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Columns

  • Spring things bring sole-ful weekend times

    It’s that most wonderful time of year when people weary of taxes, the economy and goings-on in Cala-clash can and should venture outside themselves and soak up some spring things going on in Brunswick County.

    I know I did that just this past Saturday, when I was invited to be a judge in the Calabash Fire Department’s first Show and Shine Car Show.

    If the fire department hired me for my car-judging expertise, they had asked the right woman.

    Any car that looks pretty, has cruise control and a great stereo always gets my vote.

  • Spring break renews energy

    Spending time away from the office for a week was a great way to recharge my batteries.

    I spent most of the time with my 6-year-old in Charlotte visiting my brother, sister-in-law and 11-month-old nephew. It was a delight, especially since he started walking while we were there.

    My daughter Taryn and I also made a visit to Discovery Place, where she saw a mad scientist blow things up, made all sorts of scientific discoveries and watched her first IMAX movie, “Fly Me to the Moon,” (not a great movie for adults, but she liked it.)

  • Toddler unfortunately learns how to use cell phone at early age

    I often hear parents talking about how their son or daughter has racked up a huge cell phone bill from excessive calling and texting. I even heard one parent say a child had sent 30,000 text messages in a month.

    Well, my son has yet to send 30,000 texts in a month, but he can text and call people. He’s even managed to access the mobile Web feature on my phone. While I have yet to get an astronomical phone bill, I know it’s just a matter of time. After all, he’s already figured this much out at the tender age of 18 months.

  • Elected officials should read documents before voting for or against issues

    After the hurried passage of the Stimulus Bill, Americans became aware of just how quickly Congress was passing bills members may not have gotten around to reading before voting on them.

    The sheer volume of the 1,000-plus page behemoth bill indicated no one had ample time to digest or even read the bill before the fever of ayes ensued in both Houses. But the Stimulus Bill was not the first bill rushed through Congress and, unfortunately, probably won’t be the last.

  • An alligator name game

    If you’ve been in Brunswick County long enough, you probably realize by now that alligators aren’t exactly welcome sights.

    That’s because they usually arrive unannounced in your backyard pond, halfway up the steps of your house or on the 9th fairway as you’re trying to sink a golf ball or walk your dog, as many locals have discovered.

  • A government bailout of the newspaper industry is the last thing it needs

    Everywhere I go the question is always the same: What is the future of newspapers?

    I try my best to forecast where the newspaper industry is headed—opining about how I think community newspapers will outlive dailies, preaching newspapers must befriend not begrudge the Internet and reminding people there will always be the need for quality, objective news.

    But the answer is simple—the newspaper industry is headed where the market takes it.

  • Elderly woman wants others to be aware of possible phone scam

    When 80-year-old Emily Clark got a call from someone alleging to be her grandson last week, she knew fairly quickly something wasn’t quite right.

    The caller said he was in jail in Canada and needed help. Money would be required to bond him out of the pen after he was allegedly involved in a wreck. The caller pleaded with Clark to not call his parents because they told him not to go to Canada. He didn’t want them to know he was there, so instead he called his “grandmother” for help.

  • Why has common sense eluded those enthralled by an alligator?

    Last weekend, an alligator found a new home in a retention pond that’s only a few feet from where I live.

    I’m not a native Brunswick Countian, and I will admit, seeing one of these creatures up-close for the first time is an experience. It’s not like you see those kinds of animals on the shores of Lake Michigan or while you’re walking through the streets of downtown Chicago, so to a Midwesterner, it’s definitely an experience.

  • Preparers submerged in a taxing time of year

    Laura Lewis

    It’s that season when The Tax Ladies are busy, but not too busy to do your taxes without an appointment.

    Situated in a century-old Victorian house on Holden Beach Road, the team of eight tax-savvy women is hard at work assisting taxpayers and preparing returns before the final IRS tax-bell tolls on April 15.

    Yes, it’s a taxing time, but February was actually busier with people scurrying in to get their fast refunds in, Tax Ladies owner and founder Diana White said.

  • N.C.: Saying goodbye to a toxic friend?

    If it passes the Senate, the bill outlawing smoking in public places will become a historic law in North Carolina, the state that built itself on tobacco farming.

    I probably would not be here today if not for tobacco. Farming this cash crop in central North Carolina is how my grandfather made his living and how he put my mother through college. My mom’s first job out of school brought her to Brunswick County, which is how she met my dad. The rest, as they say, is history.

    But I’m not the only one with a generational connection to tobacco.