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Opinion

  • We’re not exactly clear what’s going on with Brunswick County’s Department of Social Services, but we have some concerns about the actions taken recently by its board.

    On Aug. 6, the board had a meeting where it made a decision to place Jamie Orrock, DSS director, on paid administrative leave. We can find no record of public notice being given for this meeting.

  • Some emergency service personnel have expressed concerns about the functionality of the county’s Smart Link radio system.

    They say there have been issues with the system not working properly inside enclosed buildings.

    That’s not acceptable.

    Emergency service personnel put their lives on the line every day to keep each and every one of us safe. It is imperative their equipment—especially their communication devices—work properly.

  • All of our communities must give serious consideration to the development of green spaces in our growing county.

    Sunset Beach is no exception to this; however, we do not think investing nearly $4 million into a park property is the best use of taxpayer dollars—especially in light of this challenging economy.

    Previously, Sunset Beach commissioners agreed to move forward on the 5.22-acre waterway site only if the town could secure 50 percent of the $3.75 million price in matching grant funding before Sept. 10.

  • New Beginnings Community Church in Shallotte and CommWell Health and Dental are partnering together to provide a day of free dental care to school-aged children.

    Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, children with appointments—and walk-ins who will be seen on a time-permitted basis—will have the opportunity to visit the mobile dental clinic where they will receive an oral exam, cleaning and fluoride treatment from a dental hygienist. 

  • Some local residents are joining together to organize an old-fashioned, family-style fair for Shallotte. 

    If all goes well, the midway will light up next year on Sept. 9 and attendees will be treated to rides, food, entertainment, business displays, crafters and more through Sept. 12. There will also be a tribute in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    This event is going to take a lot of hard work and will need significant community support, but we think it will be worth all of the effort.

  • Eight of Brunswick County’s 19 schools did not make Adequate Yearly Progress goals, according to the latest information released last week.

    Belville Elementary School, Bolivia Elementary School, Early College High School, Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, North Brunswick High School, South Brunswick High School, Southport Elementary School, Town Creek Elementary School, Union Elementary School and Waccamaw School met 100 percent of their target goals.

  • On Friday, as part of Calabash’s annual Town Hall Day celebration, the community’s many restaurants and the people and families who have made them successful will be honored.

    It’s a perfect theme for this year’s event, especially in light of recent struggles faced by the local seafood industry—which contributes to the food on area restaurants’ tables—and the struggling economy that has made doing business a bit more difficult than normal.

  • Recent news that Brunswick County will step up enforcement on existing roadside vendor regulations has some residents concerned it could put local entrepreneurs out of business.

    However, the county is doing exactly what it should—enforcing ordinances already on the books and making sure every vendor in the county is treated fairly.

  • A recent editorial regarding the newly established Veterans Outreach clinic in Brunswick County clearly forgot the famous words from the beloved Thanksgiving song that says “Count your blessings; name them one-by-one.”

    Indeed, let’s count our blessings and the victories for our veterans:

    1) Brunswick County veterans were turned down twice by the VA until our petition was granted in 2004. After several bureaucratic and budgetary delays, our veterans’ concerns were finally heard by the VA in our summit on April 7 in Supply.

  • This weekend the Winnabow Volunteer Fire Department will celebrate 50 years of service to Brunswick County.

    It is an important milestone for a giving group of volunteers who do their best to aid citizens in need and help in times of danger.

    This weekend, fire officials will celebrate with an open house at the fire department, 161 Governor’s Road in Winnabow.

  • In a smart fiscal move, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners has decided to hold off on a possible countywide curbside recycling initiative until next year.

    In light of the slow economy and knowing the county has already had to retighten its belt because of budget constraints, this was a wise decision for this fiscal year.However, as Brunswick County continues to grow and its options for traditional landfill locations dwindle, it only makes sense that in the near future officials will have to tackle this endeavor.

  • Congressman Mike McIntyre, what is it exactly you’re so excited about?

    Last week you touted the new veterans services “clinic” coming to Brunswick County. You called it a “great victory for the many veterans who live in Brunswick County.”

    We’re not sure what battle you’ve been fighting, but from our perspective, we can’t see a contracted primary care physician available only three days a week for local veterans as much of a victory.

  • Monday night, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would outlaw video gaming entertainment. 

    If the same measure were to be approved by the state House of Representatives, it would essentially force electronic sweepstakes operations, like those which have popped up throughout Brunswick County, out of business.

  • The decision about whether terminal groins could be a viable option for coastal erosion control is now in the hands of one person, and that’s not how it should be.

    According to Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith and Caswell Beach Mayor Harry Simmons, N.C. Speaker of the House Joe Hackney is controlling whether Senate Bill 832 will be heard on the House floor during the General Assembly’s short session. 

  • As our roads begin to feel the increased pressure of summer tourists, the opportunity for incidents increase. We only have to look back a couple of weeks to see tragedies that have happened on our roadways before the onslaught of beachgoers even began.

    Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram has said his deputies will be stepping up their emphasis on impaired, aggressive and speeding drivers during the busy summer months.

  • What exactly is it state Sen. R.C. Soles Jr. believes he is doing?

    Surely, he can’t believe most of his constituents think he is acting in the community’s best interest with the latest bills he has introduced in the General Assembly’s “short session.”

    Remember, this is a time when he and fellow legislators are supposed to be considering only “non-controversial” bills.

  • Carolina Shores residents hoping for open, transparent government are going to be disappointed.

    Again.

    On May 3, the town board met in closed session to discuss personnel issues. When the board moved into open session, it approved having town attorney Holt Moore send a “personnel letter” to an employee. It did not indicate who the employee was or what action was taken.

  • It has been an intense four years for some Brunswick County students.

    Since 2006, students in Brunswick County’s Early College High School program have been studying their high school curriculum while at the same time exploring life in college.

    By taking college-level courses at Brunswick Community College, students have the opportunity to finish high school while earning a college-level associate’s degree—in just four years.

  • During the May primary election season, two of the more-heated and more-interesting races were for Brunswick County Sheriff and the district attorney that serves our county.

    In the Republican race for sheriff, current sheriff John Ingram was challenged by North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Tim Daniels. Ingram defeated Daniels to be the Republican sheriff candidate in November.

    On the Democratic side, it was the race of the Lewises as Rendy Lewis challenged and ultimately defeated Louie Lewis for the Democratic spot on the November General Election ballot.

  • In light of a struggling economy, the reality is tough decisions are going to have to be made when local government officials put together budgets for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

    The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners got a taste of that recently when it had its budget workshops. Officials looked at a number of ways to generate new and increased revenue and also explored possible cuts and decreases.