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Columns

  • 'Back to school' means it's time to shine and shuttle before the sun

    If I had to go back to school, I’d probably be tardy.

    For one thing, I’d probably miss the bus, assuming I’d be returning to elementary school.

    These days, Brunswick County students in grades K-through-5 literally have to rise before the chickens in order to catch the bus. This means their devoted parents have to awaken even earlier if they hope to raise up those kids right and get them dressed and fed before the big yellow bus swings by well before sunrise o’clock.

  • One year later: Catching up with the Real Army Wife of Brunswick County

    Last fall, the Beacon brought readers a story of a young woman preparing for the arrival of her first child. What would be a nerve-racking experience for any expecting mother was amplified by the fact that this young woman’s husband was gearing up to deploy to Afghanistan as she prepared for the baby’s arrival.

  • In an imperfect world, what is it we all are truly seeking?

    Writers will tell you when we are moved to write, we write—often without knowledge or understanding of a direction.
    Sometimes we write because we have to. Other times we write because we are driven to.

  • ‘No room for error’ when it comes to student safety

    Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Edward Pruden has it right. When it comes to student safety, there is no room for error.
    It’s unfortunate, however, that at least two bus drivers missed the value of this message—and may have forgotten their training—when two students were let off county buses at the wrong locations.
    Luckily for everyone involved, the students were ultimately safe, although one was injured following what the school system has called horseplay on a bus.

  • Election-and-issues season kicks off in southern Brunswick

    It’s that time of year again. You can feel it in the air.

    The summer array of vacationers has retreated farther inland, and local voters and candidates are starting to huddle closer together, mapping their strategy.

    The seasonal transition into fall always brings a timely kickoff into the upcoming election season, too.

    It started early in Carolina Shores, where the Concerned Citizens staged private interview sessions last month with candidates for mayor and town commissioners.

  • Commission did an injustice to citizens by neglecting recommendations for local board positions

    Maybe Brunswick County Social Services board chairman Charles Warren and members of the North Carolina Social Services Commission are getting their cues from the same place.
    And apparently it’s a place where no one feels input from the county’s governing elected body—Brunswick County Board of Commissioners—matters much.
    Last Tuesday county commissioners voted in majority to send recommendations for Dean Walters and Sue Carroll to the commission for two vacant positions on the local DSS board.

  • Your regularly scheduled hyper-opinionated columnist will return in two weeks

    It’s not often I find myself at a loss for words. Just ask my co-workers, friends, family—just about anyone who knows me.

    So, as I sit here the morning of Monday, Sept. 12, in a feeble attempt to pen this column, I find myself in a strange state, at a loss for words. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of column fodder circulating around these days. It just doesn’t seem to matter like it usually does.

  • 'Buying American' not an easy pledge these days in the good ol' U.S.A.

    Recently, I swore my allegiance, taking up the cause of a growing movement in this country to “buy American.”

    For one thing, I’ve been shopping at local produce markets. As far as I know, the stores’ crop yield this year still consists mostly of fruits and vegetables harvested on American soil, right? Except maybe for bananas.

    I also pledged I would not buy or wear any new clothes that weren’t bearing a “made in USA” label.

  • Too prepared for Hurricane Irene? They’re kidding, right?

    Just in time for football season, I’m taking a line from Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano’s Facebook page: “It’s Monday morning…and everyone’s a quarterback.”

    Yes, Anthony, I’m sure they are.

    He, of course, is referring to the interesting human phenomenon of Monday-morning quarterbacking—the rare condition in which everyone has an opinion (usually of the would’ve, should’ve could’ve variety) about how the game should have been played.

  • Take cover: Hurricane Irene is whipping a warpath in this direction

    Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

    That’s my new motto, especially now that Hurricane Irene is churning toward the East Coast.

    When every weather pro on TV is urging caution, as they did Tuesday complete with ominous-looking graphics encompassing the Carolinas, I tend to listen.

    “Close your garage doors,” warned one local forecaster.

    Before or after we skedaddle west?