• Friends and family, visitors and tourists

    One great thing about living in Brunswick County, for me, is it dramatically increases the odds of catching up in person with family and friends — especially those I haven’t seen in decades.

    This past Sunday, it was my friend, Nicolle Gaillard, her older brother Sean and his family, who were vacationing in Ocean Isle Beach. I haven’t seen Nicolle or Sean since we were in high school in Winston-Salem but, thanks to Facebook, we’ve reconnected and I was able to meet them at Mass during their visit.

  • You decide: Which economic plan will boost the economy?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    I’ve been avidly following presidential elections since 1960. Then, as a 10-year-old, I watched the Kennedy-Nixon race go down to the wire with the final outcome being decided by only a handful of votes.

    Now, just as in 1960 and almost every election since, today’s presidential contest focuses on the economy. One of the big economic issues is relatively slow growth. In recent years, our economy has been annually expanding by close to 2 percent.

    The long run average is nearer to 3 percent.

  • What I did on my summer vacation

    The last time I was in my hometown, it was to lay my godfather to rest. I decided I wasn’t going to wait for a sad occasion to go back again.

    It only took me five years to make good on that call.

    I just spent my first real vacation in seven years in my native Cleveland.

    You know how I knew for sure I was overdue for a break? I realized after we’d gone to press last week I’d misspelled the name of Olympic women’s beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor in my column. How embarrassing.

  • State, federal partnership is good news for Navassa

    By Michael Scott

    Guest Columnist

    A good news story is unfolding in Brunswick County that people should know about.

    I’m talking about the environmental cleanup of the former Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. in Navassa.

    From the 1930s until 1974, Kerr-McGee used creosote to preserve wood products on a 246-acre site in Navassa. Unfortunately, these operations came about before we knew the importance of balancing our economic desires with our needs to protect the environment.

  • Summer Olympics show lots to enjoy about sports

    There are some people who don’t care about or don’t like watching the Olympics and there are some who become engrossed in them every two years. You’ll find me to the latter category and having a great deal of difficulty understanding the folks who are firmly in the former.

  • On-street spaces aren’t just a suggestion

    Leland recently added to its development ordinances a requirement for new neighborhoods to include on-street parking in their subdivision designs. The goal is to increase the amount of parking available for residents without having to increase the size of their driveways while eliminating parking on the streets, which has caused problems with congestion.

  • You decide: What’s the source of our discontent?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Discontent with one’s life and the reactions motivated by that unhappiness have been the source of numerous literary efforts, from Shakespeare to Steinbeck. Today’s political campaigns have revealed a new level of discontent among many people.

  • Brunswick Community College: The logical choice

    By Dr. Susanne Adams

    Guest Columnist

    A New York Times article, “Is College Worth It?” explores data related to rising student debt and the return on investment for individuals who attain some college credits. With student debt in 2015 at an all-time high, the question is a good one.

    According to research, however, “Going to college is a no-brainer. It is the most reliable ticket to the middle class and beyond.”

  • In worlds real or imaginary, it’s about passion

    Recently, someone said to me: “Why do you care so much about fictional characters? They’re fictional worlds. Make sure you come back to reality.”

    The question posed, and the statements after, naturally gave me pause, as loaded questions like that tend to do. And as I pondered I realized I had not one answer, but many, and at the same time, no answer at all. My reasons for loving what I do are too abstract and yet so solid in that I know my love for these things will never leave.

  • Avoiding the sting of summer beach walks

    I was heading home last Friday night after enjoying an after-dinner beer with some of my coworkers when the breeze off the ocean and the clear sky proved irresistible, so I decided to take a last-minute detour to Ocean Isle Beach to walk along the shoreline.