’s second largest county in population, reduced the time between property revaluations from eight to four years.

    The change has created some confusion as well as claims the move is a veiled way of increasing taxes.

    To fully understand why the change happened and what its implications are, we need to first step back and review property taxes.

  • Expressions of sympathy ease grief

    You know, I really believed our friend Sarah Sue Ingram would beat the cancer she had.

    Instead, it took her from us last month, barely more than 24 hours after I bought a new batch of silly greeting cards for us to sign and send to her, as she requested after she told us she was sick. It wasn’t much, but it was all she asked of us beyond our prayers and kind thoughts.

  • This is how you know it’s going to be a long night

    This week I am going to let the fine people who read this into the newsroom to experience what it is like when the day goes long and we are waiting on one more report before the paper goes to press so we can call it a day.

    It isn’t a weekly occurrence, despite the fact we’re a weekly paper, but there are days that seem to stretch into infinity and that is when the philosophical questions of our time get asked and answered — like last week, when I first proposed my unifying theory of fast-food chicken places out loud.

  • You decide: Is there trouble with trading?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    One of the first principles I teach my new economics students is the benefits of trade. I use the following example (remember, I’m talking to 18- to 20-year-olds): Two students live across the hall from each other. One student has some minor car trouble and discovers the across-the-hall neighbor is a fairly good amateur mechanic. The student with mechanic skills is having problems with physics and learns the neighbor with car trouble is a whiz at physics.

  • Still proud to be a Heel

    My kid brother, as an N.C. State grad, has no love for my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and even less affection for its athletic teams. I’m not sure he even cheers for the Tar Heels when they play Duke.

    The other day, however, he told me he was sorry to see this year’s Carolina men’s basketball team suffer such a heartbreaking loss to Villanova in the national title game. The fact we feel the same way about this is big news, folks.

  • On Campus at Brunswick Community College: Keep a little dirt under your fingernails: Horticulture, turfgrass programs at BCC

    By Dr. Susanne Adams

    Guest Columnist

    Plants surround us — no matter where we look. We long for manicured yards, juicy produce to eat, safe expanses of green turf on which to play and stately trees to provide us shade on hot summer days. Those results do not occur simply by magic and Mother Nature; we must have skilled professionals to care for our plants.

  • Open door policy fosters understanding, transparency
  • You decide: Why are there new sales taxes in North Carolina?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    North Carolinians having repairs made to their vehicles are now in for a little bit of a shock. With a few exceptions, they will now have to pay state sales tax on the labor cost of those repairs. So, too, will folks paying for repairs to their computers and for installing modular homes. These are some of the new sales taxes that began March 1.