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Columns

  • Kindred Spirit bench mystery solved

    By Jacqueline DeGroot

    Guest Columnist

     

    No one knows exactly what day it happened, but during the summer of 2011, a custom-built wooden bench magically appeared at The Kindred Spirit Mailbox on Bird Island. It just showed up one day — with no explanation, and no one seeking credit.

  • Think kindly of good journalists

    Every time I hear someone blame news media for any or all of the world’s ills, I want to shake him.

    I can’t say all journalists are free of bias, or report data correctly at all times, or act completely without malice, or that sharing news to serve the common good is their sole motivation, because it’s not true.

  • Clarification on Sunset Beach swimming pools

    By Ron Watts

    Guest Columnist

    I ran for the office of mayor of Sunset Beach to help fairly and effectively handle issues that face our town with minimal drama and, yes, transparency. It’s my privilege to serve in that capacity.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

     

    Guest Columnist

     

    Last week was the final week of the 2013-14 session. The only thing that can bring us back is a special session called by the governor. The session this year lasted from mid-May until last Wednesday, Aug. 20. We had hoped to be finished by July 4, but negotiations on the budget and other major subjects kept us in session for about three months. The next session for 2015-16 begins in mid-January.

  • Immunizations for Medicare beneficiaries

    By Jennifer Prince Sherman

    Guest Columnist

     

    SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, for many years has built a reputation for providing reliable, unbiased information about Medicare. Housed in the North Carolina Department of Insurance, SHIIP provides free counseling to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers by phone and in person in all 100 counties of the state.

  • Bird Island walk offers fresh air, perspective

    It took me almost all summer, but I was finally able to make time to go on one of the free walks along the shore of Bird Island Coastal Reserve in Sunset Beach last week.

    The walks, led by members of the Bird Island Preservation Society, take place every Wednesday through August, so you’ve got one more chance to go if you’re interested. I heartily recommend it.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    The North Carolina House and Senate held no voting sessions for almost two weeks, so there was no column in this series last week. There were “skeleton sessions” held to comply with the constitution, which says we must meet every four days while in session. These sessions are attended by members who live in the immediate area or are in Raleigh for other reasons. No votes are taken, but bills can be received from the other chamber and moved in and out of committees from the floor during these sessions.

  • Last-minute training for high school reunion ain't for sissies

    It’s strenuous and stressful but not impossible.

    As the late, always-in-shape Jack LaLanne might’ve said before his 78th Berkeley High School gathering (if there was one) — you, too, can start training for your high school reunion no matter where on the horizon it may be looming. And, believe me, m’dears, it is looming.

    For some time now, I’ve been trying to shape up for my own milestone high school reunion, whose number shall remain discreet because, blissfully, I can’t remember what it is.

  • Laughter is great medicine, but not enough to survive pain

    I like to think by the time you read this, actor-comedian Robin Williams will have spent the last few days yukking it up again with his mentor, Jonathan Winters.

    Like most of us, I was saddened to read Williams’ death this past Monday is an apparent suicide. He’d publicly discussed his past substance abuse and ongoing struggle with depression even though he was one of the funniest people on earth.

  • Finding joy and looking for pants in ‘summer heat’

    It’s not often I start having a good time by 7 a.m. most days. I’ve found it’s best for everyone if I’m still in bed at that hour whenever possible. It’s best for everyone if I’m not around other people, either, at that hour. And it’s always best, at any hour, if I have plenty of personal space with room to move.