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Today's Opinions

  • Upset about insurance increase

    To the editor:

    The increase in homeowner’s insurance in our area is a travesty and an injustice.

    In 1961, my family built an oceanfront home on Ocean Isle Beach. For the past 47 years, the house has lost a few shingles, and we have not filed any claims.

    From 1988 until 2006, my wife and I owned a house about 5 miles from the ocean in Brunswick County. It has never incurred storm damage.

  • New Year’s resolutions and Fibber McGee’s closet

    Everyone has within themselves their own personal demons, which they must conquer before becoming whole and complete.—Unknown

    Several months ago my spouse Penny and I were visiting with good friends, a long-married couple in a distant city.

    They are our age, successful professionals with grown-up kids. Their home could easily appear in any of several wonderful magazines portraying southern living.

    How could anything be amiss?

  • Cameras, photography change with time, increase ease of use, frequency

    I held the tiny white-edged Polaroid snapshot in my fingers. The edges have darkened over the years, and the color has tinted an odd shade of green.

    I’m in the center of the photo, probably no more than 3 or 4 years old, standing in front of an unshapely real Christmas tree. The tree is decorated with lots of shiny objects, accentuated with far too many stringy, silvery icicles.

    My hands are folded in delight, with a big smile on my face. Behind me are stacks and stacks of presents.

  • Leaving paradise to find a frozen White Christmas

    Some people around this area told me they dream of a white Christmas.

    If I had lived in 70-degree December weather for most of my life, I might be one of the dreamers, too. But living in a place with inches of snow and negative-degree wind chills for my entire childhood no longer leaves me with winter weather desire.

    If it snowed back home, it was usually after the New Year. February or March was more likely to be victims of blizzards than November or December.

  • Local children have made big contributions to community

    They may be small in stature, but Brunswick County schoolchildren have proven they have big hearts and can make significant contributions to this community.

    During the last few months, students at schools throughout Brunswick County have been doing good deeds by taking part in selfless acts of giving to others.

    There are too many school-wide projects to mention them all, but among some of the many, many projects completed by students just before and during the holiday season are:

  • Best and worst of 2008: Trends

    I promised I’d be back with more “best and worst” of the year. This time, I’ve decided to take on the trends of 2008.

    From “going green” to vampire books and movies, and from presidential slogans to penny-pinching, it was definitely a memorable year—for both good and bad trends.

    Best: I’m all for the trend of making good movies for kids and adults. “WALL-E” was one of the best movies I’ve seen in years, and it was highly entertaining for my daughter as well.

  • Beach rentals still a bargain

    To the editor: This is a reply to the Gastonia reader’s letter last week about rising rental rates at Holden Beach.

    First is my disclaimer: I once rented my beach property at Holden Beach, but I haven't done so in more than 10 years, so I gain no benefit from higher rentals.

    Costs of owning beach property have risen dramatically. A vacuum sewer system has been installed for our convenience and the significant cost has been passed on to the homeowners for installation and higher water bills.

  • Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

    In the spirit of the holidays, knowing many readers have faced difficult times during the past year, we reprint “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” to spread Christmas cheer.

    Eight-year-old Virginia Hanlon penned the original letter, and it appeared in the New York Sun in 1897.

    Veteran newspaperman Francis Pharcellus Church wrote the response. Since it’s creation some 111 years ago, the piece has become history’s most reprinted editorial.

    “Dear Editor: I am 8 years old.