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Columns

  • Supply-side economics versus employee-centered economics

    President Ronald Reagan was a great proponent of supply-side economics. He believed in major tax breaks for businesses and corporations; believing businesses and corporate executives would objectively share the company’s profits with employees with little or no oversight.

    On paper, supply-side economics is a great concept. It would be the ideal business model in a fair and just world. The problem is human nature. Greed and self-centered goals and objectives caused numerous executives to unfairly enrich themselves at the expense of hard-working investors or employees.

  • In due time--It's time for North Carolina to adopt a better policy

    “In due time.” Oak Island Town Attorney Brian Edes wrote in an e-mail to Colin Tarrant, the attorney representing Brian Keese in a public records lawsuit, that he or Oak Island Town Administrator Jerry Walters would respond to a request for public records “in due time.”

    A year and a half later, this matter remains unresolved. With a June 29 trial date set, the case could drag on for months.

    “In due time.”

  • 'Substandard' bridge is major part of our lives

    The annual list of substandard bridges in North Carolina is out, and AAA Carolinas’ has named the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge—that steel drawbridge that connects Brunswick to New Hanover County—as number 10 on its top-20 list.

    AAA Carolinas’ annual study ranks bridges on structural conditions and gives extra “points” to bridges with high traffic volumes.

    According to the latest traffic counts, the bridge carries about 72,000 cars each day between the two counties.

  • Newspapers’ cutbacks, closings big losses for freedom of speech, information

    Like many other business operations in this economy, the newspaper industry isn’t faring so well.

    Across the country, newspapers—large and small—have had to make significant cuts to staffs, production and products. Pay freezes, furloughs and unfilled vacant positions are steps taken by some to keep doors open and people in their jobs.

  • Helpers flesh out flushing petitions in SB

    Laura Lewis

    In a flurry of paper rustling, stamp-sticking and good-natured gab, about 20 volunteers converged on Carol Scott’s Sunset Beach home Tuesday to help prepare petitions requesting a longer, 30-year sewer installation payback plan.

    If a majority of the town’s 4,230 property owners scattered here and about sign and mail the petitions back in a timely fashion, there’s a chance the town will be able to have the payback plan for its estimated $27 million sewer system extended from 10 to 30 years.

  • When it comes to tightening purse strings, leave arts programs in schools alone

    Seems like everyone is doing a bit of budget adjusting these days.

    The county just announced a $12 million adjustment, and the board of education learned its local and state funding would be reduced to the tune of several million of dollars, resulting in the loss of many programs, services and even teachers.

    When times get tough, it seems as if fine arts programs are first on the chopping block. Schools across the nation have cut music, art, drama and dance, and left students without a creative outlet after hours of core subjects, studying and testing.

  • 'The Power Behind the People:' Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation's 'Balanced Solutions'

    In August 2007, North Carolina became one of the first states in the country to pass legislation requiring utilities to generate more electricity from renewable energy sources.

    The goals of the legislation are to diversify the resources used to reliably meet N.C.’s energy needs, provide greater energy security by using indigenous resources available within the state, encourage private investment in renewables and energy efficiency and provide improved air quality.

  • BLT knocks it out of the park with 'The Odd Couple'

    A sea of red hats greeted my husband and me when we walked into the Odell Williamson Auditorium last Sunday afternoon to watch Brunswick Little Theatre’s production of “The Odd Couple” (female version) featuring some terrific local talent.

    It was apparently a popular outing for the local Red Hat Society chapters, which was fine with me.

  • Volunteer fire departments: Are they taken for granted?

    In the 1972 film “The Godfather,” a desperate man seeking revenge asks the godfather to murder for money.

    Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, replies in his raspy voice, “We’ve known each other for many years, but this is the first time you came to me for counsel, for help. I can’t remember the last time that you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let’s be frank here: You never wanted my friendship. And uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.”

  • A Harley rally here could be a big boost to the local economy

    The thought of a lot of noise—roaring engines—and traffic congestion may have filled some people’s minds when the Beacon announced last week Shallotte was being considered for an upcoming Harley rally.

    At a Shallotte pre-agenda meeting last Tuesday night, Rick Noyes, owner of the new Coastal Carolina Harley Davidson store on U.S. 17 in Shallotte, asked the town if it would support his attempts to bring the Harley Davidson Spring Beach Rally to town the week of May 10-17.

    It has since been announced the event will be in New Bern.