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Opinion

  • To the editor: A few days before Christmas, a true Christmas story took place here in Shallotte. A little over a year ago, my son was diagnosed with Stage Three colon cancer (he lives in Tampa, Fla., and has two small children).

    A few weeks after his operation, he received a call from his employer in Boston, informing him the company could no longer carry him. He would receive two weeks severance pay and shortly thereafter, would be responsible for his own health coverage under Cobra.

  • To the editor: I am a little late in thanking Ocean Isle Beach for the flotilla again this year.

    More and more people line up on the waterway to see the great event.

    Those of us who live on the waterway invite people to come view it from our decks and piers. It was fantastic again and I understand the one decorated like a fire truck took first place. It looked like it was riding down the waterway.

    There was an awful lot of work that went into it and all the rest, too.

  • To the editor: It is truly disheartening to watch our country descend from the proud individualism and moral strength that once characterized our society, attributes first described by de Tocqueville more than 100 years ago, to the debased state of an increasingly socialized and passive society we see espoused by the acceptance of Obamism.

    I served in the military for 30 years and observed first-hand in many parts of the world the destruction wrought by the insidious effects of socialism.

  • To the editor: I have noticed, as usual, there have been several best-selling books in regard to the subject of atheism. Of course, one may find many such books on the market at any time, but they seem to proliferate around the Christmas season.

    If God would give me wisdom, a trait we all pray for at times in our lives, I would wonder why these people who do not believe in God must insist on pushing their beliefs on anyone at all who does believe in God, but the greatest problem lies in the fact they are simply without hope.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • To the editor: If you’ve been reading the Beacon recently, you must know that the Ocean Isle Museum Foundation and Ingram Planetarium are in the midst of a capital campaign that we are pleased to report has received broad based community support.

    Dozens of individuals, organizations, businesses, the county, our school system and other municipalities have endorsed us, and in many cases, provided funding. I mention this because at some recent Sunset Beach town meetings, comments were made that implied the community was not supporting our efforts.

  • To the editor: With all the negative publicity Shallotte Middle School has received, I was considering sending my child to a private school. Not wanting to separate her from friends, I decided to give it a try, while keeping the private schools on the back burner.

    Although we are only four months into the school year, I am pleased with my child’s repertoire of teachers.

  • To the editor: My name is James Saunders. I’m writing to you in regard to the many inmates being held here in the Brunswick County Jail for weeks, even months at a time, after being sentenced to the N.C. Department of Corrections.

    [At the time of writing this letter], I will have been here for 17 days waiting to be shipped.

  • To the editor: I am responding to a recent letter to the editor titled, “Tough times in Brunswick County.” It’s clear Mr. Pruitt never owned a business in a tourist area or he would better understand local merchants.

    My husband and I own a restaurant, so I will only respond to that grievance. Over the past two years, one bag of wheat flour jumped 300 percent; ditto for raw chicken, corn and countless other food items.

    Insurance rates have doubled (and are on the rise again), utilities have doubled...the list goes on and on.

  • To the editor: I would like to respond to the letter to the editor by Mr. Thomas J. Stocker of Gastonia in the Dec. 18 issue. He is concerned the “middle-income people are being priced out by overpricing the rentals by the owners and landlords” at Holden Beach.

    It is interesting this letter is in the same issue of the paper that has front page headlines insurance for coastal property may go up 50 percent and an op-ed piece by the president and CEO of Carolinas AAA saying that beach insurance premiums should increase by 80-120 percent.

  • To the editor: I had the pleasure to visit the Calabash Elks Club at its annual Christmas party for boys and girls from 3-11 years of age.

    The weather was a balmy 65 degrees—a welcome change from the frigid North Pole. I have many other duties in life and I only do this visit once a year, but I want to convey what a precious time it is to visit these children.

    After pizza, Cokes, ice cream and chasing piñata candy, the kids line up to see me. The Elks supply some of these kids with the only gifts they will see this year.