Nov. 23, 2013 @ 11:17 PM

Editorial: Time to clean house at Furniture Brands HQ

The past few days, we read some things that gave us hope that maybe, just maybe, Ralph Scozzafava will soon be out on his butt.

Or, more likely, deploying his golden parachute.

Either way, Furniture Brands International’s CEO can’t vacate the premises soon enough.

Nov. 23, 2013 @ 01:15 AM

Editorial: Senator stepped a bit too far

When it came to the legislature’s decision to cut funding for teacher assistants, Sen. Dan Soucek stuck to his party’s guns – and shot himself in the foot by suggesting that teachers should really be upset with the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners for not providing funding the assistants.

“We don’t say, 'You can’t have them in those grades,’” Soucek said. “We say, ‘You’re going to have to find the funds elsewhere.’”

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 02:14 PM

Editorial: Coble is what Congress needs and doesn't need

On one hand, it is easy to argue that Washington might be better off with a bunch more people like Howard Coble, constituent-minded officials who mind their Ps and Qs and can joke about themselves.

On the other hand, one of the problems with Washington is how many people arrive intent on staying a short time (is 12 years short?) before clearing out to allow for new blood and new ideas, then change their minds and hang around for many years more.

Nov. 09, 2013 @ 03:47 PM

Thanks for another season of change

“Change is good” is a cliché, said most often as reassurance when something unexpected or unsettling has happened.

We can’t possibly know in advance whether all of the new faces brought to local government boards in Caldwell County by last week’s municipal elections will prove to be good additions.

But in general, a little change in the composition of elected boards is good. New people bring new perspectives. A little fresh air can keep the atmosphere from feeling musty.

Nov. 09, 2013 @ 03:45 PM

Editorial: Canadian mayor makes waves

No matter whether your candidates are in office, coming or going, you can be grateful at least that your mayor is not Rob Ford.

Nov. 02, 2013 @ 11:54 PM

Editorial: Teachers' school-day protest ill-conceived

Although you can count us as firmly on the side of those who believe teachers have been getting a raw deal from the N.C. General Assembly in recent years, especially this past year, we have to agree with Republican legislators and conservative groups that the N.C. Association of Educators and some teachers appear to be injecting politics into the classroom.

Nov. 01, 2013 @ 01:43 PM

Editorial: Conservative Pope Center opposes personal freedom

The only unexpected thing about a recent report from a conservative Raleigh think tank criticizing the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is that it advocates a top-down, government-knows-best approach to higher education.

Oct. 27, 2013 @ 03:56 PM

Editorial: McCrory has us on the horns of a dilemma

It’s not clear whether Gov. Pat McCrory intentionally spread false information last week on the national stage, did it accidentally or merely repeated what someone else had told him.

Oct. 25, 2013 @ 03:35 PM

Editorial: Who stole our autumn?

You're going to have trouble convincing us that the extra-wet summer has nothing to do with what so far is this area's relatively drab autumn.

Oct. 20, 2013 @ 01:01 AM

Editorial: Flush the complaints about bathroom repairs

Although we happily jump at justified opportunities to tweak politicians for greed, hubris and/or stupidity, the recent uproar over now-abandoned plans to renovate the bathrooms in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh is not one.

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 03:29 PM

Editorial: Courts bring no justice for Furniture Brands executives

The wealthy have nothing to fear from this nation’s courts, and the average citizen has nothing but an uphill climb to get justice.

That is a long-held belief in this country, and Judge Christopher S. Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware did nothing but reinforce it Friday when he overruled objections to the plan to pay bonuses to seven top executives of Furniture Brands International if the company reaches certain benchmarks when it exits bankruptcy protection in December.

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 01:24 AM

Editorial: Some DHHS pay can be defended, but some can’t

Most of the payroll decisions that Aldona Wos, state secretary of health and human services, has made can be defended as judgment calls, even if you disagree with them.

But two of them can't be -- and no one has even tried.

Oct. 05, 2013 @ 01:46 PM

Editorial: Congress is dysfunctional by design

If you make the bed, you ought to have to lie in it.

Unfortunately, no one in Congress is feeling any of the effects of the shutdown, and likely never will.

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 01:29 AM

Editorial: Bring on the giant snowmen, we're ready

Scrooge does not reside at the News-Topic.

