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Columns

  • Sunshine Week: Shining a light on public information

    Public records and open meetings laws in North Carolina exist for one reason—to ensure that government is conducted in the open.

    Public business, according to state law, must be done in public.

    The public’s access to the government process, whether it’s access to meetings or to information or documents, is a right, not a privilege.

    While there are nine specific, and likely overused, provisions that allow public bodies to convene in closed session, action must be taken in open session.

  • Marine video is shocking and shameful

    A recent YouTube video shows a uniformed Marine referred to as “Motari” standing on a rocky-looking cliff, holding a small, black-and-white puppy by the scruff of the neck.

    The soldier then “trips,” and the puppy is thrown off the edge. Cringing cries can be heard as the puppy allegedly plunges to its death.

    The video is absolutely horrifying. When I first heard about it on the news, I had to change the channel. I couldn’t even watch the newscast, let alone the clip of the actual video.

  • Dirty restrooms should not be the norm

    You know that feeling. Almost everyone has experienced it.

    It happened to me recently in a Wilmington mall. I was walking along shopping, minding my own business, when my bladder sent a message to my brain saying, “Hey, you shouldn’t have slurped up that big ol’ Sprite.”

    I tried to ignore my bladder, but it was eventually screaming, “The tsunami is coming.” I knew I had to take action. I was in a nice department store and headed for the nearest ladies room.

  • Another taxing situation passes

    Lately, my favorite proclamation-day of the week is TGISGMTDBA15—Thank God I Somehow Got My Taxes Done Before April 15.

    It was no thanks to those free, do-it-yourself online tax preparation services, which got me in trouble one year for creating confusion in my head and causing me to answer a few questions wrong, according to the mighty Internal Revenue Service.

  • Cold season ain't what it used to be

    The old cold and flu season used to mean a case of the sniffles, maybe a cold here or there, and every few years an unfortunate bout with bronchitis.

    After marriage, my husband quickly informed me that, during sickness, leaving any tissues lying around the house was not healthy for him and was quite unattractive to look at. So I adjusted, making sure I had trash cans close to wherever I happened to be convalescing.

  • Responses now being taken at www.brunswickbeacon.com

    Each week the Beacon’s editorial pages are full of thoughtful, engaging letters from readers who care about what’s going on in Brunswick County. We enjoy these letters and hope the trend will continue. We’re always looking for your opinions on the issues we cover and feedback on the job we’re doing—both good and bad.

    While we’re not looking to change the way we handle letters to the editor, we’re now offering readers a new way to respond to stories that appear in the Beacon.

  • Even adults need to be reminded to watch their Ps and Qs

    Everyone knows “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    And even though most of us learn this at a young age, it’s always a nice reminder this applies to everyone — not just children.

    In this issue of the Beacon, you’ll read how one set of parents met with several teachers and administrators of Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School regarding a disciplinary issue with their son.

  • Learn everything you can about candidates

    A few months ago it seemed as if North Carolina’s primaries were ages away, but now the big day appears to be closing in on us quickly.

    We still have two months before the May 6 primaries, but with such a loaded primary ticket, it’s more important than ever to soak in all of what the candidates have to say.

    But you won’t learn about any of the candidates that will shape the future of Brunswick County on CNN, Fox News or Saturday Night Live.

  • Is this really what is in our best interests?

    Earlier this week George Bush said “thank you” to all the telecommunications companies that have been conducting warrantless wiretapping since Sept. 11, 2001.

    He used the usual scare tactics to frighten the American people and the members of the House, saying “The enemy is calling into America, we really need to know what they’re saying, and we need to know what they’re thinking, and we need to know who they’re talking to.”

  • California here we bum

    California is a nice place to visit, but my son and I have elected not to live there because we can’t afford it.

    It isn’t just the fancy Beverly and Hollywood Hills mansions, fast-moving cars and highfalutin hotels we passed or that passed us by during our whirlwind trip last week.

    We already knew going in this is the world of ultra-riche movie stars and moviemakers, who had to don uncomfortable evening sequins and penguin suits and attend the boring Academy Awards.