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Columns

  • Can we resolve our tax issues?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guset Columnist

    Taxes are always part of discussions about government and public policy, and taxes were clearly a hot topic in the recent session of the North Carolina General Assembly. Debates occurred about taxing services, lowering income tax rates, implementing incentives for business and energy expenditures, and dividing public revenues between urban and rural counties. Legislation was passed for some of these items, but I can assure you there will be more discussion and debate in future sessions.

  • Fight fraud by guarding your Medicare number

    By M. Lee Millman

    Guest Columnist

    Health care fraud drives up costs for everyone in the health care system. Fraud schemes often depend on identity thieves getting hold of people’s Medicare numbers.

    So guard your Medicare number. Treat it as you would a credit card.

    Follow these important steps to protect yourself from fraud:

  • Making ‘Sunshine Week’ every week

    By Kevin M. Goldberg

    Guest Columnist

    The 10th Sunshine Week ended about six month ago, on March 21. This annual celebration of open government was created by the American Society of News Editors with a grant from the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation.

  • Help me help you help us

    Every week, without fail, I get dozens of emails that start out, “Can you publish this in your next edition?”
    More often than not, the answer is yes — if the email gets to me, and gets to me in time.
    If the email doesn’t get to me in time, the answer isn’t as certain. And any time my answer is no, it disappoints me as much as it does the senders. One “no” is one too many, but I’m even more beholden to deadlines than they are.

  • When it’s time to speak up, know how to play the game

    I have attended a number of public comment sessions recently and I have come to realize some public comments are better than others.

    No, I do not mean one person’s issue is better or more important than another. Anyone who is passionate about an issue that affects the masses should be encouraged to get up and speak about it to his or her elected officials and representatives.

    But some people know how to present their concerns better than others.

  • Is another recession around the corner?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Much of the economic news has been rather gloomy recently. There have been wild swings in the stock market, with multi-hundred point losses on some days. The Chinese economy may be in freefall, while Europe is dealing with thousands of refugees from the war-torn Middle East.

  • All it takes is one good person

    By now, Pope Francis’ whirlwind visit to the United States has come to an end, but I for one hope the impact of it will linger.

  • Creating opportunity on campus at BCC

    By Elina DiCostanzo

    Guest Columnist

  • ONDBEAT: Weekly coloring sessions soothe adult souls

    They’ve been showing up in droves, maxing out space at Hickmans Crossroads Library and lingering substantially longer than the official hour-long session.

    Coloring books and Crayolas aren’t just for kids anymore, as the library’s weekly adult coloring series has shown.

    Since launching Aug. 25 at the library on Calabash Road near Hickmans Crossroads, the Tuesday morning gatherings are attracting an array of non-children of assorted ages who love to color.

  • What to do when life is rough

    Before I launch into this week’s column, I want to recognize the driver who ran me off U.S. 17 while I was on my way to work last Thursday.