Outside the Box


Opinion Roundup: Infosys deal reinforces importance of N.C.'s top-flight colleges

Posted July 12

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis on the role N.C. universities play in job growth, the worries surrounding a potential budget shortfall, the issues that lie ahead for states' election security and more.

DOUG CLARK: Universities are part of the solution, not the problem (Greensboro News & Record column) -- When Infosys chose Raleigh for a technology and innovation hub, promising to employ 2,000 people by 2021, one reason why was very clear: “These new hires will include recent graduates from the state’s prestigious network of colleges, universities and community colleges.”

A risky bet on big budget cuts (Fayetteville Observer) -- Raleigh, we have a problem. We may run out of fuel and crash-land. The fuel is money, and by 2020, North Carolina may be short. Like about $1 billion short, which by anyone’s definition is real money.

Election defenders (Greensboro News & Record) -- President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday about “forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit” to guard against election hacking — with Russia!

MATT FLEGENHEIMER & EMMARIE HUETTEMAN: Not Right Now’: Republicans and the Art of Not Talking About Trump (New York Times analysis) – Republicans, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr, R-N.C., generally retreated to form when confronted with the extraordinary latest: an email embraced by Donald Trump Jr., affirming Russian government support for the Trump campaign.

Donald Trump Jr. provides a smoking gun (Charlotte Observer) -- Emails show Donald Trump Jr. sought information about Hillary Clinton stemming from Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

Clay Aiken says Trump didn’t make the decisions to fire people on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ (Washington Post analysis) -- Donald Trump’s starring role on “The Apprentice” transformed the mogul’s public image, establishing him as a tell-it-like-it-is businessman capable of making tough decisions. But according to North Carolina’s Clay Aiken, a former competitor, Trump didn’t actually decide when to fire a contestant.

BRUCE HENDERSON: NC awash in coal ash: Why OK storing imported ash from India? (Charlotte Observer analysis) -- As Duke Energy continues a state-ordered cleanup of millions of tons of potentially toxic coal ash, an Ohio company won approval Tuesday to store even more ash imported from India in North Carolina.

RAY GRONBERG: Hog-industry group filed letter critical of UNC Center for Civil Rights (Durham Herald-Sun analysis) -- One of the leading advocates of shutting down the UNC Center for Civil Rights’ law practice solicited a letter from a hog-industry trade group that criticized its handling of a federal complaint and relations with the industry in general.

ROSE HOBAN: State Mental Health Cuts Start to Eliminate Services (N.C. Health News) -- Leaders at the state’s mental health agencies take a hard look at their books as their state dollars get cut for the third year running.

AMBER PHILLIPS: Could the gay rights community be the next progressive heavyweight? (Washington Post analysis) -- Gay rights groups helped unseat a GOP governor in N.C. who vigorously defended a law legalizing discrimination and restricting public bathrooms transgender people can use. That's the background against which the Human Rights Campaign is launching its largest, most sustained investment in politics.

NEEL KELLER: ‘Battle for the Atlantic’ - Offshore drilling foes gear up for another fight (Outer Banks Sentinel analysis) -- Reactions were swift and loud on the Outer Banks and along parts of the Atlantic coast last week after the Department of the Interior opened a 45-day public comment period for the Trump Administration's new five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program.

CATHERINE KOZAK: Surfing Scientists Develop Wave Forecast Tool (Coastal Review analysis) -- A team of coastal scientists and a computer engineer have combined their passion for surfing with decades of research to offer an online tool that promises more accurate forecasting of wave conditions along the N.C. coast.

Chris Rey steps aside (Fayetteville Observer) -- The Chris Rey era in Spring Lake will span six years — three terms as mayor of the town that is a major gateway to Fort Bragg and Fayetteville. But measuring his impact in years doesn’t do him justice. On his watch, Spring Lake reinvented itself. The town made remarkable progress resurrecting its economy and its business district.

Jack Trawick: A fine newspaperman (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Jack Trawick of Winston-Salem was a fine newspaperman. But more important than that, he was a fine man. Trawick was one of the stalwarts in the Journal-Sentinel’s 1971 Pulitzer win. He died Saturday at age 80 from complications of leukemia.

First Amendment challenges beliefs on right, left alike (Wilson Times) -- The 2017 State of the First Amendment survey shows 54.9 percent of Americans believe racist comments should not be allowed on social media and 43.3 percent say colleges should be able to ban controversial speakers. Those figures suggest discomfort with free expression resides largely on the left side of the political spectrum, but not all is as it seems.


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