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Today's Opinions

  • Insurance rate hike proposal too costly to ignore

    The insurance hits just seem to keep coming for homeowners in Brunswick County.

    Thanks to the federal Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act passed in July 2012, flood insurance premiums rose by an average of 10 percent with policy renewals after Oct. 1 last year. That was coupled with a Federal Emergency Management Agency surcharge on policies amounting to 5 percent of those premiums. North Carolina’s legislators at both the state and federal level are still trying to resolve the unintended, unreasonably expensive consequences of the Biggert-Waters Act.

  • Do not wait for a crisis to donate blood

    One of the side effects few considered in the wake of last week’s polar vortex was the impact on the availability of blood.

    According to the American Red Cross, 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled because of the snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8, 400 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2.

  • ‘Color Purple’ controversy takes on insulting tone

    At the start of the 2013-14 year for Brunswick County Schools, the students in 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement courses and their parents were required to sign a syllabus that agreed to the terms of the course. “The Color Purple” was among books on the reading list, which was part of the syllabus.

    Those opposed to it seem to have forgotten or ignored this fact, and that is far more offensive than any of the questionable subject matter in the award-winning novel.

  • Time for charity is always

    The end of 2013 signaled the deadline for people to make charitable contributions of cash or property in time to claim it on their next tax filings.

    The recently released 2012-2013 North Carolina Secretary of State Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division Annual Report shows charities collected $32,160,894.49 from North Carolinians as reported by professional solicitors during the 12-month period.

    The annual report does not look at all charitable and nonprofits operating in North

  • Mad Inlet designation represents residents’ intentions

    The Coastal Resources Commission in February is expected to re-examine a proposal to lift a hazard designation for Mad Inlet near Sunset Beach.

    Mad Inlet closed naturally in 1997, ending a watery separation between the Sunset Beach island and Bird Island, and is not expected to re-open, according to a news release issued Oct. 31 by the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.

  • Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

    Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial.

  • Public information belongs to you

    The common use of email and the Internet has made it easier than ever for people to access the information they need with minimal effort and expense. Even those who do not have a computer at home can visit the nearest library or community center to use one.

    Finding and reading the public documents you require to answer questions and conduct research often is as simple as making a few keystrokes and pressing some buttons. At least, that is how it should be.

  • Student athletes are worth supporting

    Last week’s edition of the Beacon featured a story about West Brunswick High School senior Meg Fletcher, a state finalist in the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award competition. Award applicants are judged on their academic achievements, athletic accomplishments, community leadership and involvement in extracurricular activities, among other criteria. Fletcher maintains a grade point average higher than 4.0 while participating — and excelling — at many sports. She even helped institute her school’s swim team.