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Opinion

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • While Brunswick County’s 50 miles of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean tend to get all the attention, the tide is beginning to turn toward the county’s rivers.

    Back in September, the Leland Tourism Development Authority held the inaugural Brunswick Waterfest to promote outdoor activities in the area’s creeks and rivers. Highlights included a kayak fishing tournament, Stand-up Paddleboard races, hikes, kayak trips and activities in and around Brunswick River Park on N.C. 133.

  • While Brunswick County’s 50 miles of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean tend to get all the attention, the tide is beginning to turn toward the county’s rivers.

    Back in September, the Leland Tourism Development Authority held the inaugural Brunswick Waterfest to promote outdoor activities in the area’s creeks and rivers. Highlights included a kayak fishing tournament, Stand-up Paddleboard races, hikes, kayak trips and activities in and around Brunswick River Park on N.C. 133.

  • Fix A Friend Spay Neuter Clinic just reached a significant milestone in its brief history by performing its 1,000th spay/neuter procedure. The reduced-cost pet surgical alteration facility at 6033 Ocean Highway East in Winnabow only opened to the public Aug. 26.

  • Fix A Friend Spay Neuter Clinic just reached a significant milestone in its brief history by performing its 1,000th spay/neuter procedure. The reduced-cost pet surgical alteration facility at 6033 Ocean Highway East in Winnabow only opened to the public Aug. 26.

  • Of Brunswick County’s 48,569 registered voters, 9,125 cast their ballots in 22 precincts for the Nov. 5 election. That puts voter turnout at 18.79 percent, which might seem abysmal until you remember not all of the county’s registered voters were eligible to participate because most of the races were for municipal seats.

  • The 2013 Farm Bill conference committee had its first meeting Oct. 30. Among those serving on the committee, which is tasked with determining the final language of the bill, is Congressman Mike McIntyre, who represents our part of North Carolina.

    A part of the bill proposed by Rep. Steve King of Iowa is getting a lot of attention, and rightly so.

    The King Amendment, which is Section 11312 of the Farm Bill, H.R. 2642, prohibits “interference by state and local governments with production or manufacture of items in other states.”

  • For all the reports detailing the bad behavior of many Sunset Beach Town Council members at their meetings and workshops, the conduct of the candidates at the Oct. 23 forum was surprisingly sedate.

    For some in the standing-room-only crowd that gathered for the event, it was a different story.

    The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce presented the forum as other chambers in the county did for other municipalities. It explicitly established the ground rules prohibiting interaction among the candidates and with the audience during the forum.

  • By the time you read this column — and presuming the stress of meeting Tuesday night’s weekly production deadlines haven’t sent me into a relapse — it will have been more than two weeks since I’ve had a Diet Pepsi to drink.

  • Most people know October is breast cancer awareness month around the world. Fewer may know it is also observed worldwide as sudden infant death syndrome and Rett syndrome awareness month.
    In the United States, October is healthy lung month, Down syndrome awareness month, liver awareness month, national spina bifida awareness month and national orthodontic health month, too. To the north, Canada is observing October as autism awareness month, and across the pond, the United Kingdom is observing October as lupus awareness month.

  • This past weekend saw the inaugural Brunswick Waterfest in Leland and Bike MS: Breakaway to the Beach in Sunset Beach, two events that put our county’s natural beauty on full display as fall gets under way.

    Last Saturday, the Brunswick County Solid Waste Department collected household hazardous waste at South Brunswick Middle School to conclude free dump week, when county residents were allowed to may bring items (except for household trash and land-clearing debris) to the landfill in Bolivia free of charge.