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Columns

  • You're finally here; welcome to the 'real world' 2008 graduates

    Twelve or more years of hard work and hassle came to a dramatic, yet simple conclusion last week as hundreds of Brunswick County graduates picked up their tassels and moved them from one side of their mortarboards to the other.

    In that gesture, often accentuated by the ceremonial tossing of the mortarboard into the air, students made the transition from being kids to almost, but not quite, grown up. After pomp and circumstance, they now find themselves lingering on the outskirts of the “real world.”

  • Now that it's (almost) summer, stop and smell the sunflowers

    The heat may be blazing and corn and gas prices rising higher than giraffes’ eyes.

    What better time than summer, then, which officially clocks in at 7:59 p.m. EDT this Friday, June 20, than to stop and be thankful it’s finally here.

    Never mind the heat or the humidity.

    It’s el solsticio de verano, which only comes but once a year. I just hope it doesn’t bring any el ninos, la ninas or el hurrican-os along with it.

  • Advice for the new graduates and the class of 2012

    Congratulations class of 2008, you made it! Now you’re in a new class—class of 2012.

    As most of you begin to prepare for the first move-in day at your new college or university, I’m sure you’re hearing the same things from your moms and dads.

    “Don’t party too much; do your homework; don’t stay out too late,” blah, blah, blah.

    Having graduated from college only two years ago myself, I believe to still be in tune with the college scene and have a pretty good idea of what to do and what not to do.

  • Hurricane forum opens eyes to the importance of preparation

    They are the largest, deadliest storms on Earth, and 14 of them have affected the Brunswick County coast since 1900.

    Hurricanes are a constant threat for the residents of Brunswick County, and last Thursday evening Brunswick County Emergency Services sponsored a public forum to help residents understand how to prepare for these storms.

    With an expert panel of speakers that included representatives from FEMA, the state department of crime and public safety and the National Weather Service, the message seemed to be the same—be prepared.

  • Tips for beating the heat, even at the beach

    I’m sure global warming supporters are jumping for joy with the temperatures soaring faster than gas prices.

    You know it’s hot out there when the conversation turns from rising gas prices to rising temperatures.

    On a recent 99-degree day in Wilmington, my brother was complaining to me that it was even hotter and more humid in his D.C. suburb, missing the coastal breeze of Southeastern North Carolina.

    With normal early-June highs teetering around the mid-80s mark in our part of the world, the recent temperatures have people talking.

  • Addressing the energy crisis

    Now that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee and John McCain is the Republican nominee, the question is who will step up to the plate and address the energy crises?

    Obama used a high-tech political machine driven by 20-and 30-year-olds to dismantle an old guard, 20-year-old Clinton political machine. The question is does he have any high–tech ideas to address America’s energy crises?

  • Local summer events heat up

    The Shallotte Fire Department, whose members recently moved into new headquarters on Wall Street beside the old fire station, has set an achievement ceremony for firefighters followed by an open house for the public on June 19.

    The achievement ceremony will begin at 2 p.m., and Mayor Gerald Long will recognize individual firefighters for their achievements during the past year, including the various certifications, degrees and awards they received.

    The following fire officials will be recognized:

  • E-mail is a hoax; N.C. not going to hands-free wireless

    If you’ve received an e-mail about cell phone usage in North Carolina, you might be scrambling to find yourself a hands-free headset.

    According to an e-mail circulating among Brunswick County residents and others throughout the state, effective July 1, North Carolina will have a new wireless telephone law. That law would prohibit all drivers from using handheld wireless devices while driving.

  • Committee meetings waste more time than accomplish tasks

    With 17 schools, two in the works, and about 1,200 students and 1,700 employees to preside over, being a member of the Brunswick County Board of Education is no small task.

    Policies to modify, employees to screen and hire, approving programs that will benefit student education—the jobs of the board are endless. And with one board meeting and one day of committee meetings each month, there’s no time to waste.

    But lately, this board has wasted a lot of it.

  • Graduation brings cheers and tears

    My daughter is graduating from high school this week.

    I’m sorry, I stand to be corrected.

    According to proper grammar (for all those honor graduates who actually use it), she is being graduated, flying the coop, officially emptying the nest.

    I have to admit I’m feeling pretty graduated myself, realizing once she heads off to the University of South Carolina in three months, I’ll be forced to find someone else to nag to get up in the mornings, along with other assorted issues. After 18 years, I may actually have to get myself a life.