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Columns

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • No summer vacation from allergies

    The other week, I took my youngest cat, Mimi, to the vet for an overdue dental cleaning. As friendly as she is, she, like her two older brothers, gets frightened when I take her away from our home for any reason.

    At the veterinarian’s office, Mimi doesn’t throw a hissing, growling and spitting tantrum like her 14-old-brother Linus or cower in her carrier, trying to shrink into a tiny ball, like her 14-pound brother Pepper. Her defense mechanism of choice is to try to shed as much of her plush coat as possible at one time without going bald.

  • You decide: Is there a winner in the investment boxing match?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Like many, I mourned Muhammad Ali. I watched Ali rise through the ranks of boxing’s heavyweight division and admired his skill and tenacity. Of course, I was also sad to see him in pain in the latter years of his life.

    Boxing is popular to some, in part, because it is a one-on-one competition where it’s easy to determine who is responsible for the win and the loss.

  • Tranquility, fulfillment found in lawn mowing

    Thanks to staff writer Brian Slattery, my not-so-secret secret was revealed last week to our readership: I enjoy yard work.

    Specifically, I love mowing the lawn.

  • We have been Mark Twained by Laura Lewis

    Here in the Beacon newsroom, Laura Lewis is our Mark Twain.

    While most of you know she is a very good writer, that, however, is not what I meant.

    It’s better than that.

    Laura has run a scam this summer that Tom Sawyer would be proud of.

    Now before I go any further, I'll admit upfront I did go back and double-check that I meant to say Tom Sawyer and not Huckleberry Finn.