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Columns

  • If you’re going to start it, finish it

    It was an anti-climactic ending to a long, drawn-out media circus.

    In last week’s Beacon, education reporter Kathryn Jacewicz wrote that the two parties in an ongoing, public feud over treatment of students in Brunswick County Schools reached a “confidential agreement” and agreed to have no further contact with each other.

    Like most of the readers who have been following this debacle, I was annoyed by this conclusion.

  • It may actually be my fault snow found its way to Brunswick County

    When I first heard last week there was a chance of snow for Brunswick County, I thought someone was joking. I moved to the coast to escape the colder, often-snowy winter months of Kentucky, and the last thing I thought about encountering here was a chance of snow.

  • Belly-fat bombardment difficult to stomach

    If aliens from outer space were to drop in and cruise the Internet lately, they wouldn’t know we were in economic turmoil.

    They wouldn’t think we face an uncertain future or fears about everything, including them.

    No, they would think the biggest priority on our worry list is belly fat.

    Have you noticed? How could you not?

    It’s the unsightliest, most graphic advertisement ever to invade the World Wide Web—big, gloppy bellies protruding over waistlines, accompanied by headlines like, “One flat-belly rule: Obey.”

  • Who’s afraid of the big bad digital switch? The Senate, that’s who

    During the middle of what people call the worst economic crisis in history, the Senate passed an oh-so extremely important bill on Monday—a bill allowing a near four-month delay in the switch to digital television.

    This comes only days after President Barack Obama discussed a possible delay in the nationwide switch shortly before his inauguration. Now, I’m not that political, and I am not one to criticize the leader of the free world, but aren’t there more important issues to tackle and don’t some of those issues need immediate attention?

  • The queen is dead—let's hope

    Ever since the 1950s, when popular entertainment became big business, middle-class Americans, especially women, have had a particular affection for what’s now referred to as “the queen,” a gay man who denies his orientation, makes fun of himself and dresses in gaudy, outlandish outfits.

    It started with Liberace, the man all middle-class housewives loved to watch on television. He showed what every man could accomplish in post-war America, rising “above” his Midwestern roots to practically own Las Vegas.

  • History of Ocean Isle Beach: The Beginning Years (1946 to 1963)

    In 1947 and 1948, Odell Williamson began purchasing tracks of land that eventually comprised Ocean Isle Beach. These tracks of land were owned by various families, including the Brooks family, the Stanley family, the Gore family and the D. Stowe Crouse family.

    Williamson was originally in partnership with Mannon Gore, but Gore and Williamson soon parted ways, dissolving the partnership. Gore’s son, Ed Gore, soon focused on developing Sunset Beach while Williamson focused on Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Ghosts? Anomalies? Or things that can be explained away?

    As part-skeptic, part-believer in some things unexplainable, I was always eager to tag along each October with a friend turned certified ghost hunter while I was a reporter in Kentucky.

    Each October for several years, I’d catch up with Patti Starr, a once-restaurant manager who now leads an interesting life as a full-time ghost hunter. Patti teaches a ghost-hunting course at a Kentucky community college and takes part in a traveling lecture series with well-known psychic/medium Chip Coffey.

  • Upcoming November election gets reporter fired up about politics

    I’ve been fired up about the upcoming election since last January, when I had the opportunity to cover the Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It was an incredible experience, and one I hope to repeat. Since then, which hardly seems like nine months ago, I’ve had many more opportunities to cover debates, elections and other political functions. I can’t get enough of it—it’s the best part of my job.

  • Saving the wolves and rocking the political boat

    Last Wednesday, my family sat down to dinner. It is rare when we can all get together during the week. Grandma had cooked a roast and invited everyone to our house. We were in the middle of dinner when the phone rang.

    I jumped up to get it but wasn’t quite fast enough. Grandma can be quite spry when it comes to the phone. It’s usually for her anyway.

    “Hello,” she said.

    We had all stopped eating and we were waiting for her to finish up and come back to the table so we could eat.

  • Gossip destroys lives

    We are living in a time when many men and women are caught up in a web of lies and half-truths.

    The National Enquirer and many other gossip magazines have become major enterprises because the appetite for vicious rumors and half-truths is at fever pitch.

    Bad news has become a psychological drug for many people. Some people actually experience a feeling of euphoria when they read or share vicious gossip or rumors about others.