Smithfield: Opinion

Smithfield: Opinion

Critics overstate jail’s impact

Johnston County wants to build its next jail, or law-enforcement center, near three schools, a park and a pediatrics practice. Some Smithfield residents think that’s a bad idea, for two reasons. One, they argue, it’s unsafe to house inmates so close to that many children. Second, they say, the land needs taxpaying homes and businesses more than it needs a law-enforcement center that would take the land off of the tax rolls.

Smithfield: Opinion

Where will we live?

In 1970, more than half of North Carolinians lived in rural areas. In fact, at the time, only five states – Vermont, West Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota and Mississippi – had a higher percentage of their population living in rural counties.

Smithfield: Opinion

Some thoughts on the news

I like to say that bureaucracies exist to perpetuate themselves. By extension, I could say the same of bureaucrats – they write rules so they can enforce them. But such a blanket statement would be unfair to Clayton planning director Jay McLeod.

Smithfield: Opinion

Can a Democrat win in Johnston County?

I thought Democrat Rich Nixon would fare better in his bid to represent Johnston County in the N.C. House of Representatives. I thought maybe his opponent, Republican Donna White, was vulnerable because she was part of a school board that enriched retired superintendent Ed Croom at the expense of Johnston County taxpayers.

Smithfield: Opinion

Is demography behind slow economic growth?

One of the big issues heard in this election year was slow economic growth. Although the economy has improved since the depths of the recession seven years ago, the gains have been modest compared to previous recoveries. For example, growth in the nation’s aggregate production of goods and services, termed “gross domestic product, or GDP, has been the weakest among all post-World War II economic recoveries.

Smithfield: Opinion

Is economy headed toward recession?

The word “excess” generally has a bad meaning in our society. It implies too much of a good thing that can lead to problems later. A second serving of my favorite apple pie can lead to an unwanted expansion of my waist line. Speeding to get to work on time can result in accidents and injuries.

Bear in dumpster startles unsuspecting woman

A woman in Asheville, North Carolina, said she was scared but excited when she went to throw some trash in a dumpster only to be greeted by a bear that was looking for a meal.