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Columns

  • ONDBEAT: 'HOA Wars' author shines floodlight on gated communities

    Robert Stern knows the intricacies of living in a gated community.

    After all, he resided and served on the board in one of those exclusive enclaves ruled by a homeowners association (HOA) back in Henderson, Nev. Locally, Stern owns another house in Ocean Ridge Plantation, another HOA-POA community.

    A few years ago, through his HOA residency and involvement in the Silver State, Stern found himself embroiled in legal battles with what he deemed power-hungry board members who summoned their lawyer when he questioned their modus operandi.

  • Why have some states recovered faster?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    The economic world doesn’t treat everyone and everything equally. We clearly see this in the ongoing debates about income inequality, CEO pay, the minimum wage and taxes. Another way we see this is in economic geography. For example, in North Carolina, for several decades we have watched urban counties adding jobs and incomes at a much higher rate than rural counties.

  • District 17 House update

    This week we debated and passed at least two very controversial bills on judicial elections and abortion; we passed a record number of bills out of committees and directly onto the House floor; and we put in the longest days of the session so far, going more than 14 hours.

    The week started off in Raleigh very warm, but turned cooler as the days went on. The attitudes of the legislators were also hot and cold, depending on whether our bills were getting passed.

  • Keeping an eye on the real journalism prize

    Even if you don’t know much about journalism in America, you probably know the Pulitzer Prize recognizes its very best work every year. The award is named for the legendary Joseph Pulitzer: “Hungarian-born, an intense indomitable figure, Pulitzer was the most skillful of newspaper publishers, a passionate crusader against dishonest government, a fierce, hawk-like competitor who did not shrink from sensationalism in circulation struggles and a visionary who richly endowed his profession,” according to pulitzer.org.

  • I’ve been to the big city and brought everybody a gift

    I had the chance to take a short spring vacation last week, so I am sure you can tell by my words how refreshed and re-energized I am now.

    My trip took me to the big city, New York City, and like everyone who comes south from a big metropolitan area I have brought with me a plan to fix one of Brunswick County’s flaws.

    The problem is transportation, and the solution is Uber.

  • Time for the N.C. death tax to R.I.P.

    By Congressman David Rouzer

    Guest Columnist

    We are fortunate to have so many successful small businesses and family farms in southeastern North Carolina. Many of these businesses have become an extended part of our community as they have been passed down from generation to generation. But the longevity of these family-owned and -operated businesses is threatened by a sluggish economy, onerous rules and regulations, and especially the estate tax, also known as the death tax.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

     

    Last week in the General Assembly, we had more than 300 new bills introduced in the House alone, committee meetings were being held virtually one on top of another, and we saw major reform bills introduced and some being passed in committee.

  • District 8 Senate update

    By Sen. Bill Rabon

    Guest Columnist

    Editor’s note: The Beacon has tried for six weeks to reach Sen. Bill Rabon by phone and email for comment about Senate Bill 215, which lists him as the bill’s primary sponsor and calls for the state “to abolish the office of coroner in Brunswick County.” Senate Bill 215 was reported favorable to the Senate’s standing committee on health care and re-referred to the Senate Judiciary I Committee on March 31.

  • How much does size really matter?

    Much ado has been made over Sports Illustrated featuring a plus-sized model for the first time in this year’s swimsuit edition, in addition to an advertisement for plus-sized swimwear. Regardless of how you feel about this annual publication, this is — if you’ll pardon the pun — a big deal to me.

  • Bizarre moments in the courtroom

    I’ve worked as a reporter at The Brunswick Beacon for almost two years now. I’ve learned many things along the way, but perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned is that you never know what might happen next in this line of work.