• Surf It, Save It: N.C. Aquarium to present its first surf festival June 5-6

    Ever watch a surfing documentary like “Endless Summer” or even a silly beach party movie like “Beach Blanket Bingo” and wonder what it would be like to surf the big waves? Are you a local surfer who would love to know more about the history and culture of the sport?

    I’ve spent most of my summers in or near the ocean, but I’ve never quite had the guts to stand on a board. (Boogie boarding beats me up enough.) It’s a beautiful sport to watch, though, and someday, I’ll get the nerve to give it a try.

  • Another life cut too short by drunk driving in Brunswick

    Last Friday night, one woman’s life ended much too early. Her life was full of promise and talent. A bright, friendly person, she touched the lives of many.
    Now Satu Harris’s life has been cut short—the result of an inexcusable act. Satu was killed by a drunk driver.
    I first met Satu when she was a student, working nights at Bogey’s restaurant on Oak Island. I had dinner with my family at Bogey’s several times a month.

  • Brunswick residents share tales of heartache for animal companions

    Some Brunswick County animal lovers are grieving after beloved animals were hurt, and in one case died, right before their eyes.

    Last week, Shallotte Point resident Bill Alexander wrote telling the horrible tale of what happened to his little dog Sable. The 13-pound pooch had been a beloved member of the Alexander family for about eight years.

    Last week, on a Sunday afternoon, Bill and Sable were standing at the end of his driveway. Sable was on a leash, which Bill was holding.

  • Post-election reflections from the political sidelines

     The greatest days of the year for a political reporter have to be the days following an election.

    The races are called (for the most part), the campaign staffs have eased up on their 3 a.m. press e-mails (fastest way to annoy a reporter with a BlackBerry) and the candidates’ signs you can’t drive 5 feet without seeing seemingly disappear overnight.

  • Stereotypes about bikers don’t always apply anymore

    According to the dominant archetype in popular culture, the motorcycle rider is a disrespectful criminal with no regard for the law or other human beings. They’re ready to fight anyone who gets in their way and to do whatever it takes to maintain their “freedom”—even kill.

    They’re loud, offensive and crude and don’t care if people know it.

    The image has been used over and over again in movies such as “Easy Rider” and “The Wild Ones.”

  • What should the government’s role be in providing non-essential services?

    A recent letter to the editor has stirred some good responses from the community. The letter brought up the discussion about the government’s role in providing social and quality-of-life services.

  • Honor Flight funds sought for second takeoff May 26

    The inaugural Honor Flight of Southeastern North Carolina on April 13, which took World War II veterans from the region on a day trip to see their memorial in Washington, D.C., was a high-flying success.

    So much so, organizers are planning a repeat, second flight on May 26.

    All they need is money.

  • Celebrate National Photography Month by sharing favorite photos with us

    My mom used to keep hundreds of photos in shoeboxes inside the buffet chest in our dining room. While those photos never made their way to albums, they were not ignored; I used to spend hours upon hours looking at every photo in every box.

    I have always loved photography. Of course, back then, I knew nothing about composition or lighting, but I loved how a complete story could be conveyed on a 4-by-6 piece of paper.

  • Razor nails, axes and hockey masks: Like Jason, the slasher flick never dies

    Summer blockbuster season is here, and guess which wholesome, wacky, family-pleasing comedy was the No. 1 movie last weekend? That’s right, “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

    The old nemesis of squeamish moviegoers of the 1980s is back, “retooled,” of course, for the 2010s, from the same production company that brought us the returns of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th.” Thanks a lot, guys.

  • Banned and challenged books

    My sister, Ashley, and I have always been polar opposites—she was the outgoing one, while I was the shy one.
    She enjoyed gadgets, electronics and technology, while I preferred to stay as far away from those things as possible.
    She hated shopping while I could shop for 24 hours straight.
    Perhaps the biggest difference between us was in our hobbies; I was a bookworm, and she despised reading—with a passion.