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Columns

  • Field trip provides look at past, insight into future
  • G-Man prepares for his twilight years

    My dear spouse, Penny, recently suggested I write my obituary. It followed a detailed discussion about burial versus reducing our remains to ashes. Her 94-year-old father’s wishes are clear, so she thinks we ought to follow suit. Time is growing short, seeing how she is turning a trim 70 and I a geezerly 76.

    Nationally, the average life span is 78.6 years. In Brunswick County, residents 65 and older account for 24.3 percent of the population. My spouse and I are not alone in the need to lay some important groundwork regarding the quality of our futures.

  • Birthdays bring some unexpected gifts

    Today, March 13, is my birthday, my first one here in Brunswick County. My parents are coming to town and so is my kid brother, and spending time with my family is all I really want this year.

    If there was one thing I could change about my birthday, it would be Daylight Saving Time. DST means getting up an hour earlier — bad news for night owls like me. Before 2007, we sprang forward after my birthday for DST. Three years ago, however, my birthday fell on the Sunday DST took effect, meaning my birthday only lasted 23 hours.

  • Luck o’ the Irish

    By Michael O’Hare

     

    In the early ‘60s, we moved from inner city Pittsburgh to a rural suburb. I was 9 and dreaded when March rolled around because I knew my Dad was going to make me wear the funny green hat and bright green jacket to school to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Readers should be proud of Beacon’s award-winning news team

    Just a few days before the Oscars, a week ago, the North Carolina Press Association had its own awards ceremony in Chapel Hill for excellence in journalism in 2013. I’m proud to say our team brought home eight of those awards.

  • Believe it or don’t believe it: A family tree comes to life

    By London L. Gore

    Guest Columnist

    It’s all about a family tree that came to life more than 90 years ago, Dec. 19, 1923. I was mom’s first-born, a very handsome little white-headed newborn boy. I could always tell Mom was real happy with me, but Dad was in a hurry for me to grow up so I could do most of the plowing of the fields, and everything else. When you grew large enough back then to hold a hoe, then you go, go, go!

  • It is OK to have the cupcake first

    By Kathleen DeNike

    Guest Columnist

    There is a difference between a dying process and a sudden death event, and they both leave very different opportunities for healing. Individuals given a terminal diagnosis often have time to reflect and address any issues should they want. Also, those connected to the dying usually have some time and opportunities for closure in their relationships. However, with a sudden and unexpected death, it is done. What the relationship was is what it is forever.

  • Brunswick County news patterns don’t mirror trends elsewhere

    There’s an old saying in journalism when it comes to how and where stories are reported: “If it bleeds, it leads.” What that means is, the juicier, gorier or more salacious news is, the more likely it is to be the top story.

    In my two decades or so in this business, circulation numbers seem to bear out that tired adage. For all the lamenting over a lack of good, positive news, it’s generally the bad news that sells best.

  • Don’t mistake journalism for PR

    The author George Orwell is credited with saying, “Journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations.”

    I’d like to take that definition a step further by saying journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t like — especially when it comes to reporting on government meetings.

    These stories always boil down to the same thing: Providing accounts of what was said and done, and by whom. That’s the sole purpose of meeting coverage.

  • Too much of a good thing is sometimes a challenge

    It would seem inappropriate for me to beg for patience when I have so little of it, but I’m about to do it anyway.

    A few months ago, we recreated a community news policy to let readers know about our deadlines for items like club news, honor rolls, wedding announcements, business and education briefs, and church bulletin notes. The policy has been printed on page 2A of every edition since.

    In case you’ve missed it, I’ll save you the trouble of flipping pages and give it to you here: