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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • This year’s gift?

    To the editor:

    This year’s gift to give to you,

    Has no ribbon, wrap or bows.

    There’s no box or tissue to discard.

    There’s no “dust collector” to show.

    This year’s gift I give to you,

    Can be kept and given away.

    It’s something that you can’t leave,

    But take wherever you go or stay.

    This year’s gift I give to you,

    It’s a wonderful eternal treasure.

    I received it quite a few years ago,

    I happily regift it, with pleasure.

  • Look for a silver lining in disappointments

    Some view disappointments as a prelude to failure; others view disappointments as stepping stones to success.

    Most major achievements are born out of failure and disappointments. The space program failed many times before it succeeded. Experimental space rockets crashed and fell back to earth before a reliable space carrier was developed.

    Most medical cures are products of multiple test tube failures.

    The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers failed before they succeeded. Michael Jordan spent six years in the NBA before he won his first championship.