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Columns

  • Letting joe help me re-learn language of page design

    Once upon a time, I used to quaff at least a 12-pack of Diet Pepsi almost every day. I did it since I was in college, a regimen I developed to cope with exams and 8 a.m. Japanese 101 recitations.

    Exams are a way of life for college students, who often use this part of their educational career to study unusual, exciting subjects.

    I decided in my freshman year to take three semesters of Japanese for the fun of it.

  • If you’re going to use the Internet, use all of it

    Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner recently said, “Nobody’s got to use the Internet” to defend his vote to eliminate privacy protections put in place at the end of President Obama’s term so your Internet provider couldn’t sell your personal information without at least offering you a way to opt out.

  • Holiday wishes are always meant for all Beacon readers

    Last week, the banner across the top of our front page read to all who saw it, “Happy Easter!” It’s something we’ve put at the top of the paper every Easter since I’ve been at the helm of the Beacon’s newsroom. It’s also something we do for other holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day last month.

    The sentiment was meant for all who read it, regardless of their beliefs. We hoped even those who don’t celebrate this Christian holiday would enjoy it anyway. Truly, no discrimination was intimated or implied.

  • We, the public, are the ultimate government watchdogs

    There was a really great story in The Washington Post last week that grabbed my attention and made my heart sing. It was about the staff of the Booster Redux, the student newspaper of Pittsburg High School in Kansas, who questioned the credentials of their new principal. She resigned as a result of their story; it turned out her story didn’t check out.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    The North Carolina House of Representatives was busy last week. We honored a beloved deceased former member of the House, we passed a major regulatory reform bill and we had a special House page helping us for the week.

    While the full Appropriations Committee chairs and top leaders from the House and Senate put the finishing touches on the 2017-19 state budget, both chambers got busy on the bills that remain to be handled. We were assured we were close to having a final budget on which to vote this week.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we worked into the night in budget conference meetings with the Senate, we debated and passed a controversial gun bill, and we passed an energy bill almost unanimously.

  • You decide: Are changes ahead for state pensions?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    My wife has now been retired for 10 years. She taught elementary school for 32 years, usually putting in 12- to 14-hour days when classroom time, after school grading and lesson plans are included. She was a teacher for so long that many times she taught the children of former students. She took pride in the accomplishments of her pupils, and even today is thrilled to see some of them — of various ages — about town.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we spent almost every waking hour on the 2017-19 state budget, we handled about 100 amendments to the budget and approved the House budget in the early hours Friday morning, June 2.

  • You decide: Can urban and rural areas get along?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    My wife and I have one foot in rural regions and the other in big cities. We were both born and raised in small towns — I in an unincorporated town (meaning it wasn’t big enough to qualify as an official municipality) in Ohio and she in a recognized town (but still tiny) in upstate New York. I have a vague memory of my mother pulling me in a little wagon to the country store for groceries. On the way home, the groceries were in the wagon and I would walk.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we had a session at the old Capitol building to honor the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, we finished the individual sections of the House state budget and we passed the budget sections out of committees.