Democrats are seeing how far and fast they can run to the left. Meanwhile, Trumplicans – they don’t act like most Republicans we’ve known – are march-stepping to the right before falling off the edge of the earth. You have to wonder, whatever happened to moderates? Did they die off or are th…

Members of the Sylva American Legion Auxiliary Unit 104 have been collecting new stuffed animals for police, fire and EMS personnel. These stuffed animals are given to children who witness or were victims of a traumatic incident. President Janice Short, second from left, delivered some stuff…

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Democrats are seeing how far and fast they can run to the left. Meanwhile, Trumplicans – they don’t act like most Republicans we’ve known – are march-stepping to the right before falling off the edge of the earth. You have to wonder, whatever happened to moderates? Did they die off or are th…

Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

To the extent Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and other online companies engage in viewpoint discrimination against conservatives and Republicans, they deserve condemnation and ridicule. But do they also merit oversight by lawmakers or regulators?

Members of the Sylva American Legion Auxiliary Unit 104 have been collecting new stuffed animals for police, fire and EMS personnel. These stuffed animals are given to children who witness or were victims of a traumatic incident. President Janice Short, second from left, delivered some stuff…

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

I have lived in several communities in my lifetime, but few compare to the amazing downtown Sylva community, especially the business community. It is so cool to see how business owners manage to not only craft their businesses for the greater good of the people who live here, but also manage…

When it comes to public affairs, bad news is good and good news is bad. That is, political speeches and media pieces that describe a problem as big and getting worse tend to attract more attention, so more are produced. That, in turns, fuels more public disaffection. It’s a vicious cycle.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

In a year when our state is stashing more than $700 million into surplus funds, the recent state budget appears to target the Department of Health and Human Services for punishment. The budget fails to expand Medicaid, underfunds existing services and makes harmful cuts.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Let’s take a snapshot of North Carolina at mid-year. Please forgive the plethora of statistics, but they help bring our picture into greater focus.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

After patiently waiting, and maintaining a safe distance away from the broody hen, Poppa is pleased to announce he has hatched off ten little ones.

The common chigger aka red bug is a tiny pest smaller than the head of a pin, yet its bite can cause intense itching. Chiggers actually have several stages in their life cycle, but only the larva feeds on man and other animals.

Many political and education leaders in North Carolina say that our economy would be better off if our level of educational attainment was higher. They’re probably right about that, as long as their definition of “educational attainment” is sufficiently broad.

On Thursday, June 27, 2019, the nation’s highest court declared that it was too delicate a flower to deal with partisan gerrymandering. The issue, the court said, was beyond the scope of their authority.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Senator Richard Burr published an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer that attacks the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee people for opposing his Catawba off-reservation casino bill and his Lumbee recognition bill. 

Registered voters in North Carolina ages 25 to 64 do not feel financially prepared for retirement according to a new survey by the American Association of Retired People. AARP’s survey of 600 registered voters found that over half (56 percent) feel that they are behind in their retirement savings.

Summertime is when our beautiful native plants, majestic trees and shrubs, and yes, even our soils teem with living organisms. Parasitoids, beneficial nematodes and fungi, along with insect predators, are just a few of these organisms that help keep the bad pest populations at bay. These are…

Found among woodland floors, rocky outcroppings and even clinging to trees, ferns grow all over the world, and are found in the greatest numbers among the moist and perpetually warm tropics. Many of the species that are found in the forests and shady clearings of North America are elegant, w…

Friends, the watershed of these mountains needs your help. Whether you’re a local, or a visitor to this area, you may have noticed the river of late. You may have even heard someone say, “Boy, the Tuck sure is muddy today.”

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Summer is now in full swing and cattle producers have and will be thinking about managing flies, deworming and may even be considering other vaccinations as part of their herd management program. These things got me thinking about cattle handling facilities.

In order to help them survive, humans throughout the ages have carefully manipulated plants in order to propagate desirable traits. Ancient cultures in central Mexico transformed small tufted grasses into what we now know as corn, and the Romans worked tirelessly to create the perfect rose.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

For over 100 years 4-H has been growing children. 4-H started out as Corn Clubs for boys that taught them ways to get more corn yield from an acre of land. The girls wanted to get involved too, so Canning Clubs were formed. The girls were taught the best and safest techniques for canning tomatoes.

Honeybees are without a doubt one of the most prevalent insects in modern human culture. We depend on honeybees for honey and for their help in pollinating large fields of crops, which tend to exclude most other pollinators because of their prohibitive shape, size and heavy pesticide exposure.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

June is National Healthy Home Month. Usually when we think of “healthy” we think diet and exercise, but there is another way to improve your and your family’s health. Making sure you have a healthy home will decrease the risk of health-related issues such as allergies and asthma, and in some…

The sides of highways are an assault on the senses, with hot blasts of wind radiating from the busy roads bringing pungent fumes and loud noises that overwhelm most wildlife that approach. Many times, wildlife stumbling onto a highway are forced to quickly turn back or face a quick death att…

A large majority of retirees work between 25 to 30 years in public service before receiving their retirement, contributing 6 percent of their pay each month. For many public sector workers that monthly, required contribution impacts their daily lives – this mandatory contribution to their pe…

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A group of healthcare stakeholders met in Raleigh recently for a first-ever “listen and learn” session focused on two questions: How much should we spend on healthcare and how should these dollars be advocated?

You don’t have to look far to see that many in North Carolina – approximately 500,000 – are struggling from an absence of adequate, high quality health insurance. This is why Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital are supporting bipartisan efforts by Gov. Roy Cooper and legisl…

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Habitat loss is one of the main causes of pollinator decline worldwide. While manicured lawns and sculpted hedges often appear pleasant to our eyes, landscapes dominated by human designs offer appallingly few home sites to the other wildlife living in the area.

In North Carolina, fresh market strawberry production ranks third in the nation behind California and Florida with approximately 1,000 acres harvested each year. May is “Strawberry Month” and during this time, folks flock to pick-your-own strawberry farms, local produce stands, farmers marke…

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Can you remember what the commencement speaker said at your graduation? We are in commencement “season” and platitudes aplenty will be spoken to graduates across our state. Most will be forgotten as soon as tassels are turned, but this year’s graduates of the UNC School of the Arts heard an …

Daddy was never much for boat fishing, as far as I can tell. I imagine he did it a few times, but I don’t ever recall seeing anyone towing a boat into our driveway.

There’s a divide in society, between those with calloused hands, and those who ride a desk for a living. The relationship is often of judgment, with one side believing their mama didn’t raise her kids to have dirty hands, and the other believing there is honor in swollen hands that sport thi…

While bumble bees, carpenter bees and other large bees are readily spotted flying throughout their environments, most of the bees native to the United States are much smaller and can be easy to miss.