Guest Columns

Emily to the Rescue

I thought I smelled gas, and the red-light battery in the hall was not showing. I called the Chapel Hill Fire Department, and explained that this was not an emergency and I didn’t need a fire engine but . . .













Coping with Impeachment

I just took a (very) casual poll among my Facebook friends as to how they’re weathering the impeachment storm. My query referred to the stressful nature of these past few weeks and how we, as individuals, have been handling it.










Leave the leaves, please!

Our town is fortunate to have county workers who collect yard debris, Christmas trees and leaves during the autumn and winter seasons. The county then sells the processed vegetative material as yard mulch. But rather than buy mulch from them or from stores, it’s worthwhile if we just participate in leaving the leaves on neighborhood and town properties.




The Facts on Homelessness

I have such high regard for the work that former state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird did while she represented us in the General Assembly that it pained me to read her recent column in The Local Reporter about ending homelessness.



Get Current

CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio, an immersive arts venue and studio space, opened to the public in February 2018. Since then its 7,000 square-foot state-of-the-art black box-style theater has hosted music, dance and theater.


Why can’t we solve our homeless problem?

Our community has a severe shortage of affordable rental housing as well as a large homeless population — one of the largest in the state in proportion to our population. There were 153 homeless people in Orange County in 2018, a 13-percent increase from 2017!






Our Dog Makes Me a Better Gardener

We have a new puppy — although he’s been part of our family for nearly a year. As our last dog was with us for 15 years, this little guy will hold the “new puppy” title for a bit longer. Maybe it’s how he came into our lives or maybe because I think this will be our last dog, that he seems so precious. I’m weirdly picky about everything related to this critter. I shudder at the thought of any chemicals near “new puppy…”



The Garden of Wrath

Two things incur my wrath when it comes to gardening: certain wildlife and nurseries that sell the wrong plants. There are few serious gardeners who haven’t felt fury at wildlife. You see, wildlife has to eat — and many creatures savor the meals we unwittingly prepare for them in our garden. We call graceful does “giant rats.” We reread Peter Rabbit, only this time we sympathize with Mr. McGregor. Deer and I share one attribute in common: We happen to enjoy the same plants.





There’s More to Coreopsis Than Meets the Eye

I have never thought much about coreopsis until recently, when I had some spaces to fill in the perennial border — and then I was faced with the fact that there are an awful lot of coreopses to choose from. Even the name doesn’t inspire: The Greek “koris” means bedbug while “opsis” means to shear. Its common name, tickseed, also does not engender great enthusiasm.