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Columns

  • How was your hurricane weekend?

    A little more than a week ago, I had the chance to break out on a long weekend and bounce up and down the East Coast on a four-day trip that took me to two of the biggest cities in the U.S.: New York City and Clemson, S.C., on a football weekend.

    A couple years ago, I lived out a childhood dream of going to New York to catch David Letterman’s show before he finally closed up shop and grew a giant, white beard.

    On this trip, I was again reliving my youth by going to see guitar legend Eric Clapton at Madison Square Garden.

  • September is National Recovery Month

    By Rocky Atkinson

    Guest Columnist

    Since our son’s death of a drug overdose almost five years ago Oct. 10, 2012, an additional 200,000 men and women have died as a result of the same disease, an addiction to drugs and alcohol. At the time of Patrick’s passing, the tsunami of death because of addiction was just reaching shore. Many were already dead or dying, but the worst was yet to come.

  • Know your rights in nursing homes

    By Jennifer Stuart

    Guest Columnist

    "Please don’t put me in a nursing home” is a sentiment I hear often from my senior clients. Many people seem to equate nursing homes with captivity and the end of all freedom. Realistically, though, as we live longer than our predecessors, often with various disabilities and debilitating health problems, nursing homes will eventually become the only option for many of us.

  • An extended editor’s note in lieu of a lengthy column

    As some readers may know already, the Beacon isn’t printed here in Shallotte. Since our press shut down in 2011, the fine folks at The News & Record in Greensboro have been helping us bring our print edition to readers each week via the U.S. Postal Service and more than 50 racks we have in and around Brunswick County.

    By the end of this month, Greensboro’s press will have shut down as well, shifting its duties — including the printing of the Beacon — to its neighboring newspaper’s press at The Winston-Salem Journal.

  • You decide: What is the good and bad in today’s economy?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Although my late mother never finished high school, she still was a wise person. One of her favorite sayings was, there are two sides to every story. Of course when I tried to use this logic after I disobeyed one of her rules, she would reply, “There are exceptions!”

  • We’re willing to help you help others — if you let us

    Hello again! Last week, we ran out of room for my column.

    Actually, as Beacon editor, I made the call that what other people had to say on the opinion pages of last week’s edition was more important and timelier than what I had to say.

  • Two minutes on Tuesdays meant so much

    By Mike O'Hare

    Guest Columnist

    Since retiring to Brunswick County five years ago, my wife and I have been lucky to have been part of a volunteer program that has us visiting people each Tuesday.

  • You decide: Are the humanities still useful in a tech world?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    My wife is part of a shrinking group of people. She is low-tech! Yes, she has a smart phone and a tablet, compliments of me, but she reluctantly uses them. Many days she forgets to turn them on, and even if they’re on, she’ll forget to check for messages. Rather than texting or emailing, she still likes writing letters, making phone calls or, better yet, talking to people in person.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina General Assembly, we voted on new district maps for the N.C. House and Senate, we passed an environmental package including GenX provisions and we adjourned the August special session.

  • Sounds, stress and trying to tune out the noise

    Once, when I lived in Ehringhaus on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, I got in some trouble when I slept through a fire alarm.

    Thankfully, there was no fire. But my resident adviser and a few of the firefighters who responded couldn’t understand why it took so long for the shrill screeching coming directly from outside my dorm room door to rouse me. They thought maybe I was under the influence, but no. It’s just that when I’m good and tired, I can sleep through just about any loudness.