Leaves Falling Without Usual Pretty Colors

Published 9:45 am Thursday, October 27, 2016

I blew leaves for the first time this fall on Saturday. Not a lot. But it was the start of a recurring job for the next two months. I’m not wild about the prospect of spending every weekend strapped to a loud blower.

We also went on a short leaf drive Sunday afternoon, looking in vain for colorful trees. What we saw were mostly dull maples that are quickly surrendering to gravity.

This isn’t looking like a year for brilliant colors. It’s nearly the end of October and still we haven’t had the first frost.

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Nationally, the Republican Party has had its divisions this year. Davie County’s GOP seems to be experiencing similar discord.

Oddly, a GOP political ad in last week’s newspaper promoting  Republican candidates left off many of them — two county commissioners and several school board candidates.

No doubt, fallout from the high school bond referendum continues to cause hard feelings even though the new school on Farmington Road opens next August.

Like Donald Trump has discovered, some in his own party haven’t rallied behind him. The bad blood continues. There are no Democratic alternatives but there is an unaffiliated candidate on the ballot.

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I fear some of my bigger brethren in the national media may be causing trouble for the entire journalism community with some of the blatant partisanship in this presidential year. The Wikileaks release of emails to a Hillary Clinton campaign leader repeatedly reveal times when national reporters helped the Clinton campaign. Some have even made financial donations.

One national reporter let the Clinton camp suggest edits to his story and omitted undesirable quotes. There was a time when such blatant partisanship would merit an immediate dismissal.

The few times I saw  the White House media in action a generation ago, the reporters formed a school of piranha that pounced on any President, Republican or Democrat, with equal fury. Neither President Carter nor President Reagan had friendly a press. Now the perception, real or not, is that President Obama has been treated with little of the intense scrutiny that President George W. Bush received. Likewise, Hillary Clinton’s media coverage seems too favorable while Trump’s seems too negative.

Neither of the candidates have had to face many tough questions on the issues. The race has been more consumed with the candidates’ personal flaws than with their plans for the nation.

A sexist boast between guys 11 years ago has been a defining moment for the Trump campaign. Clinton’s near collapse on a sidewalk has called her health into question.

Both candidates have largely resorted to repeating campaign slogans, not spelling out plans for the future.

North Carolina had largely been ignored in past campaigns. Now that the state is a toss-up, both campaigns are spending lots of time here. On Thursday, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama will appear in Winston-Salem. Trump has made numerous visits in the area.

Just two more weeks and we’ll count the votes and finally settle this unpleasant campaign.

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Not to overlook the final game of the season with Parkland, but Davie High’s football team can jump its last big hurdle on Friday at Mount Tabor. The Spartans have dominated Davie in recent years. In a pay-back year when Davie has already taken revenge for last year’s losses, Mount Tabor is another opportunity. Davie is two wins away from an undefeated conference schedule. Good luck.

– Dwight Sparks