Thursday, October 14, 2004

Get your mammogram!

Get a mammogram during October and tell us your favorite anecdote about the experience. Was the technician funny? What happened on the way to getting yours "fresh squeezed?"

Share your story with us and we'll read the best of 'em on the air.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Inside Politics on the Inside

This week's show features an interview with the dynamic Ruby Sinreich, creator of and advocate for progressive politics. Ruby's vision for the OP blog was to engage a whole new crowd in the local political scene. While it's started out as more of a cyber-watercooler (bar?) for "the usual suspects," the site could and should grow into her dreamscape -- an entry point for new voices to emerge into the marketplace of progressive ideas. Visit the site, buy an OP T-shirt (to support the site) and get involved!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Carrboro Music Festival

Coming up this weekend (beautiful weather on order for Sunday, September 26) is the Carrboro Music Fesival. Please do visit for details on venues and groups perfoming. Organizers Berkeley Grimball and Shooting the Breeze regular Catherine DeVine (Mrs. G.) chatted up a storm this week with a behind-the-scenes take on running the show.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

More Changes at RDU

Recent guest Jeff Vanke is trying to block the RDU Authority from a $350 million facelift of Terminal C. Vanke calls the project, scheduled to begin in December, a boondoggle. More on his reasons at

It does seem a bit over the top that the airport would need expansion just as we're hearing all about the airlines needing bailouts due to the drop in air travel. Kinda makes you wonder, don't it?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Politics of a Pancake

Recent guests on Shooting the Breeze included E.J. & Steve Manton, the dynamic duo who held the pancake breakfast fundraiser for the Kerry/Edwards campaign. A dinner conversation became a committee which quickly resulted in a grassroots fundraiser raking in $47,500.

Now that's a number.

Rounding out their team were:
Tom Henkel, Michael and Sheila Cory, Arlene and Bernie Goodman, Carol and Nortin Hadler, Marilyn and Don Hartman, Alice Joyce, Barry Katz, Judy Marks, Ann Rauchback, Edie Salmony, Rosemary Waldorf, Andrea Woosley and Bill and Jan Zellman

The event was held at Mama Dip's Kitchen, featured music by the All-Stars, whose performance was donated. Nice work folks.

Bomb Scares at Cedar Ridge High

It will only take one ... one real pipe bomb, one kid with an arm blown to bits to drive home the reality that every single time a bomb threat is phoned in school officials must react swifty and seriously. Thankfully, Cedar Ridge High School's staff knows this and as several threats have been called in just this week, they have properly evacuated the buildings and searched as needed to assure students and staff that returning indoors was safe.

Kudos to Principal Alisa McLean for offering a reward to students for infomation leading to an arrest -- there have been two this week and we're all hopeful this will calm things down. The school and the district should hear from parents -- from all of us, that we appreciate their vigilence in this post-Columbine world.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Barbie for President?! From the Dream House to the White House

On this week's Shooting the Breeze we talked briefly about Mattel's latest promotion for the 45 year-old Barbie. She's running for the top job, says a spokesperson for Mattel -- a means of teaching girls about the importance of the political process.

Does this mean that she and Ken will finally settle down?

Ahhh. Memories of Dan Quayle bashing fictional TV character Murphy Brown for electing to have her accidental baby. Of course, that was before the butterfly ballot ...

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Shooting the Breeze

Beginning August 21, my new show Shooting the Breeze will take to the airwaves on WCHL (1360 AM). We'll focus on politics, culture and the culture of politics. We're gonna have FUN. That's right F-U-N. We want listeners to participate with show ideas, suggestions about guests and responses to things we talk about on the air. It's all good. Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Stay Tuned

Yesterday, I taped an interview with Susan and Steve Halkiotis for air sometime during July on WCHL. We talked about politics and the tone of debate lately. It was a lively hour with a few good laughs, for sure. Among the best was when I asked hen they got married and they answered ... she with "1999" and he with "2000."

