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The Commentators

Why Do They Devalue our Teachers and Schools?

Originally Published on March 7, 2016 Before Betsy and I moved from Florida to Chapel Hill years ago, we studied several potential destinations. Where would be the best place for us to raise our three daughters? We wanted to live in a community that offered good public schools and access to the arts. Chapel Hill seemed like the perfect fit and it was.  The enrolled in Seawell Elementary School, then on to Phillips Middle, then Chapel Hill High School.  All excellent schools where their teachers were wonderfully engaged, caring and inspiring. Back in the 70s, people in public office...

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Breaks for Big Business and Higher Taxes for Us

Originally Published on May 2, 2016 Are North Carolina tax incentives a new profit motive? Pat McCrory has been handing out millions of taxpayer dollars to draw new businesses to North Carolina and pay his top staffers. Now, before I get bombarded with all of the GOP talking points on how we just can’t afford to tax the job creators, please hear me out. Why does a business need to secure tax cuts to ensure quarterly profits?  When did businesses start holding states hostage to demand lower taxes, better roads, higher speed internet, utilities, and cheaper labor in a...

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What I Hate About Poor Customer Service

You know how when you are really busy and you have to call some company?  Then, the phone connects you and you get this message, “We are experiencing a higher volume of calls than normal.  Your call is very important to us.  Blah, blah, blah, blah.” If the call is so important to them, you would think they could assist customers without having to put you on hold an acceptable number of minutes. I’ll admit that I am not as patient as I probably should be in these situations, but what really gets me is that you get the...

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Renew Our Commitment to Public Schools on Election Day

As the school year gets underway, the energy and enthusiasm building within each and every one of the neighborhood public schools in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is proof positive that students win when parents, educators, and community members and leaders come to together. Unfortunately, the vast improvements we have made and the promise that our schools hold are under attack by members of the North Carolina legislature.  State lawmakers in Raleigh are slashing vital support for our neighborhood public schools to pay for tax breaks that benefit large corporations and the wealthy. They are starving our public schools with...

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Sitting with Kaepernick and What Life is Really About

I’m a fan of the Green Bay Packers and generally have not favored the San Francisco 49ers, but a short while ago the 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to keep his seat when the United States national anthem was played at NFL games. Well, well, well. His coach defended his right to choose to sit.  Good on Kaepernick and his coach.  Then, Patrick O’Neill, a friend and serious active man of faith, had a supporting Op-Ed in the News & Observer titled “Why I stand – or rather choose to sit – with Colin Kaepernick.” Patrick, a long time writer...

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Vote For Folks Who Really Support Education and Educators

I don’t know about you, but I think education is one of the most important things a community can provide to its people.  I’ve got children who are in school here, and I’m betting you do too, or know neighbors who do.  And I’ve worked in schools most of my life and I’ve seen how hard teachers work and how committed they are to doing the best for our kids every day. Which is why I have to scratch my head when I hear about how education is being talked about in this year’s elections.  Our governor is touting...

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