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Columns

  • You decide: Why did we move away from self-sufficiency?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    We are again involved in a debate about health insurance for those not covered by their employer, Medicare, Medicaid or other groups. Many want to replace the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) that addresses the uninsured, but consensus on a replacement has not been found.

  • We, the public, are the ultimate government watchdogs

    There was a really great story in The Washington Post last week that grabbed my attention and made my heart sing. It was about the staff of the Booster Redux, the student newspaper of Pittsburg High School in Kansas, who questioned the credentials of their new principal. She resigned as a result of their story; it turned out her story didn’t check out.

  • Brunswick Christian Recovery Center needs community’s help

    By Rocky Atkinson

    Guest Columnist

    Addiction to alcohol and drugs is now front-page news. Many who pooh-poohed the whole addiction thing are now dealing with loved ones in the throes of a slow death.

    We all have someone in our family or close by who is in the battle of their lives.

    When you are on drugs, that’s all you think about.

    You certainly don’t spend time checking on the purity or quality of what you are about to snort or inject.

  • You decide: What determines county jobless rates in N.C.?

    The unemployment rate is one of the most closely tracked of economic statistics. There are two reasons for this. First, unemployment rates for the nation, state and local areas (counties, metropolitan regions) are released each month and with a rather short lag, so the information is reasonably up-to-date.

    Second, an unemployment rate, unlike many economic measures, is relatively easy to understand. It’s the percentage of the adult workforce actively looking for a job.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we passed a major regulations bill that helped Brunswick County, we passed a revision of the state board of elections and we passed school calendar bills I opposed.

    Committees were meeting every hour last week, sometimes two and three at a time. Most committees had multiple bills before them, often a half dozen or dozen at a time. For example, the House Transportation Committee on April 4 handled seven bills.

  • Council should try to preserve natural beauty of Sunset Beach

    To the editor:

    In response to Sunset Beach Town Councilman Peter Larkin’s comments to “muzzle” the Environmental Resources Committee (ERC), the committee is working on the issue of dredging in the tidal marsh on the east end of the island and the canals on the mainland.

    It should be noted Larkin is one of three council members who were appointed by the council instead of being elected by Sunset Beach residents. That is two too many appointees. There should have been an election.

  • Behold beer as economic fuel and inspiration

    Benjamin Franklin, as it turns out, never said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” I’m not sure who actually said it or if anyone famous ever did, but it doesn’t matter much to me anyway. As far as I’m concerned, a good beer is one of life’s pleasures.

    If I’m at a local restaurant, bar or festival, I’m more likely to try a craft beer I’ve never had before or one I know I can’t get anywhere else to satisfy my palate.

  • On Campus with BCC: Brunswick Guarantee opens doors to higher education

    By Dr. Susanne Adams

    Guest Columnist

    The campus community of Brunswick Community College extends a sincere thank-you to Brunswick County commissioners for their unanimous support of BCC in providing a postsecondary education to local high school graduates.

  • Recommended state health plan premium increase hurts government retirees in N.C.

    By Richard Rogers

    Guest Columnist

    The board of trustees for the state health plan has approved a 2018 benefit design change that imposes a $50 monthly premium for non-Medicare retirees enrolled in the 80/20 plan, a significant increase from the $15.04 per month they pay now.

    That’s $600 in premiums over the course of one year — more than a 330 percent increase on current annual payments.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we met almost every hour March 28 and 29 with committees and visitors, we worked on the budget early each morning and we passed a repeal and reset of the controversial House Bill 2.