Book Review of The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics

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Good, bad, ugly — and all ours Rob Christensen’s “The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics” is a remarkable disclosure of the disconcerting reality that power must be seized and that there is no nice way to seize it … even if you are a North Carolinian! It is the story of the paradox of strong, effective leaders who were Sunday … Read More

O. Max Gardner…A Two University Star?

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Did you know: O. Max Gardner, former North Carolina governor, captained both the NC State and UNC football teams during his time in higher education? Gardner played football as an undergrad at State; he continued his athletic pursuits while attending law school at UNC. He is still the only person ever to head both teams; I imagine it’ll stay that … Read More

Mr. Ackland’s Wills

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One day back in 1936, an eccentric old millionaire popped up on the palm-fringed campus of Rollins College at Winter Park, Fla. and began looking for a place to build an art museum. Even in those days, Spanish-styled Rollins College was something to behold. Under the unconventional presidency of Hamilton Holt, it was already running heavily to tennis and horseback … Read More

Awful numbers foretell Perdue’s painful NC budget

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With the unemployment rate now close to 10 percent, Perdue last week secured the state’s rainy-day reserve fund, bringing to $1 billion the amount at her disposal to pay the state’s bills this year. Her budget office also suggested scenarios that call for cutting spending from $1.3 billion to $2 billion next year – from 10 percent to 15 percent … Read More

Governors look to consolidate, eliminate, follow lead of Depression Era Leaders

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Governors are using the economic crisis to sell big changes in how state and local jurisdictions operate, promising overhauls that could alter the face of government around the country. The proposals include cutting off public funds to the nation’s oldest state fair in Michigan, sharing state helicopters between Minnesota and Wisconsin, erasing dozens of laws in Connecticut and shrinking Pennsylvania’s … Read More

Echoes of a strong governor

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Words rushed out of the old book like a fresh wind. Powerful words of hope from Shelby’s O. Max Gardner, the governor who led North Carolina during the Great Depression. I recently found a faded and taped copy of his public papers and letters in Cleveland County Memorial Library. Stuff like that is usually dirt dry. But this collection, published … Read More

North Carolina’s Crisis In Confidence

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The news isn’t good in North Carolina. 400,000 of us are unemployed, construction has slowed, housing prices are tumbling, tourism is faltering, businesses are struggling and state and local governments are gasping for revenues. Economists agree we haven’t hit bottom yet. The bigger and more troubling crisis, however, isn’t economic. It is a crisis in confidence. That is a dramatic … Read More

New book recognizes the history of county’s black schools (with video)

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“I learned from the history of black schools that there was a very good solid beginning from black people,” she said. She said the black community recognized the need for education. Bridges remembers working as a servant in the home of O. Max Gardner. “One morning,” she said, “I heard Gov. Gardner coming down the staircase.” She said he asked … Read More