Letters: Paul Stam on Education Lottery


Cary, NC — Representative Paul Stam of Apex, who is also Speaker Pro Tem of the NC House, sent us the following opinion about the N.C. Education Lottery. We thought it was worth reprinting here. What do you think? Read more

Angst Report: College Grad Returns to Cary


Story by Jamie Berger, CaryCitizen’s summer writing intern. Photo by Brian Speice, CaryCitizen’s summer photo intern.

Cary, NC – The deceptively innocent question, “So, what’s next?” becomes somewhat of a cruel cliché when asked of soon-to-be college graduates or recent grads. We hear it so many times that our responses start to sound scripted. In many cases—at least when the answers are less than promising—they actually are, because “I don’t know” never satisfies. At least for me, directing this question inwards provoked a series of existential crises that eventually escalated into a full-blown quarter life crisis. Yes, that’s really a thing. Google it.

Until a couple weeks ago, my answer was “I’m going to gain some professional experience for a year or two before returning to law school or grad school.”  In other words, “I have no idea.”  In other other words, “I’m going back home ‘til I can figure it all out.”

It wasn’t just my uncertain future, the scary headlines about unemployment rates among college graduates, my impending eviction from academia’s comfy cradle, or the prospect of an endless cycle of internships that generated my final-semester panic. I was also horrified of ending up back at home. In Cary.

There has been a bit of hubbub lately surrounding Cary’s lack of “Millennials,” also known as Generation Y. I was one of this age group’s few representatives at the recent Imagine Cary Summit, where I learned that Cary has a significantly smaller percentage of residents between the ages of 20 and 29 than Raleigh, Wake County, and North Carolina. Most of us who grew up in Cary in the late 1980s and early 1990s leave for college… and don’t come back.

Nevertheless, I did end up there after graduation, and found myself savoring my time in my hometown. Few other places are as serene as my own backyard in one of Cary’s “older” neighborhoods – though not beautifully manicured like other lots in town, its lovely wildness and quiet, scurrying life dazzle on late afternoons in summer. Creeping ivy and half-foot saplings are slowly reclaiming the shady, forest-bound yard where I used to play badminton on bare feet. My house, now over twenty three years old, shows its age in well-worn carpet and dated wallpaper. Timeworn photos of middle school friends have faded on a sunlit wall. This place has grown up with me.

I was beginning to look forward to spending more time in Cary—realizing my nightmare of “ending up” there was more like a dream—when I was offered an internship in Washington, DC that I couldn’t refuse. I haven’t spent more than several weeks at a time in Cary since I left for college four years ago, and this summer will be no different.

Sometimes I don’t even fully unpack my bags; I live out of a suitcase in my own house.

Now that I’m living in DC, I couldn’t be happier. It has everything a person of my generation could want: the freedom of not needing a car, dense, walkable neighborhoods, a plethora of (often free) cultural offerings, restaurants serving almost every type of cuisine, and immense opportunity to explore many possible answers to the question, “So, what’s next?” After only a week here, I’ve already caught the bug of urban life.

But my ephemeral Cary summers—and Christmases and Thanksgivings—will still be some of my favorite parts of the year. Cary is not only a calming escape from college or, now, professional life; it’s also where the people (and animals!) I love are most concentrated. After living in rental after rental after rental, Cary is still the only place in the world where my bed, my room, my backyard, my town exist. As a transient twenty something, I treasure the sights, smells, and comforts of my one and only home, and I’ll always go back there, if only for a couple weeks at a time.


Here are a few of our favorite stories from previous CaryCitizen interns and student-contributors.

Students Abroad: Trip to India Reflects on Cary


Story and photos by Jamie Berger, an undergraduate at UNC Chapel Hill from Cary, NC.

Cary, NC – Approximately one-third the size of the United States, but home to about 17% of the world’s population, India is best described as a country of extremes.  Characterized by infinite diversity and cultural abundance, India is a place of both extravagant wealth and unimaginable poverty.  Its vast history has been shaped by the cruelest tyranny and the very essence of peace, and today it stands at the fascinating confluence of countless ancient traditions and the West’s globalizing modernity. Read more

Letters: Do We Pet Horses or Eat Them?


Dear Editor:

Last week, food safety officials in United Kingdom, France, and Sweden found traces of horse meat in ground beef sold across Europe. Massive recalls and lawsuits are ensuing.

Can it happen here? Horse slaughter for human consumption was banned in the U.S. between 2007 and 2011. But now, a New Mexico slaughterhouse is getting approved by U.S. authorities to slaughter horses for human consumption, and a Philadelphia restaurant has already announced plans to serve horse meat.

I marvel at our hypocrisy of rejecting the notion of horse or dog meat on our dinner plates, while condemning cows, pigs, and chickens to the same fate. Obviously, we have established special relationships with horses and dogs as our companions, protectors, and sports protagonists, rather than as food. But where is the ethical and logical distinction, given that all these animals are endowed by individuality, sentience, and an ability to experience the same feelings of joy, affection, sadness, and fear that we do?

Fortunately, our health food industry has spared us from having to choose which animals to pet and which ones to eat. Their delicious soy and grain-based meat alternatives are available in every supermarket.

Ralph Cooper
Raleigh, NC


Photo by Cindy Cornett Seigle.

The Importance of Fathers

Story by Thomas Goolsby, North Carolina State Senator representing New Hanover County.

Wilmington, NC – Tomorrow we bury my father. Although his passing was not unexpected, the finality of his death still comes as a shock. One of my brothers was with him and assures me that his final moments were peaceful. Read more

Letters: Paul Stam on the Death Penalty in NC

Cary, NC – Last week, we received an email from Paul Stam’s office explaining why the House majority leader supports the resumption of executions in North Carolina. Read more

Letters: Paul Stam on Amendment One

Publisher’s Note: We received this Letter to the Editor from Representative Paul Stam in response to an opinion piece by Lori Bush.  Rep. Stam serves the 37th legislative district in Wake County and is majority leader of the N.C. House of Representatives. Read more

Letters: Where’s the Respect?

To the Editor,

After attending the WCPSS BOE meeting on Tuesday, March 27th, I walk away more disturbed by the actions of some of those in attendance then any topic discussed during the meeting. Read more

Harold’s Blog: Schools, Development, Recyclebank and the Media

Story and photo by Harold Weinbrecht.

Cary, NC – This week was filled with meetings and school visits. Read more

Harold’s Blog: Late Nights, Bees, and Area Growth

From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, covering the week through February 26, 2012. 

Cary, NC – This week was a busy week with a lot of late nights. Read more