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Columns

  • Congress must preserve SHIIP funding

    By Mike Causey

    guest Columnist

    An effort is under way in Congress to eliminate $47 million that goes to programs like North Carolina’s Seniors Health Insurance Information Program. Such an effort fits the old adage of being penny wise and pound foolish.

    North Carolina’s SHIIP office gets about $1.4 million a year from the federal government, making up about 65 percent of the program’s budget. The remaining 35 percent comes from state sources.

  • You decide: How can affordable housing be increased?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Our residence really sets the stage for much of our lives. Before getting married, I lived in five different apartments in a span of five years. The year would change, and I would change apartments, always trying to move closer to work and improve the quality of my residence.

    The first home my wife and I bought was a drafty 1,000-square-foot house far from work and with limited nearby shopping. With our larger and more accessible home today, we’re much happier.

  • I can do one better than a resolution, letter and phone call

    When the reporters at the Beacon (or The Brunswick, since one side of our sign hasn’t been repaired yet), cover a meeting, the story you see in the paper normally starts with the biggest news and prioritizes the rest.

    So in last week’s Brunswick County commissioner meeting story, the first thing you read about was the engineering study that recommended a reverse osmosis water filtration system was the best option to keep GenX and other contaminants brought to you by The Chemours Co. out of your drinking water.

    At a cost of $99 million.

  • How to avoid and report scam headaches during tax season

    By Josh Stein

    Guest Columnist

    We all get busy during tax season, and that includes the thieves who specialize in taking your money. While you’re working to get all of your information in order to file your taxes, it’s important to be on the lookout for scams designed to get your personal information or rob you of your refund.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Our interim committees and select committees were in full swing again last week in the General Assembly. The first meeting of the House Select Committee on School Safety was held Wednesday, March 21. As a member of the committee, I was very interested in how we would proceed on this extremely important subject. It turned out to be a very productive all-day meeting.

  • Another year older, but apparently not any wiser

    Just a few days before my birthday last week, another one of my infamous migraine headaches knocked me for a loop. Even though the pain had me sobbing and hysterical, I tried to convince my parents I’d be OK and would see a doctor as soon as I felt well enough to drive. My mom was still recovering from a bout of the crud and I didn’t want them to worry.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    In the North Carolina General Assembly last week, committees were in full swing and some were making the news. My only committee that met in Raleigh was the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform.

  • Don’t put off preparing for the worst

    By Jennifer Stuart

    Guest Columnist

    When I prepare wills and other advance directives for clients, they often mention how long they have been putting off this task. Even as an attorney, I long procrastinated on preparing these documents for myself. It’s nobody’s idea of a fun way to spend an afternoon. But one excuse people often use to avoid this task needs to be addressed because it’s based on a faulty assumption.

  • You decide: Frequently asked national debt questions

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    When I take questions after the scores of presentations I make across the state each year, there is one question I can always count on: What is the country going to do about the national debt? I certainly understand the concern with the national debt now more than $20 trillion, and no end in sight. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts the national debt will rise to more than $90 trillion by 2047.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    With the North Carolina General Assembly being officially out of session, all our time is spent in committee meetings and events both in Raleigh and back in our home districts.

    Last week I attended plenty of both. We met with our transportation oversight committee in Raleigh and I had meetings with groups and individuals in all parts of our district in Brunswick County.