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Columns

  • It’s OK to be a mom who doesn’t always get things right

    There are those mothers who can’t stand to be ordinary. They were probably overachievers in school, and now they have to be overachievers in motherhood.

    Everyone knows at least one or two of these moms. They’re the ones who can’t throw normal birthday parties with cake and ice cream. These moms have to have themes and make their own invitations, party hats and tablecloths.

    These same moms show up for class parties with homemade, child-sized, three-course mini-meals. Of course, these moms are always perfectly coiffed and dressed to the nines.

  • The economy will be the legacy of the Obama administration

    When it is all said and done, President Obama’s legacy will not be defined by the success or failure of implementing a sound healthcare program. The economy will be his Waterloo or Normandy.

    Reasonable housing, energy and food costs, stable employment and a comfortable retirement income are the major concerns of most Americans.

  • What have you done for freedom of information and open government today?

    For no other reason I can discern other than being Irish-Catholic, my father raised my brother and I as strict Notre Dame football fans. Though I have yet to watch a game beneath the watchful gaze of Touchdown Jesus in South Bend, Ind., I have seen the Fighting Irish win twice in person.

    The influence Notre Dame football had on my life went far beyond the football field, though it actually had little to do with football. Sports played a huge role in my life and my brother’s life growing up.

  • 'Confessions' evokes memories of commercials past

    “Confessions of a Mad Man: From Madison Avenue to Island Sands” (see accompanying story) contains insider anecdotes from a man who helped create Americans’ need for “stuff” after World War II. It’s the kind of tell-all we love to read about—the good stuff that’s not in the history books.

  • You can’t fix stupid, but you can throw money at it

    When you’re talking about nearly $800 billion, what’s another $18 million? That’s not even enough to cover the interest—spend it.

    I would venture the previous statement sums up the entire thought process that went into the decision to spend nearly $18 million over the next six years to revamp recovery.gov, the government-run Web site that tracks where and how stimulus money is being spent.

    Adding insult to injury, taxpayers are actually footing the $18 million bill just so they can see where their stimulus money is being spent.

  • Gray areas in law leaves room for much interpretation

    Lots of things are open to interpretation. Messages in the Bible, dreams, types of dancing, and yes, the law.

    And while my interpretation of the law may differ from the attorney representing the Brunswick County Board of Education, I expect an explanation of why my interpretation is inaccurate, if nothing else.

    The board’s meeting Thursday night, which lasted until the early hours Friday morning and contained two closed sessions, ended with no official action taken.

  • Getting access to public information is sometimes harder than it should be

    Getting the news out to the public can be a mix of fun and excitement. Sometimes it’s hard; sometimes it’s emotional.

    And sometimes, it can be down right intimidating.

    As a reporter in Kentucky, I was eager to join up with law enforcement one day after receiving a call about an indoor marijuana-growing operation in my hometown. The officers invited me along and told me I was welcome to take pictures of the enterprise, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the area before.

    I showed up with two cameras in tow, a notebook and several pens.

  • More in store in Carolina Shores

    Four months after Carolina Shores commissioners took part in a questionable closed session and emerged with a reprimand of Mayor Stephen Selby, their asphalt is starting to show.

    The “asphalt scandal,” after all, is commissioners’ first item on their list of infractions Selby has committed since his election as mayor in November 2007, according to a censure-ship resolution approved 3-2 by the board last Friday.

  • Naturalization ceremony a unique experience

    You don’t attend a naturalization ceremony and leave unchanged.

    That’s the lesson I learned earlier this month when I was assigned to cover the annual Fourth of July Festival Naturalization Ceremony in Southport.

    Now, I’ve been to nearly every Fourth parade in Southport since I was born. (The only time I remember sitting one out is when I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant.)

  • Beauty pageants paint a perception of perfection

    It wasn’t until I moved to the South that I discovered the truth behind beauty pageants.

    Growing up in Midwest suburbia, they didn’t mean much more than tuning in once a year to catch the last five minutes of the Miss America pageant, only to see who was crowned that year’s queen.

    Living in the South, I have become more exposed to them and have quickly learned beauty pageants are much more than meets the eye.