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Columns

  • 'The Power Behind the People:' Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation's 'Balanced Solutions'

    In August 2007, North Carolina became one of the first states in the country to pass legislation requiring utilities to generate more electricity from renewable energy sources.

    The goals of the legislation are to diversify the resources used to reliably meet N.C.’s energy needs, provide greater energy security by using indigenous resources available within the state, encourage private investment in renewables and energy efficiency and provide improved air quality.

  • BLT knocks it out of the park with 'The Odd Couple'

    A sea of red hats greeted my husband and me when we walked into the Odell Williamson Auditorium last Sunday afternoon to watch Brunswick Little Theatre’s production of “The Odd Couple” (female version) featuring some terrific local talent.

    It was apparently a popular outing for the local Red Hat Society chapters, which was fine with me.

  • Volunteer fire departments: Are they taken for granted?

    In the 1972 film “The Godfather,” a desperate man seeking revenge asks the godfather to murder for money.

    Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, replies in his raspy voice, “We’ve known each other for many years, but this is the first time you came to me for counsel, for help. I can’t remember the last time that you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let’s be frank here: You never wanted my friendship. And uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.”

  • A Harley rally here could be a big boost to the local economy

    The thought of a lot of noise—roaring engines—and traffic congestion may have filled some people’s minds when the Beacon announced last week Shallotte was being considered for an upcoming Harley rally.

    At a Shallotte pre-agenda meeting last Tuesday night, Rick Noyes, owner of the new Coastal Carolina Harley Davidson store on U.S. 17 in Shallotte, asked the town if it would support his attempts to bring the Harley Davidson Spring Beach Rally to town the week of May 10-17.

    It has since been announced the event will be in New Bern.

  • Some refreshers for officials on public records laws

    Sixty-eight hundred pages deep, not including the attorney’s discovery, I waded through public records at the N.C. Department of Insurance last month.

    After poorly navigating the maze of one-way streets that makes up downtown Raleigh, I eventually wound up in a circa 1982 conference room in the Dobbs Building. For the next two days, I trudged through e-mails, memos and charts looking to shed some light on the process used to determine the controversial rate increases to homeowners’ insurance in coastal counties.

  • Understanding the reasons why we have laws

    After my junior year in college I worked on a summer job and just before leaving to return to school for the fall semester, my supervisor gave me some advice that has remained with me over the years.

    He said, “Do what’s right.”

    The only difference in my advice and his is, “Do what’s right in the sight of God.”

  • Living in a world driven by annoying little beeps

    In a world of cell phones, pagers, BlackBerrys and late night television programs like “Chelsea Lately,” we are all used to hearing a few beeps. My phone beeps several times a day signaling a missed call or voicemail. I can usually tune it out until about the 20th beep—then some form of action is required.

    But it’s not just my phone that’s beeping. Lately I feel like I’m trapped in a noisy video game with no escape. I’ve noticed more appliances and household items are coming equipped with a “beep.”

  • Hurry up, spring!

    It’s 35 degrees in March. By the weekend, it’s expected to reach 70.

    I would celebrate, but I’m afraid the meteorologists will start calling for snow if I do.

    Everyone knows that by mid-February, we Southerners are ready for the warm weather.

    And we want it to stay warm. Otherwise, our delicate systems are upset and we get sick for a week.

    Think I’m exaggerating? As I’m writing this, I’m home with a sick daughter who is rubbing her nose red and is unable to breathe.

  • Interrupting these programs for a Lenten intervention

    Laura Lewis

    The cartoon in my New Yorker desk diary this week is supposed to be funny, as are most New Yorker cartoons.

    “I’m giving up Google for Lent,” a woman announces to her husband as he’s cruising the computer in the depiction.

    Actually, it is funny. But it also correlates with what I’m seriously trying to do this week by giving up television.

  • Coupons intended to save money burn a bigger hole in pocket

    Everyone in my family has always loved a bargain.

    My dad’s greatest joy is returning from the supermarket and announcing his greatest deal of the day. More often than not, it’s a couple of dollars saved on a gallon of milk.

    “And I didn’t even need a coupon!” he’ll say every time.

    My cousin Debbie is always swindling freebies from people, but the good part about it is she’s always willing to share. You can’t leave her house without a bag full of gourmet coffee samples or vending machine snacks.