As we noted in an editorial months ago, we liked the 35-foot-tall snowman that Larry Smith set up at his Christmas tree lot on Morganton Boulevard last year. It simply violated the city’s rules for allowable advertising, and in general we support rules that keep society safe and sane.

Now those rules have changed.

Sep. 24, 2013 @ 02:44 PM

Editorial: Lenoir gains a showplace for region's hopes

Easy prediction: The stretch of U.S. 321 in front of the former headquarters of Broyhill Furniture Industries is going to be a standard part of every tour of the Lenoir area by economic development officials hosting prospective businesses.

On the west side will be the Broyhill building, now being renovated for its new life as the headquarters of rapidly growing Exela Pharma Sciences, a pharmaceutical company. On the east side, farther off the road, will be what is now called the Expo building, which soon is going to be renovated – though that word may be inadequate to describe the facelift the outside of the building is going to get – to become the new headquarters of rapidly growing Greer Laboratories, also a pharmaceutical company.

Sep. 22, 2013 @ 01:47 AM

Teachers deserve more, but ... wow

North Carolina’s teachers deserve better than they have gotten in recent years from this state’s legislature.

They are paid too little, shown too little respect, given inadequate tools to do the job in the modern age, and too often blamed for real and perceived wrongs in the schools.

But what Lt. Gov. Dan Forest called for Wednesday in Greensboro is pure insanity.

Sep. 17, 2013 @ 01:25 AM

Editorial: No bonuses should go to proven losers

If you dropped a bomb on a business and destroyed it, you would be charged, tried and sent to prison.

If you happen to be an executive with phenomenally poor judgment, you expect to get paid millions of dollars.

Sep. 15, 2013 @ 01:47 AM

Editorial: Furniture Brands' woes felt most by workers

Sewage flows downhill, a cleaned-up version of an old saying goes.

Furniture Brands International workers and retirees probably have a renewed sense of why that saying endures.

Sep. 14, 2013 @ 01:01 AM

Editorial: Next time, fix these mistakes

The Republicans who lead the N.C. General Assembly passed a “bad budget” that was not balanced and made the “wrong” decision to eliminate pay raises for teachers who get master’s degrees. In fact, that was “a mistake.”

All of the above is the judgment of the Republicans’ House majority leader, Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, who made these startling admissions Thursday night during what might be called an interrogation by the Hibriten High School Parent Teacher Association.

Sep. 08, 2013 @ 01:25 AM

Editorial: Living large on the backs of taxpayers

The highest-paid state employee we know of is a temp.

There’s good and bad news in that. The good is that he’s a temp, so the state won’t be issuing Tiffany paychecks to him much longer. The bad is that this fits a growing pattern of excessive pay in one particular state department.

Sep. 05, 2013 @ 01:32 AM

Editorial: You can't just take your ball and go home

Presidents of the United States, current and past, have been criticized from the right and the left for issuing “signing statements” with new laws passed by Congress that essentially say the executive branch will not enforce those laws, or will not enforce certain parts of them.

What then to make of Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to ignore a couple of laws that the General Assembly passed over his veto?

Aug. 31, 2013 @ 01:24 AM

Editorial: Wrong impression on Starnes' spending

The NC Insider, a political news publication in Raleigh, reported this week that in the first four months of this year, the campaign of Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, the House majority leader, spent nearly $7,000 on furniture and decorations for his office.

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 01:12 AM

Editorial: Not in a month of Sundays can we compare

Liberals sometimes seem to suffer from protest envy.

They grow up learning of the vastly unequal society that existed at the time of the great civil rights protests of the 1960s, seeing clips of news coverage of the anti-war protests of the Vietnam War years, hearing boomers’ onanistic, fanciful recitations of the wonderful things that their generation accomplished while stoned and naked and also organizing impromptu outdoor music festivals. Who wouldn’t be envious?

They look around today, and the barriers and battles all seem smaller, the villains less sinister.

Yet the rhetoric they choose to employ is lifted virtually without change from the 1960s.

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 01:02 AM

Editorial: A perpetual campaign in N.C.?

You may not have realized it, but the 2016 race for governor is well underway.

Less than 10 months after the last election, and more than three years before the next chance to cast a vote, we already have two declared candidates for the Democratic nomination.

Aug. 29, 2013 @ 01:17 AM

Editorial: Half measures

If we dealt with serial killers the way the United States is dealing with the leadership of Syria, instead of arresting them we would have someone hide in the bushes outside their house and shoot them with a BB gun each time they went outside.