• News

    United Church of Christ files suit over NC gay marriage ban

    By Sam Killenberg The United Church of Christ, along with a group of Charlotte-based ministers, have launched a lawsuit challenging the state of North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage. The ministers, a group that contains mostly Christian pastors and one rabbi, support same-sex marriage and claim that the state’s ban prevents them from practicing their religious beliefs. “The core protection of the First Amendment is that government may not regulate religious beliefs or take sides in religious controversies,” says Jonathan Martel, a Washington, D.C., attorney helping with the case. “Marriage performed by clergy is a spiritual exercise and expression of faith essential to the values and continuity of the religion…

  • Opinions

    SGA Campaign 2014: Candy levels up, legitimacy levels down

    Political patronage has a long history in the United States stretching back to the Gilded Age of the 1870s, when powerful party machines wooed citizens by promising money or work in exchange for votes. As recently as 2012, Mitt Romney went on a conference call after his campaign defeat and told his donors that “[President Obama’s] campaign… focused on giving targeted groups a big gift” of welfare and handouts. But neither the sleazy patronage of big-city politicians nor Obama’s supposed gift-giving can hold a candle to the widespread bribery of some of today’s least legitimate democracies. Candidates blatantly bestow gifts to potential voters, completely immune from meaningful campaign regulation. Platforms…

  • Archived

    Hey, remember that one time?

                    By Sam Killenberg It is almost 11:30 on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Three of my friends and I are onstage performing the encore at Battle of the Bands. We have just won. We’re performing “Hands” by The Raconteurs. It’s a song we’ve played many times before. Later, we’d watch a video of it and realize it didn’t sound all that good. Only about twenty friends stuck around for the encore, as most of the people who came to the show were filing out of Local 506. But in that moment, fresh off a victory we had hoped for for years, playing our…

  • News

    Duke Energy spill raises environmental and political concerns

    On Feb. 2, over 30,000 tons of toxic coal ash spilled from a Duke Energy pipe and into the Dan River, causing a statewide and national controversy over environmental regulation in North Carolina. The spill, the third-largest of its kind in United States history, leaked from a pipe running under a coal ash dump or “pond” containing waste from a recently decommissioned plant in Eden, NC. The coal ash, along with an arsenic-based discharge leaking from another pipe, spilled into the Dan River, a 214-mile river that flows into southern Virginia. The coal ash, which is the highly toxic residue left by burning coal, now coats the bottom of over…

  • Arts & Culture

    The Bacchanalian – Indian Lunch Buffets

    The Indian restaurant lunch buffet is one of the best lunch options you can find. For around $10, you can sample a diverse selection of some of the tastiest food in Chapel Hill. However, most East students are unable or unwilling to venture to the delectable Indian options in town. It’s true that most of Chapel Hill’s best Indian options are far from campus, but as the fourth quarter approaches and seniors (and the occasional junior) become more amenable to skipping class, the adventurous diner should consider playing hooky with an all-you-can-eat sampling of the subcontinent’s finest cuisine. The ECHO’s Charlie Caron and Sam Killenberg did just that, and here…