She was right. He should be shopping at area jewelers soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

On The Radio

It's been big fun dabbling in the world of wavelength ... courtesy of WCHL, 1360 on your AM dial. With one installment of The Special Hour in the book (on the archive at I'm looking forward to many more interviews with newsmakers ... talking about the big picture. As with chess, we'll try to see the whole board.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

A Modest Proposal

Just a thought ... but when setting aside the infamous Titanic speech episode, did anyone else notice the choices of commencement speakers for our local high school graduations? Cedar Ridge High School got State Superintendent Mike Ward ... woo-woo. I just know the kids were beside themselves over that one. They're probably still too giddy to sleep!

The kids should make this call -- not the school officials or the politicians. We have so many wonderful, entertaining and hip people in this community. For pity's sake, why didn't we get Ron Stutts or someone who can write and deliver a funny limerick?

Oh, sure, the grown-ups should have approval, but the kids ought to be making this choice for their special day.

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Post-Cook Era

Step One in making the scandal go away: Keith Cook has resigned as chairman of the Orange County school board.

Won't it be the ultimate irony if Cook's collosal error in plagiarizing a commencement speech ends up being a catalist for bringing the Orange County school board to a position of unity? The community is furious for the embarassment over this incident. It seems likely that to a person, all school board members have taken Cook to the woodshed.

Maybe the sheer shock of it will send them all into the coming year with a fresh sense of appreciation for their differences ... it's only politics, after all. Differences can mean the strength of broad representation and a common standard of conduct and value can bring any group together. If Sept. 11 taught us anything, it was that our most common values are as near to the surface as we need them to be.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Passing of Ronald Reagan

It's a sad day. I was no fan of Ronald Reagan as my President, but I sure respected him as a politician. Democrats were driven insane by his ability to lobby and win a point without losing his opponents friendship. His relationship with Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill was legendary.
How I miss the days of the loyal opposition in politics. It is such a mistake to demonize one's opponent, such a waste.

Can we take the lesson that his passing teaches without making it a political referendum on his politics?

Friday, June 04, 2004

Lessons from the Cook'd Ship Lollypop

Remember in fourth grade when your teacher scolded that if you didn't put your name on your assignment, then Mr. Nobody would get the credit for your work? Apparently Mr. Nobody got elected Chairman to the Orange County School Board.

Ketih Cook's excuse for his recent plagiarism of a Donna Shalala commencement speech is that he "didn't know it belonged to anybody." First, he's full of it. I cannot find an unattributed copy of that speech online, though perhaps by now Cook has posted one somewhere.

Second (and more to the point) it brings to mind an image of Cook finding someone else's homework assignment on the teacher's desk, seeing no name on it and signing his own. His not knowing whose it was is utterly irrelevent. He knows it wasn't his.

Can it get worse? Sure. Cook says that this situtation is now blown out of proportion by his detractors: From the 6-4-04 News & Observer:

"It started out with a little fire, and people threw wood on it, and now you have flames ablazing one more time in Orange County Schools, and it is not good for anybody," he said. "It is chilling to feel and hear how vindictive some people are, to know that people could forget so easily."

Now that he's compounded his offense by lying more and adding an attempt at victimhood for good measure, yes Cook has clearly demonstrated that he's a candidate for the "I don't get it" hall of fame.

Thankfully, next month the voters will explain it to him with a math lesson.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

And Another Thing

As sometimes happens, I have one more thing to add ...

In my 6-2-04 column (regarding Orange County School Board Chair Keith Cook's having swiped a speech from Donna Shalala for use in the Orange High School commencement ceremony) I mentioned that the movie "Titanic" was R-rated." That was an error. It was rated PG-13.

When people make mistakes, some are tickled to point out the error, some are just tickled. There will be much talk in the coming weeks about whether or not Cook should resign from the Orange County School Board. I hope that instead of quitting, he demonstrates the strength of character that it takes to admit a mistake, resign your leadership post for it, and continue your service in a manner that demonstrates you've learned your lesson.