Statewide Editorial Roundup for July 24-Aug. 4

Sorry for the complete lack of updating this. I was on vacation in July and then when I got back I forgot to update this and now I’m trying to find how it fits best into my schedule and my workflow with the newsletter. Anyway, here’s five editorials from the past two weeks around the state. I’m seeing a lot of themes lately — environmental concerns.  A lot of editorials from across the state have been about the GenX contamination first uncovered by the Wilmington StarNews (all the reporters there have been doing ah-mazing work lately). Anyway ….

So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).

Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.

Here’s the rundown for July 24-Aug. 4

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Statewide Editorial Roundup for July 10-14

I’m on the ball this week and actually carved out some time to do the roundup earlier in the day instead of at night. Next week I might take another week off because I’ll be on vacation, but we’ll see about that.

Anyway …

So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).

Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.

Here’s the rundown for July 10-14: 

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Statewide Editorial Roundup for July 3-7

Once again I’ve gotta start this off with a quick apology — I took last week off mainly due to some end-of-session exhaustion and traveling to Wilmington for an early Fourth of July party. But I’m back in the game this week.

So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).

Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.

Here’s the rundown for July 3-7

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Statewide Editorial Roundup for June 19-23

And I’m a bit behind in posting this — chalk it up to a busy week. But that’s not gonna stop me from continuing what I started last week.

So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).

Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.

Here’s the rundown for June 19-23: 

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Statewide Editorial Roundup for June 12-16

Last week I posted an idea I had on Twitter about creating a weekly newsletter of editorials from across the state. I didn’t mean much by it, but it got a few likes and my boyfriend even told me that it was a good idea. That go me wondering whether or not I should do it. So instead of creating a whole new newsletter, I’m opting to use my very underutilized website to try it out for a few weeks.

So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).

Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.

Here’s the rundown for June 12-16:

The Sylva Herald and Ruralite: “HB200 is well worth backing”

From the editorial: “Not to belabor the point, but gerrymandering creates safe seats where an elected official has no motivation to even attempt to compromise on any given issue. As Bob Phillips, director of Common Cause North Carolina points out, ‘Gerrymandering undermines the fundamental principle of American democracy by depriving voters of a choice in who represents them.’

“And on a point few pundits talk about, gerrymandering doesn’t fit at all with the changing structure of North Carolina’s electorate. Yes, we have a two-party system, with Democrats and Republicans working to gain and keep power, but those two choices are carrying less appeal to North Carolinians.”

The Carteret County News-Times: “We’re out of Paris” 

From the editorial: “We applaud President Donald Trump for making good on his campaign promise to have the United States exit the Paris Climate Change Accords, one of the greatest political frauds ever perpetrated.”

“We have urged withdrawing from the climate accords ever since former President Barack Obama wrangled the U.S. into the arrangement. Passed in late 2015 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and signed by 195 nations, it was a pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions over 10 to 15 years to avert a total temperature rise of only 0.306° Fahrenheit by 2100.

“The economic cost of remaining in the accords would have destroyed America’s economy and lowered the standard of living.”

The Robesonian: “Court: Commissioners can’t be random in granting permits”

From the editorial: “The benefit is plain: Solar farms produce clean energy, they generate income for property owners whose land, much of which used to produce income by growing tobacco, has been sitting idly, they don’t require electricity, sewer and water to prosper, and they generate property tax dollars for the county that can be put to work for all of us.

“The blemish is also plain: Solar farms are ugly, though their scarring of the landscape can be mitigated with buffers.

“We will be adding a solar farm locally because last week the N.C. Court of Appeals determined that the Robeson County Board of Commissioners had wrongfully denied a conditional-use permit that was needed to establish a solar farm on 40 acres of a 54.37-acre tract on St. Anna Church Road in Pembroke, a denial that was then upheld by a Superior Court judge.”

The Transylvania Times: “Loyalty To The Constitution, Not Individuals” 

From the editorial: “With government, we want individuals who are loyal to this country and the democratic principles upon which it was founded, but that is quite different than being loyal to any individual in government.  A country’s leaders can lead it down the wrong path and promote unjust and immoral acts.  The soldiers of Nazi Germany were loyal to their country just as the soldiers of the South were loyal to the Confederacy, but they were misled by their leaders.

“In this respect, blind loyalty can become obeisance, setting individuals up for easy manipulation and coercing them to repress their individual conscience. An immoral or unethical act is okay because their leader has demanded or approved it – either explicitly or implicitly.”

The Bladen Journal: “Ego wins out over frugality”

From the editorial: “And hanging photos of county commissioners in the courthouse and other county buildings is just that … frivolous.

“If there is a lesson these five elected officials need to learn, it comes from a line in the 1985 movie ‘Brewster’s Millions’ that was uttered by Rupert Horn (played by Hume Cronyn): ‘I’m gonna teach you to hate spending money. I’m gonna make you so sick of spending money that the mere sight of it will make you wanna throw up!’

