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Opinion

  • After going dark for the past month, Ingram Planetarium is set to light up the night sky this coming weekend when it partakes in grand opening events to mark the installation of its new high-definition digital projection system.

  • When the state’s new smoking bill goes into effect on Jan. 2, 2010, smoking will be prohibited in all state government buildings and vehicles as well as public restaurants and bars.

    The measure is a breath of fresh air for North Carolina citizens.

    While some may argue smoking is an individual right—and one the government shouldn’t get involved in—the reality is smoking in public affects far more than just the person puffing on a cigarette.

  • Last week a Brunswick County special needs student was left behind in a Wilmington park after stopping there with his South Brunswick High School class on a field trip.

    Luckily for him and his family, the Good Samaritans who found 16-year-old Tad Speidell made sure he was safely left in the custody of Wilmington police. These people are heroes in a day filled with unacceptable, unimaginable mistakes.

  • In these difficult economic times, private citizens, businesses and public agencies are looking for ways to tighten purse strings.

    From local, county and state government agencies to nonprofit organizations, everyone knows just how difficult it can be to make ends meet these days.

  • Looking for some good, free family fun this summer? You need not look much further than your own backyard.

    Thanks to the generosity of local community sponsors, towns throughout the county will treat the public to a variety of musical tunes and some movie selections—all at no cost to attendees. From opportunities to take in the coastal view, to chances to catch movies downtown on a big screen, there’s plenty to do for the entire family.

  • Calabash commissioners—Emily DiStasio, Cecelia Herman and John Melahn—are you completely ignorant of North Carolina Open Meetings Law or are you just so brazen you don’t care if you violate it?

    Last week, the three of you openly violated the law when you joined together to discuss public business—town sewer—without first announcing you were going to do so.

  • In light of revenue shortfalls and budget deficits, we’re wondering how Brunswick County Commissioners can justify tossing $20,000 in the air and allowing it to land in the pockets of five department heads in the form of “commuting stipends.”

  • We believe the Carolina Shores Board of Commissioners violated N.C. Open Meetings Law last week when it went into closed session to discuss, what we later found out, were concerns about Mayor Stephen Selby’s “behavioral pattern.”

    Following the hour-and-a-half closed session, the board reconvened in open session and agreed unanimously to have the town attorney, Holt Moore III, send a letter to Selby about his behavior.

  • In light of far too much bad news lately about education budget cuts and the possible impact those cuts will have on local schools, it is good to see a point of hope emerge recently in education—dropout rates in Brunswick County are decreasing.

  • This is Sunshine Week, a time when newspapers and other media agencies throughout the country join together to celebrate and focus on the value of open government.

    “Transparency” is the buzzword in government this year, and we wanted to know just how well government bodies that serve Brunswick County respond to open records requests.

  • Although Brunswick County has given up its previously held positions as the 14th and then the 17th fastest growing county in America, it’s likely it won’t be long until the boom returns.

    Although the speed of Brunswick County’s growth may have slowed, people are still relocating to this community, and growth is likely to be a trend Brunswick County will long have to embrace.

  • Calabash commissioners, if your board remains as divided as it has appeared to be in the last couple of weeks, town business is going to go nowhere fast.

    At a recent meeting, three of you removed yourselves from your seats and moved into the audience, trying to prove the point you wouldn’t be part of a discussion in which you were in disagreement.

  • In these difficult economic times, Brunswick County resource agencies continue to see a growing number of people needing help.

    From assistance with rent and mortgages, to help getting food and clothes, many nonprofits and area churches are feeling a crunch.

    Instead of focusing on just band-aiding these difficult situations, many involved in community outreach want to do more—they want to examine the depth of poverty here and figure out long-term solutions to some of the issues that have plagued Brunswick County for generations.

  • Elected officials representing Brunswick County and other coastal communities have joined together to fight against what many are calling unfairly high homeowners’ insurance rate increases for this and other North Carolina beach communities.

    Their push, including bills introduced in the North Carolina House and Senate, has been fueled by the outrage of many coastal residents who feel the 29.8 percent coastal insurance increase is too high, too unfair and done without enough public input.

  • Calabash residents and business owners have been fired up lately about the current Unified Development Ordinance being reviewed by Calabash commissioners.

    In several public meetings business owners have claimed regulations set forth in the UDO are unfair. There have been complaints about everything from how the document was produced to the details inside it.

    The UDO, if approved in its current form, would affect everything from eliminating rooftop signs in the town’s commercial district to requiring more uniform design policies throughout.

  • In this challenging economy, it’s an unfortunate reality businesses are closing their doors every day.

    To assist residents of North Carolina, state Attorney General Roy Cooper has provided a list of tips to help us deal with companies that are going out of business to keep us from being left high and dry.

    Cooper suggests the following:

  • Brunswick Beacon Advertising Director Angie Sutton never imagined she, at age 37, would be diagnosed with breast cancer.

    The active mother and businesswoman didn’t have any “first-degree” relatives who suffered from the disease, and because she was younger than 40, she wasn’t in the age group suggested to receive annual mammograms.

  • With state representatives and senators now convened in Raleigh, it’s imperative elected officials focus on important issues for the constituents they represent.

  • Brunswick County Rep. Bonner Stiller has teamed with other legislators in support of a bill that would outlaw the use of gas chambers at animal shelters in North Carolina. The push for this bill has been a grassroots effort as animal lovers throughout the state joined together to fight for this change.

    If the bill is to be successful, supporters in this and other counties will have to be vocal about making it a priority for the state legislature this session.

  • As school started Jan. 9, so did the homework. As always, the first week of school would include a lot of introduction assignments. I usually do these assignments as fast as I can to get them completed.

    This year, one of these assignments did a little more than help me get acquainted with my teacher and my classmates—it helped me get re-acquainted with myself.