Opinion

Here are the 10 most-read opinion pieces from June

Fan of ‘The Staircase?’ Revisit the Michael Peterson trial with the reporters involved.

You've seen 'The Staircase' on Netflix, now hear from the reporters who covered Michael Peterson's murder trial in Durham.
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You've seen 'The Staircase' on Netflix, now hear from the reporters who covered Michael Peterson's murder trial in Durham.

Here are the 10 most-read opinion articles at newsobserver.com from June, in order of highest readership:

1. The good that came from the Mike Peterson case. By Anne Saker. "Eventually, most any other man in this situation takes the plea deal and is placed into state custody with a judge’s admonishment about accepting personal responsibility. An accused man with money, on the other hand, can fight back. He wields the only real weapon against the criminal justice system."

2. Three out of four NC voucher schools fail on curriculum. By Ned Barnett. "Fundamentalist Christian schools are receiving most of the money from North Carolina's 4-year-old school voucher program, but they're not providing anything close to the 'sound basic education' the state Constitution promises to North Carolina’s children, according to a new report from the League of Women Voters."

3. Much feared Sen. Berger faces a fearless newcomer. By Ned Barnett. "She switched her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and is making her first run for elected office. As a political newcomer, (Jennifer) Mangrum should be the jittery one, but she’s not. 'I’m a third-grade teacher at heart,' she says. 'I’ve dealt with playground bullies before.'”

4. Don't worry. As school buildings crumble, our kids will get 6 constitutional amendments! By The N&O editorial board. "Instead (of a statewide school bond), Republicans are going to ram six proposed constitutional amendments through in this last week of the short session. Six! Bad process leads to bad policy, and this is a constitutional train wreck waiting to happen."

5. Overpaid NC public workers are bilking NC taxpayers of millions. By Ross Marchand and Donald Bryson. "In addition to bilking taxpayers for millions of dollars in unnecessary expenses, this system attracts talent away from the private sector. And, in a public sector environment where bad performance is rarely punished, this talent all but goes to waste."

6. This judge said NC vouchers were unconstitutional. He was right. By Ned Barnett. "It’s fine if fundamentalists want to teach their children that evolution doesn’t happen and dinosaurs found a spot in Noah’s ark, but they shouldn’t be paid to do it with public dollars. Publicly supported education should meet public standards, just as (Judge) Hobgood said."

7. The new photo voter ID bill is vague and leaves lots of questions. By Gerry Cohen. "The referendum voter won’t know the actual proposal. Senate staffer Brent Woodcox tweeted, 'Very few would read the details of the bill to make their decision on the amendment. Unless it passes, there will be no need for implementing language.' How cynical."

8. Sessions distorts Romans 13:1 to say civil laws are God's will. By Curtis Freeman. "Romans 13 is not a manifesto on the divinely ordained power of the state, and it does not call for absolute obedience to civil authorities. Instead it offers a provisional account of the limits of civil authority for all people of conscience."

9. In NC's struggling regions: 'Folks feel like they've had he hell kicked out of them.' By Gene Nichol. "They seek better schools, higher paying jobs, affordable health and child care, decent places to live, safe streets, electric bills they can manage, and meaningful access to public transportation. They’re also certain their political leaders know absolutely nothing about their actual lives."

10. Donald Trump's push for a whiter America. By The Charlotte Observer editorial board. "The targets of all these policies and proposals share one thing — they're not part of Donald Trump's America, the one that is whiter and richer and doesn't want its 'culture' changed. He's wrong about that, of course. Immigrants are not a threat to our culture."



Drescher, opinion/solutions editor, is at jdrescher@newsobserver.com; 919-829-4515; @john_drescher.


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