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Columns

  • Gas prices, cost of living make life difficult for working people

    A survey recently conducted for the Kaiser Family Foundation found the rapidly increasing cost of gasoline is the No. 1 “economic woe” facing families in the United States.

    The survey, which was meant to measure how changes in the economy have affected everyday life, showed 44 percent of participants said paying for gas is “a serious problem.”

  • What will 'change' candidates really do for us?

    OK, so Election Day is upon us again, and I can’t help but think, “here we go again.”

    I have to admit, I have a more acute sense about elections and issues than I did before I got into the news business. I’m more involved, I’m more aware. I’m more passionate about the issues facing people in the community.

    It’s my job—I can’t afford not to be.

    But now that I’ve been around the block a time or two as far as elections go, I’m beginning to feel I’ve heard it all before.

  • Economic stimulus? I don't think so

    I was half asleep watching the ticker creep across the bottom of CNN Headline News when a headline caught my eye.

    The ticker read, “The first economic stimulus payments are in the mail, four days earlier than anticipated.”

    It then went on to say the government hoped this would stimulate the sluggish economy.

    I am not sure how they expect the miniscule $300, $600 and $900 checks to stimulate the economy. Most people will barely be able to catch their bills up with that check.

  • Disney World just a senior trip away

    I know sages wiser than me advise parents not to live vicariously through their children, but that’s exactly what happened when my 17-year-old recently ventured with other high school seniors from Carolina to Florida.

    Suddenly, Disney World blossomed vividly before me, harking back to Sunday nights when Walt Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color” erupted on Peacock TV, better known as NBC, with a little magic from Tinkerbell.

    “Oh, I wish I could go,” I whined. “Pullleaze? Can’t Mama go?”

  • Thanks to Beacon readers for responding, sharing ideas

    First of all, I want to thank the public for responding to the April 17 column titled “Providing assistance to those in need is compassion not socialism.”

    Discussions of these kinds of issues are needed more than ever. It is great that there can be civil, respectful discussions between columnist and readers on non-conventional issues.

    Most who read my columns know I am a passionate advocate of personal responsibility.I feel a person should work hard and not expect a handout from the government or from private agencies.

  • Speaking for those without a voice

    Volunteering with a church in downtown Houston more than a year ago, Mike Jones, a Brunswick County native, walked under a bridge to talk to a homeless woman.

    He had prayed with many homeless people during his time as a volunteer, but this one was different. The woman was pregnant with triplets and living under the bridge with her boyfriend.

    During their prayer, many others joined in, forming a larger and larger circle underneath the bridge as they prayed for the woman and her unborn children.

  • Columbine High School shooters the wrong people to idolize

    The Columbine Massacre forever plagues April 20, a school shooting that resulted in 13 deaths and two suicides by high school shooters.

    At the time, it was an event that shook the nation and was considered the worst school shooting in American history.

    Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people before killing themselves on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. What ended up being a mass shooting was initially meant to kill many more people.

  • Being a 'good person' doesn't excuse someone from the law

    If being a good person were enough to keep someone out of trouble with the justice system, America wouldn’t be facing problems with jail overcrowding.

    Several years back, I wrote a story about a relationship quarrel in which two men were in an argument over a woman. In the ensuing fight, one of the men stabbed the other—in the eye.

    The stabber-man had been formally charged, and I penned the blurry tale of the eye stabbing.

    Before the ink had a chance to dry on newsprint, I got a call from the stabber’s mother.

  • Brunswick citizens seek honest, hard-working sheriff

    Dear future sheriff: Brunswick County citizens are looking for an honest, hard-working sheriff.

    Gone are the days of the “good ole boys' club,” corruption, extortion, coercion, facilitating drug trafficking and other maladies that have seemed to plague the position of high sheriff in Brunswick County.

    The tide has turned, and we are all looking for a leader with character, integrity and a true and constant devotion to law enforcement.

  • We expect elected leaders to follow all laws

    Just 25 days after North Carolina Governor Mike Easley proclaimed March 20, 2008 “Sunshine Day” in North Carolina, nine media organizations filed a lawsuit against him for refusing to comply with public records law.

    Sunshine Day is part of the nationwide celebration of “Sunshine Week,” a week that highlights citizens’ rights to public records.

    The Sunshine Laws and North Carolina Public Records Laws exist to ensure the public has the right to access government documents.