“We will take this time to applaud the votes of Commissioners Charles Ray Peterson, Ashley Trivette, David Gooden and Daniel Dowless against the motion.

“Britt stated the folks at the nutrition center are charged $5 for lunch, so it would seem that $1,450 could have been used far more sensibly had the board voted to send that money to be used for meals until the next fiscal year’s budget kicked in.”

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Anyway, that’s all for now. If you have any thoughts about what to include in this or how it should be formatted, let me know! Who knows, this might be the one and only roundup, but I hope not.

-LH

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The Year When I Found A Home

Home is where the Durham is.
Home is where the Durham is.

You can measure a year a lot of ways — seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months (and those are just the obvious ones).

For me, it was measured in a lot of firsts and lasts. I want to list them, but I think over the last 300-some days I’ve been able to articulate the the hurt and sadness. But, I also have to remember the warmth brought on by all the good that was 2015.

This year created valleys and gorges in my soul, but it also built mountains — some big moments of my life happened in 2015.

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5 months, 11 days: On Grief, Death and Pushing Foward

One of the last photos my father and I ever took during a trip back to Minnesota in December 2014.
One of the last photos my father and I ever took during a trip back to Minnesota in December 2014.

My father’s arms couldn’t stop moving, even when my mother and I were holding his hands, he kept flailing. Almost as if being confined to a hospital bed during his last hours was the worst form of torture he could imagine.

Watching him was the worst torture I could imagine. I couldn’t even begin to think about how much pain he was in. I wanted to take that pain away. I wanted so much to help him during his last days.

I knew they’d be his last days — his last hours. As I got onto the plane to leave North Carolina I just knew that would be the last time I saw my father. There was no doubt in my mind. I had packed my bags knowing I’d be attending a funeral in the near future. When our social worker called to warn me about how bad it was I got angry. I screamed. I cried. I don’t think she knew what do with me.

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When local news becomes national news

A quick look at some of The Herald-Sun's coverage of The Chapel Hill Shooting.
A quick look at some of The Herald-Sun’s coverage of The Chapel Hill Shooting.

When I started at The Herald-Sun I’d just graduated from college and left behind a pretty swanky internship with a large, daily metro newspaper. I went from a staff of more than 30 reporters and editors, to a staff of maybe a dozen reporters and editors.

It was a quick shift, but I wanted that. I wanted to move from a large daily to a small daily. I liked the aspect of doing more community stories, instead of state-wide stories. I liked the speed of Durham compared to Des Moines.

But on Feb. 11, I missed what being part of a large staff had to offer, but, for reasons some might not think about.

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Aftermath: Four days later

I heard the call for mutual aid go out over the police scanner shortly after it happened. It was probably about 5:20 p.m. on Feb. 10. I didn’t hear a clear location. I heard a cross street. But I heard the call.

“Gun shot wound.”

“It” I would later find out would become national news. The shootings this week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina have taken over every aspect of my life.

When we learned that the shooting took place in an area of Chapel Hill where grad student lived we prepared for the worst – and the worst became our reality.

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Learning on the job

The old H-S offices on Pickett Road in Durham, N.C. I’ve always been told to keep my blog up and running, but as we know, that isn’t something I’m good at. I thought for awhile that I’d make this a place to muse about my life as a college journalist, then as an intern and eventually as a post-grad, fully-employed journalist.

Obviously my thoughts don’t always make it into the “action” stage of life.

But now, I’m on the cusp of having worked for eight months at The Herald-Sun. It feels weird to say that. Eight months. I’ve been a full-time employee at a daily publication for eight months.

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Remembering Rick: My journalism life coach

Rick looks over my shoulder as I show him the website we were live blogging on for President Obama's campaign stop at the Living History Farm in Des Moines.
Rick looks over my shoulder as I show him the website we were live blogging on for President Obama’s campaign stop at the Living History Farm in Des Moines.

I think it’s fitting that I spent today in the newsroom, that’s how Rick would have wanted it. Especially since I spent the day at his former paper.

Richard Tapscott was a lot of things. The quintessential journalism professor. A man of few words. A man of many words. Professor. Mentor. Colleague. Father. Grandfather.

I always called him my “Journalism Life Coach.” That is what he was to me. He was more than a professor. He encouraged me to go above and beyond what I thought my abilities were.

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In the land of thanks

My family on Christmas 2011.
My family on Christmas 2011.

I figured, it’s been a few months since my last post, and by a few months, I mean a completed internship, almost a full semester, and a new internship. That’s how it goes when your life becomes of whirlwind of uncertainties.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. For the first time in my 22 years of being alive, I won’t be celebrating with my family. This year I’m staying in Des Moines to work. I don’t necessarily mind, but this Thanksgiving marks a time in my life where I’m more thankful for my family then I ever have been.

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