Opinion

Bringing Tourism Back

Like spring itself, the world feels like it’s rising again, about to bloom in the coming summer sun. In this new and brighter light we have an opportunity to see what’s changed and how we can do what we did before in new and better ways…

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Easter 1950

All dressed up for Easter Sunday church and holding a Bible, Nick Lauterer, posing heroically in a hand-me-down suit, grins at the camera with confidence and happiness.


Mobile Home Zoning Succeeds Elsewhere

Opinion: On March 10, Chapel Hill Town Council Member Hongbin Gu petitioned the council to consider a zoning change that would restrict the use of certain land, including the mobile home park on 1200 MLK Jr. Blvd…


The Boom in Zoom

Can you hear me? We’re Zooming for a friend’s virtual birthday party. We’re Zooming after months and months of Zooms — family Zooms, business Zooms, book club Zooms, doctor Zooms.




You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught

As I was raised in the shadow of World War II and the Korean War, my first childhood impressions of Asians were negative: They were the enemy and to be feared.


The Eno River’s Ribbons of Color

In 2020, a time of deep reflection, recovery and desire for open spaces, more than 1.1 million people took to Orange County’s great outdoors and…




Hearth and Home, of Thee I Sing

It’s been raining now for three days straight — that cold nasty chilly winter rain. I’d prefer honest snow any day — the kind we had during my 10 years at Penn State, where Pennsyltuckians understand the…


What’s the Fishy Smell? It’s an AURA.

Opinion: Have you heard of Trinsic Residential Group? It’s a pretty considerable Texas real estate outfit seeking to build a large mixed-use development (400 apartments and townhouses; 650 parking spaces) called AURA…



What We Owe Our Dogs After the Pandemic

I never had a dog when I was growing up. For years, we left Chapel Hill to spend summers in the U.K. where my father taught at a university, and a dog was too much of a complication.



We are off to another season.

In Orange County we are feeling a renewed appreciation of spring. Sun and longer days bring hope and light of better days ahead.


Anyone seen my vaccine?

I’ve gotten my vaccinations. I was fortunate because I had finally qualified for the shots, having been moved from Tier 2, subdivision C, paragraph 9.1, footnote j, to Tier 1b, folder 3D, group IV6, Boy Scout Troop 384. Signing up for the shots, as most of us know, was a fairly easy process, assuming…



‘Reelin’ in the Years,’ Senior Night 1984

Last Saturday’s drubbing of Duke on UNC’s Senior Night conjured up a similar image from years past. It is March 3, 1984, and that year’s farewell men’s basketball game celebrated seniors…


Back to Basics: The Need for Well-Draining Soil

This past winter, I began to think that it would never stop raining. Now, rain can be a gardener’s best friend, but a rainy winter can ruin a garden. How can that be? After all, aren’t many of our plants sound asleep in winter?


Soil. The stuff of life.

The future of the Earth and the people who live on it is dependent on the management of land and water. This is essential and something we can all agree on.


Spring Migration is Coming Soon

The change of seasons “officially” begins on March 20, and we’re still waiting to see whether the continuing cold rains will make this the wettest winter on record in our area.



COVID & College

It’s not the junior year of college that I was expecting, that’s for sure. This time last year, I was going home for spring break thinking I’d be back at UNC the very next week. Then the pandemic hit, and I was forced to move out and finish the semester online at my parents’ house.


What We Celebrate Between Birthdays

The idea of the “un-birthday” was first presented by Lewis Carroll in the book we know as Alice in Wonderland (properly, Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, published in 1872).


How to Order Sustainable Roses

As far as I am concerned, when it comes to roses, planting sustainable roses is the way to go. Do you really want to put on the zoot suits while lugging out the sprayer every 10 days just to prevent fragile roses from falling into the ravages of blackspot?


She interviewed Gen. Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower in 1947

The young reporter leans into the interview, uncowed by the august presence of the hero of WW II D-Day, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The year is 1947, and the kid reporter is Chapel Hill’s own Val Lauder, just 21 and already a star reporter for the Chicago Daily News.



Fighting COVID-19

Orange County tips its hat to many of the North Carolina Tar Heels and local leaders who are shaping the future through activism. Here are their voices, in their own words. These individuals are doctors and scientists fighting COVID-19, advocates pushing for equality and justice, and communicators standing up for truth. May they inspire us all.



Garden Shopping Made Easier

I am happily shopping for plants. To my husband’s chagrin, our kitchen table is littered with lists, dog-eared catalogs and old annotated seed packets. But I may just sweep the mess aside in favor of my new discovery. The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service has a new online tool…


Maurice Jones: Town Manager, Chapel Hill

What does it mean to manage a town? Is it even possible? A town would seem, by its very nature, to be unmanageable: too many moving parts, too many moving people. That’s why the job is not for everybody and why, when you get a good one, you can count yourself very lucky indeed.