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Opinion Roundup: A pledge to act with civility, regardless of politics

Posted June 19

Monday, June 19, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis on the hard lessons learned from last week's congressional baseball practice shooting, an argument against ending N.C. concealed carry permits, a call for urgency on the GenX water investigation and more.

We must step back from poisonous political discourse (Fayetteville Observer) -- Perhaps now we’ve arrived at a point where we can have national agreement, no matter what our political orientation or our party membership. Perhaps now we can declare that the continuous coarsening of political speech we’ve seen and heard over the past two decades has reached the point where we must all find self-restraint.


Keep permits for concealed weapons (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- Legislation recently approved by the N.C. House that would end the requirement for people to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon in North Carolina is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.


CFPUA, give us answers right now (Wilmington Star-News) -- Each answer we get to questions about GenX, the unregulated toxic chemical in our drinking water, seems to raise five more. In fact, we’re not sure any important GenX-related question has been adequately answered. We’re betting people who drink the tainted water would agree.


North Carolina kids deserve better (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- North Carolina lags behind most states in child welfare. We can and must do better. The annual Kids Count Data book uses 16 indicators to rank states in four categories: health, education, economic well-being, and family and community. North Carolina is in the top half (22nd) in education, but was 31st in health, 36th in family and community and 37th in economic well-being.


Make inmate death records public (Winston-Salem Journal) -- A local judge rightly stood up for transparency recently by ruling that records related to one of the inmate deaths in the Forsyth County jail be released.


RICHARD CARVER: Z Smith Foundation unveils plans for embracing flexibility, adaptability (Winston-Salem Journal analysis) -- The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and executive director Maurice “Mo” Green are about halfway through an ambitious examination of a transitioning North Carolina and the nonprofit’s role in it. Green recently completed a 14-month “Mo wants to know journey” he began within weeks of taking over as the foundation’s top official.


TAYLOR BATTEN: Can shooting be a turning point for nation? Doubtful (Charlotte Observer column) -- The shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and others prompts calls for unity, but political polarization is likely to persist.


EMILY COCHRANE: At Watergate, Recalling a Burglary That Toppled a President (New York Times analysis) -- Under the glittering lights of a ballroom in a hotel whose name is synonymous with political scandal, they gathered for a reunion. They arrived at the Watergate in summer suits and cocktail dresses, pinning on name tags with red, blue and white stripes to help nudge 45-year-old memories of the months spent investigating an episode that one White House official dismissed as a third-rate burglary — but that stretched to the Oval Office and brought down President Richard M. Nixon. … Rufus Edmisten of North Carolina, the former deputy chief counsel, recalled the first reunion he hosted, marking 10 years, in his office, and being there to recognize the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the break-in. “I intend to be at the 50th,” he said as he left the room.


TAYLOR KNOPF: How Race and Class Drive Factors of the Opioid Crisis & Legislation (N.C. Health News analysis) -- Opioid overdoses have been rising for years, but only lately has the trend been labeled a "crisis."


SHEFALI LUTHRA: Unable to arrest opioid epidemic, red states warm to needle exchanges (L.A. Times analysis) -- Former heroin user Kendra Williams, 24, of Wilmington, N.C., knows she's lucky. She recalls sharing dirty syringes to shoot up, risking hepatitis C and HIV. More than two years into recovery, she knows about 30 people who have died from drug overdoses this year.


JESS CLARK: Young NC Lawmakers Hope New 'Millennial' Caucus Bridges Partisan Divide (WUNC-FM Analysis) -- It's being called a political crisis: Partisanship is the worst it's been in decades . Now, a few North Carolina legislators think they might have a solution: Building a political coalition based on their shared youth. Charlotte Democratic Rep. Chaz Beasley is 31 years old, and one of the chairs of the new North Carolina Future Caucus.


CELIA RIVENBARK: How dare she get political? (Wilmington Star-News column) -- Here’s what happens when you switch gears after a quarter-century of writing “What happens to that missing sock in the dryer?” domestic humor for a living... People lose their poo. There’s simply no better way to say it. Well, there is, but obviously not in a family newspaper. What am I saying


Passing-lane bill gives nanny state a new speed trap (Wilson Times) -- Slowpokes in the left lane really grind Duane Hall’s gears. It’s a frustration many motorists share, but for most of us, it’s a minor inconvenience.


T. REES SHAPIRO: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awards $1 million prize to UNC at Chapel Hill (Washington Post analysis) – UNC-Chapel Hill will receive a $1 million prize for its efforts to make higher education accessible and affordable for low-income students. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, based in Loudoun County, Va., selected UNC for the prize as a “national leader and role model for providing equal educational opportunity to students based on academic merit, regardless of family income,”


Keep legal notices in public view (Greensboro News & Record) -- Local governments are required to post legal notices where the public is most likely to see them. Traditionally, that has been in general-circulation newspapers.


RITA LEADEM: Solar bill not all it’s cracked up to be (Charlotte Observer column) -- Duke Energy would win and customers would lose in solar bill

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