A Birdie, an Eagle - And One Bogey
Birdie: By the trio of debate teams from West Pine Middle School that did themselves and their school so proud in last week's annual event pitting several Moore County schools against each other.
The local branch of the English-Speaking Union sponsored the event, which was held at Sandhills Community College and also featured more than 100 students from Highfalls Elementary, Crains Creek, Elise Middle, Southern Middle, New Century Middle and Sandhills Classical Christian.
Special recognition goes to the West Pine team of Victoria Martin and Greg Lyne, for finishing in first place with a perfect 4-0 record in four rounds of competition. Two other teams from the school placed fourth and sixth.
It's hard to argue - or debate - with that kind of success.
Eagle: By Jim Dodson, our own writer-in-residence (not to mention editor of The Pilot's three arts-and-culture magazines and four-time New York Times best-selling author), for winning a rare honor from the United States Golf Association.
Dodson's latest work, "American Triumvirate: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and the Modern Age of Golf," has won the USGA's Herbert Warren Wind Book Award for 2012. What makes that extra special is that Dodson is only the second writer ever to win the award twice. He was honored in 2004 for "Ben Hogan: An American Life."
"Snead, Nelson and Hogan set the standard for professional golf for three decades," said Robert Williams, director of the USGA Museum. "James Dodson did a masterful job not only telling the story of these three men, but also bringing an entire era of golf into sharper focus."
We're extra proud of our talented colleague for hitting not just one but two under par in this highly competitive game.
Bogey: By the gun lobby groups in Raleigh and some other state capitals who are now agitating to make the records of firearms permits secret.
Though the subject of open government happens to be getting special emphasis at the moment, during Sunshine Week, the principle is important all year. In a democracy, open government records are almost always to be preferred over the closed kind, which can lead to all kinds of mischief.
Ownership of the most common kinds of sports firearms - rifles and shotguns - are of no official interest to the government, and no permits are required. The laws come into play only in cases of pistol ownership or concealed-carry permits. Under present law, those permits fall under the same state laws that require any number of other kinds of documents to be available for public inspection.
No one has made a good case for making an exception by taking this particular kind of document out of the sunshine and hiding it in the dark.
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