Guest Columns

A Very Bad Bug

A pretty insect lays its eggs on a stone. That stone is part of a global supply chain that starts in Asia, arrives in Pennsylvania — and now threatens North Carolina’s tourism, wine and Christmas tree industries. A thin line of North Carolinians stands between us and this invading menace.

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Hanging Tough in Hard Times

COVID-19 has touched us all, in ways big and small. I think first about those who are sick, and those who live in fear of becoming infected. I worry about those who are laid off, furloughed or working fewer hours, and struggling to provide for themselves and their families.

One More Benefit to Eating Well

We’re all suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic. While there isn’t evidence that plant-based eating will reduce the impact if one becomes infected, there’s plenty of strong evidence that it can greatly reduce the likelihood of underlying health conditions that make one more susceptible to contract COVID-19 in the first place.

Our County’s Reform Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered life in Orange County in many ways, but the county criminal justice system continues to process individuals.  That means we must continue the difficult social justice conversation about criminal justice reform.

The Charms of Coleus

Recently I have been pondering which annuals I want to put in the spring garden. While I emphasize perennials in the garden, I always need annuals to fill in the holes that inevitably appear. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, I abhor unexplained garden spaces.

Memorial Day 2020

America is the land of opportunity and a beacon of hope and freedom because our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen have fought valiantly to defeat tyranny and terror, and to protect the liberties we hold most dear. Memorial Day 2020 occurs on Monday, May 25.

The Balloon Lady: She Was Me Mum

A true townie I am, too, having moved to Chapel Hill in 1947 when I was 2, bringing along my older brother and my mother. So, while I wasn’t actually born in Chapel Hill, I can claim to be a native — albeit with an asterisk.

Consider the Foliage

Recently, friends who have come over to see the garden have commented on my Japanese roof irises, Iris tectorum, that are in full bloom. While I’m not an iris aficionado, I am quite fond of these irises, having planted them throughout the garden. Now, there are a lot of irises out there.

Why Filling Out the 2020 Census is Important

Most of us know that the 2020 Census count began in January, since we’re getting reminders what feels like every other day. I will confess: I used to roll my eyes every time I got another flyer in the mail, or saw a commercial on television or online. 

Spring has sprung!

Springtime is now in full swing and we can see the signs when we look around as we walk outdoors, especially if we pay attention to the avian life around us. The birds are busy with different phases of their life cycle.

The House at Gatewood

The House at Gatewood, located along Highway 70 just north of downtown Hillsborough, derives its name from longtime resident Dr. Joseph Gatewood, who practiced dentistry in the area and lived on the grounds for over 30 years. 

The Gnome Did It

It began innocently enough: a small seedling turned into a foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. Lise sent me a photo of her new-found treasure, wondering how it got there as she knew the history of her neighborhood – and it didn’t include gardens.

Local Tourism and Hospitality Industry Today

There’s no question that the tourism and hospitality industry is being shattered by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Retail, restaurants, food service, and hotel accommodations, as well – nothing is being spared.

How to Help Neighbors and Friends While Social Distancing

Just a few weeks ago, many of us had never heard the term “social distancing” before. Now, with schools cancelled and many working from home, the town has been receiving a lot of questions about how to help one another and stay connected while also staying safe.

Supporting Local Restaurants

Like the rest of our state, this country, and the world, Orange County is changing in ways we did not anticipate or could prepare for. Behind every door – and that’s where most of us are these days, behind doors – is a story.

A Field of Dreams, Not Games

The first thing to know about baseball coaches is even when there aren’t games, they never stop being baseball coaches. When the players are away, there’s still a big field that requires constant mowing, watering and picking weeds.

Local Organizations In Need of Support

I hope this finds you in good health, safe and secure in your own homes. We’re all entering an uncharted territory, struggling to maintain a sense of community while at the same time – and most importantly – keeping ourselves and others healthy.

Let’s Talk About Baptisia

I’d never thought much about Baptisia until recently. For some unaccountable reason, this genus has been much on my mind. Perhaps it’s because I vaguely feel guilty about not having incorporated more native plants in my garden…

Finding Joy in Nature During Troubled Times

As we hunker down in our homes and shelters to deal with the current viral epidemic, practicing social quarantine and distancing is essential. Keeping away physically from those outside our households can protect them as well as ourselves.

Chapel Hill & Carrboro Development Project Update

It’s too early to forecast the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on the building industry. Here is a recap of several key projects in Chapel Hill and Carrboro currently in the planning stage.

In Their Own Words

I hope this finds you in good health, safe and secure in your own homes. We’re all entering an uncharted territory, struggling to maintain a sense of community while at the same time – and most importantly – keeping ourselves and others healthy.

Hellebore: Friend or Foe?

Recently Lise wrote an article describing invasive exotic plants that caused me to ponder over plants we consider invasive and those we do not. Obviously, kudzu is an invasive exotic plant but what about Helleborus x hybridus?

Faith in the Age of the Virus

The new corona virus disease, COVID-19 is a threat to our community. Events in China, Italy and now Washington state have shown that this disease can explode from a few identified cases to an epidemic with breathtaking speed.

In Praise of Jay Bryan

On the occasion of his retirement from the district court bench, this is a tribute to Jay Bryan, friend and former colleague, attorney, Carrboro Alderman and judge.