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Columns

  • People should read the Beacon, then think for themselves

    I got to talking with the repairman who was working on my faulty freezer when he asked what I did for a living, and I told him.

    “Oh, so you tell people what to think,” he said.

    “No,” I corrected him. “People oughta think for themselves. I provide information, but what people do with it is up to them.”

  • Don’t get sucked into polar vortex

    A colleague and friend of mine who recently moved to neighboring New Hanover County marveled this week that local schools were going on a two-hour delay Tuesday and Wednesday because of the anticipated cold weather. She’s originally from Connecticut, where winter school delays and closings are prompted by immovable amounts of snow.

    Having lived in the Carolinas a bit longer than she has, school delays and closings on account of cold weather are not so unusual to me, but they are still strange.

  • Things that should end or go away in the new year

    Maybe most people think of the start of a new year as an opportunity for new beginnings, but from where I’m sitting, some beginnings can’t happen without some significant endings.

  • Effects of confiscated pot linger at Sunset Beach Town Hall

    Three years ago this past Christmas Eve, Sunset Beach police made what was believed to be the biggest marijuana bust and haul in the town’s history.

    On Christmas Eve 2010, during a seemingly routine traffic stop of a Lincoln Continental speeding through town, Sunset Beach police got a whiff of something funny and followed up with a consent to search the vehicle.

  • Resolving not to make New Year’s resolutions
  • Dear Santa: Strange and great gifts for children

    A few nights ago, my sister-in-law shared a photo of my nephew, who’s 3, and niece, who’s 9 months old, sitting with Santa. It reminded me to ask her and my kid brother what I should get their children for Christmas.

  • Shallotte teen sends message, sets example for holidays

    On Black Friday this year, the only thing many of us wanted to do was brave crowds of shoppers and find the best bargains or stay put at home, safe and sound with our Thanksgiving leftovers.

    All 17-year-old Kaitlyn Shook wanted to do was raise awareness about how good we have it and how many others — including some of our neighbors — aren’t so fortunate in this season of celebration.

  • Maps help clear path through writer’s block

    I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve got a Thanksgiving gluttony hangover or because last week’s column left me exhausted, but this week I’m facing a wicked case of writer’s block.

  • Celebrating summer vacation and a chance to cross the pond again

    When it came time to plan another vacation this year — sometimes newspaper people get to do that — I once again chose the UK.

    “Why are you going back to England?” minds inquiring into my bidniz demanded to know.

    Well, I needed to check on Prince George (last year I crossed the pond anticipating and just missing the tiny royal’s birth). Great Britain also has Great Cider, and I speak the language. Sort of.

  • Help clear the air in Brunswick County

    I had family vacationing on one of the islands recently.

    They missed the hurricane, the fireworks and the “Tammy” premiere but they didn’t miss all the Brunswick County happenings.

    Maybe they were keeping a lookout because they had Brunswick County on their mind in eager anticipation for their week off at the beach.

    But the county has also made it into the news for other reasons recently.

    One of the first questions I got after they arrived was, what was going on with that Brunswick County sheriff?