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Columns

  • Spring is the perfect time to get reacquainted with our wildlife

    My favorite season is fall, but since I’ve lived here in Brunswick County, spring has become a close second.

    Spring’s arrival a week after my birthday and on my Grandma Torok’s birthday means the cold weather is gone until next fall, my car is getting coated with yellow-green pollen and my cats begin the seasonal shedding of their winter coats.

    Achoo!

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we voted to override the governor’s veto for the first time this session, we introduced many local bills and we welcomed visitors from Brunswick County.

    Last Wednesday, March 22, we had the first bill vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper come back to the House and Senate for possible override votes.

  • You decide: Are we asking too much of the Fed?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    The Federal Reserve — for short, the Fed — is again front and center in the news. With the economy improving and the stock market soaring, the Fed is expected to increase short-term interest rates several times in 2017.

    Yet the Fed and its policies have not been held in high regard by many. Some say the Fed has been trying to do too much. Indeed, some even say the Fed’s policies have been harmful. Let me try to explain and then let you decide.

  • No matter how it’s reported, truth doesn’t have to make sense

    Mark Twain famously said, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” I can’t help but guess whether he came up with this quote based on the newspaper experience had had in his storied career.

    I wonder what he would have thought of this doozy of a situation I dealt with the other week.

    I came to the office to find a message that a man came to the Beacon wanting to talk to a reporter. He’d left his phone number.

    Since all our reporters were on assignment, I took it upon myself to give him a call.

  • My Michigan turn tutorial

    I understand from my colleague Laura Lewis that construction in the south end of Brunswick County is almost complete on a new set of Michigan turns.

    So to the Sunset Beach, Calabash and Carolina Shores crowds joining the fraternity of drivers not allowed to make a left turn onto U.S. 17 without making a right turn and driving the wrong way first, I want to be the first to publicly welcome you to slot track racing.

    Covering the northern end of Brunswick County gives me lots of opportunities to slingshot around the Michigan turns in that area.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we heard the State of the State address from Gov. Roy Cooper, we introduced and passed several important education bills, and we introduced more local bills for Brunswick County.

  • Even when you don't have time for one, birthdays happen anyway

    Here it is, March 13, my birthday, and I’ve spent the past 14 hours of it at the office.

    I’m happy to have made it through another year of life and I’m the last person to complain about spending it at work, because my Beacon coworkers are more like family to me than most of my blood relatives. (I have a lot of them — my maternal grandmother alone was one of 11 surviving children who all had children of their own.)

    This year’s birthday started out feeling like a bother, though.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we passed tougher penalties for felony death by boating, we made changes to the selection of judges, we met with a coastal advocacy group and we continued to work on local bills.

  • You decide: What is your local economy?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    North Carolina has a lot of local governments. To be exact, there are 100 counties and 552 municipalities in the state. North Carolina is one of only seven states with triple digits in the number of counties, with Texas taking the prize at 254. We’re 18th among states in the number of municipalities, but far below the record holder of Illinois with 2,729.

  • Showcasing, sustaining local businesses pays dividends

    Early returns show this past Saturday’s inaugural Live.Learn.Shop.LOCAL Business Expo in Ocean Isle Beach was a rousing success. The free event, presented by the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, featured 70 vendors — with many offering souvenirs, raffles and giveaways — plus goody bags for the first 150 people and the option to register for a door prize.

    As a new chamber board member and having assisted with the chamber’s home and garden show two years ago, I played a minor role on the committee that put together this expo.