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Columns

  • You decide: Should we go for it?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    North Carolina Cooperative Extension

    When I was a youngster in the 1950s, there were two things I eagerly awaited in the fall. One was the debut of the new TV shows and the second was announcement of the upcoming year’s auto lineup and styles. After a couple weeks of study, I could name every new brand and model from a football field’s length away.

  • What makes news and why is no secret

    Pssst! You! Yes, you!

    Look closer! I want to tell you something — the secret to keeping your name out of the Beacon.

    Ready? OK, here you go: Don’t do anything newsworthy.

    Nothing amazing. Nothing unusual. Nothing generous. Nothing humble. Nothing heart-wrenchingly brave. Nothing monumentally stupid.

    Basically, don’t do anything anyone would care to read about.

    Disappointed? Well, if you expected more, I’m sorry. But honestly, it’s that simple.

  • Compare, choose Medicare plans from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7

    By Jennifer Prince Sherman

    Guest Columnist

    Health needs change from year to year, and the benefits and costs of your health plan may change each year, too. That’s why it’s important to evaluate your Medicare choices every year.

    The annual election period is the one time of year when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2015. Take advantage of the annual election period, and save money, improve coverage or both.

  • Ads, news are two different branches of the same newspaper tree

    It happens once about every two or three weeks: I get a message on my voicemail here at the office from someone who wants to “put an ad” in the Beacon. Trouble is, I’m not in the ad department; I lead the Beacon’s news department. And ads and news items are two very different things.

  • Caffeine overdosers unite: There's a lot to learn in the middle of the night

    Free coffee on National Coffee Day this past Monday, Sept. 29, must’ve been caffeinated bliss for addicts who don’t have to be mindful of overdoing it.

    All a coffeeholic had to do was venture up U.S. 17 for a free or reduced-price fix every five or so miles. And that’s just in consideration of all the Kangaroo stores and Mickey D’s dotting the roadside.

  • Where is your happy place?

    By Miranda Michelle Parkstone

    Guest Columnist

    There are many places I could regard as my “happy place,” but there is only one certain place where I am most content. This place would be at the beach — Sunset Beach, specifically — right at the beginning of summer. Because vacationers generally do not begin their retreats to the beach until early August, crowds are typically rather thin at this time of the season.

  • Try to make time for community events, other important activities

    Have we had one of the soggiest summers here in recent history? I’ve only been here a little longer than a year, but I don’t remember it being quite this rainy last year. Not that I mind; I love water, even when it falls from the sky. But still, it seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve heard anyone drop the dreaded d-word — drought — and I wonder if local lawn and garden care services are having a banner year.

  • We must never forget

    By Frank Richardson

    Guest Columnist

    They walk among us and we often don’t notice. They have a special day in their honor and we often forget. We’re talking about National POW/MIA Recognition Day which is always the third Friday in September. 
In Brunswick County there are a lot of veterans of our nation’s services but there is a special breed within that number: those who were held prisoner of war. A good number of those are back, but there are many still missing in action.

  • Prescription drug assistance for low-income Medicare beneficiaries

    By Jennifer Prince Sherman

    Guest Columnist

     

    Do you ever have difficulty paying for your prescription drugs? Do you have limited income and assets? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions and you are a person with Medicare, Extra Help may be available for you.

  • A career first and having the last word

    Even though I’ve been in journalism for 20 years or so, I can still remember every first experience I’ve had in my career.

    I remember the first misspelling of my last name — Torak — and most of the rest, such as Turok (like the video game), Tork (like the Monkee), Took (like the past tense verb), Tonorock (like, well, I have no idea), Clark (like not even close) and — my favorite — Sock (like the article of clothing).