• Affiliations don’t define who people are or all of their beliefs

    I’ve been in newspapers since 1998, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons.

    The one thing consistent wherever I go is people have lots of opinions and they want to share them—whether you want to hear them or not.

    Once people get accustomed to seeing a person’s photo and name in newsprint, they assume that person is a perfectly good target for all things tossed at them.

  • Oh, Johnny. Federal indictment befalls yet another N.C. politico

    Say it ain’t so, Joe.

    Oops, wrong political reference.

    You’ll have to forgive me. I appear to be in the midst of a political déjà vu, and I seem to be slightly confused by Sarah Palin’s bus to nowhere streaming in and out of consciousness.

    I may have even written this column before. Yes, I definitely have—several times, in fact.

    Only, each time it is a different politician who stars as our tortured protagonist.

  • A little eccentricity from a gal who stares at words way too long

    Journalists, quite honestly, can be an eccentric bunch. A mix of varying ideologies and interests, things that get journalists excited and deep into debate can range from anything from who has the potential to be the most corrupt official in the community to what happens when cats mate.

  • Hurricane season barreling down upon us once again

    Can you believe 2011 is almost halfway through?

    Can you believe hurricane season has officially begun?

    That’s how it goes.

    Just when we’re finally out of the woods of a long, somewhat coldish winter (forcing some of us weather-wimps to don socks and jackets and baby-striped knit caps), we enter into warm-weather season. It always brings its “four H’s” downside—heat, humidity, hurricanes, and horrible summer TV.

  • A quick thanks to the two men with the worst imaginable jobs

    Let’s face it: The two people in Brunswick County with the worst jobs are Frank Iler and Bill Rabon. The worst, and it’s not even close.

    I’m serious—the hours, the travel, the pressure—no amount of money could make me want either of their jobs.

    Speaking of money, there’s not much in it, either.

    Being a state legislator doesn’t come with the nearly $200,000-a-year salary that members of Congress receive.

  • Go ahead and disagree, but be more creative than calling me stupid

    You would think most journalists would cringe when a reader sends a scathing letter to the editor.

    You would think most journalists would want to crawl under a desk when someone openly disagrees with a column or story their heart and soul put into creating.

  • Thank you, Brunswick County, for making this a beautiful place to call home

    There’s a fortune from a cookie taped to the edge of my desk in the Beacon newsroom.

    I cant remember how long it’s been there or when I put it there, but it seems appropriately fitting for my next adventure.

    The fortune says, “Take the chance while you still have the choice.” And at the end of this week, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.

  • Americans have the right to see the Osama bin Laden death photo

    Last week the White House announced President Barack Obama would not release a photo of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

  • The taco saga

    The anticipation and talk around town about the opening of Taco Bell in Shallotte has caused me to chuckle the past few weeks. I am not saying I am not as enthusiastic about the new fast food option in Shallotte, I just have never heard such a buzz for a taco.

    The restaurant was originally scheduled to open on Monday morning but owners delayed per the request of the police chief.

  • Gun-toting, malt liquor-swilling ‘gangstas’ probably don’t read newspapers

    Get out your pens. Fire up your computer. Log onto that email account.

    After reading this, many of you will feel the urge to write a letter to the editor. Please do.

    This column will offend some of you, even if it only offends your self-righteous

    political correctness many of us can’t seem to break free from.

    I’ve read (and even written stories) with a heavy heart about South Brunswick High School football star Marcus Hankins’ murder.