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Opinion

  • 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.

  • As I prepare to celebrate Christmas, I’d like to take some time to reflect on the past year. Here are a few of the things I learned in 2008:

  • If the Jolly Old Elf is out there, and his reading time happens to include a few moments with The Brunswick Beacon before he loads his sleigh this year, I hope he knows I’ve been a pretty good girl.

    I’ve made mistakes and been far from perfect, but I’m pretty sure my name would ultimately end up on the “nice” list, rather than the “naughty” one.

    So if Mr. Claus is wondering what a gal like me might be wanting for the holidays—it’s all about the roads.

  • To the editor: Well, 16 years of the Brunswick County Motorcycle Enthusiasts Christmas Toy Run has come and gone. I just want to thank everyone who has sponsored us year after year and all the volunteers who have helped us put this program together. Without their support this could not happen.

    I cannot list all the names—it would take too much space. But you and the Lord know who you are. May you all be blessed for your efforts to help others in need.

  • When I was a freshman in high school, my younger brother brought home a small, black slobbery puppy.

    We didn’t have a dog growing up, so his pleas must have resonated with our parents, not wanting to hear 10 years later we were robbed of precious childhood memories of the quintessential family dog. So they caved and let her become part of the family.

    A little less than 14 years later, this past Saturday, surrounded by her favorite people and a few tennis balls, Sadie, our family dog, died.

  • Calabash commissioners recently made a brilliant decision to start their monthly meetings an hour earlier—6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.—because their sessions have been running so late.

    One commissioner said he liked to get home early enough to tell his kids good night.

    That sounded like a good plan to me, since commissioners meet on Tuesday nights, which are major deadline nights for the Beacon newsroom.

  • It’s that time of year again folks, and I don’t mean Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa.

    I’m talking about the time of year when people who write smarty-pants newspaper columns, blogs and magazine articles like to haul out their “best and worst of the year” lists.

    I, of course, am not immune to this trap, mainly because I’m one of those who loves reading these lists.

  • Crime does not pay

    —1935 Radio Program

    One of my old FBI associates recently wrote a letter to the editor in which he mentioned structured sentencing. That triggered my mind into the reminiscing and reflection modes. Here are my thoughts.

    My jail time

    I served about seven months in the Los Angeles County Jail—not as an inmate, but as a deputy sheriff.

  • During a DWI checkpoint over two days last weekend, local law enforcement officers took 23 potentially deadly drivers off area roadways—that’s 23 people who could have tragically changed their lives or the lives of others forever.

    Terry Randolph, a speaker at a recent regional candlelight vigil that honored and remembered those whose lives have been affected by drinking and driving, knows exactly how devastating it can be when someone foolishly decides to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol.

  • To the editor: I recently went to a restaurant in Shallotte with a very good friend for breakfast and fellowship. The meal didn’t give me heart failure, but the check did. I will not darken their door again.

    I had my propane gas tank filled two weeks ago. The bill seemed high to me, so I called a couple of competitors. The first was 20 cents a gallon (or pound) cheaper and the second was 30 cents cheaper.

    I will be ending a long time relationship with my gas company very soon.

  • I was pleased to learn the town of Sunset Beach released a $15,000 capital grant to Ingram Planetarium. As a trustee of the foundation that oversees the planetarium, I am grateful for the town’s support of this important tourist attraction and educational facility.

    I am concerned, however, about some of the comments made at the Sunset Beach town meeting and the manner in which they were reported in the local press.

  • To the editor: How come all the sudden our government has all this money to bail out all these big companies, but they can’t bail out those in poverty and senior citizens?

    We have to suffer so all the CEOs and presidents and vice presidents and board members can be cozy and comfortable in their big homes not knowing what and how the little people are really doing and what we have to deal with to survive.

  • To the editor: In October, Brunswick Family Assistance re-evaluated the devastating effect our economy has had on our less fortunate neighbors.

    It was determined we needed to initiate a blitz campaign while temporarily reducing expenses and services to support these individuals during these extreme times while maintaining our financial stability.

    Thanks to you, the Brunswick County community, we have raised more than $70,000, significant amounts of food and increased volunteer support. This will allow us to continue to provide essential services into the New Year.

  • I recently had the opportunity to see a wonderful Christmas drama called “Journey to the Manger” at Ocean View Baptist Church.

    It was a full-on musical production filled with great songs, a terrific story and solid performances by the cast and choir. It also contained an important message for any Christmas, but especially this year’s holiday season: It’s not about the gifts.

  • “There’s many a slip ’twixt the cup and the lip”

    —An old English proverb

    One of my FBI associates made an interesting and astute observation in his recent letter to the editor: “North Carolina does not recognize a ‘citizen’s arrest.’”

    Apparently, he is right.

  • To the editor: Anyone in North Carolina who either has or is contemplating purchasing homeowners insurance needs to be aware of what the state’s new insurance commissioner has called “a ticking time bomb.”

    Recently elected insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin takes office next month following his mentor, Jim Long, who served 24 years as insurance commissioner before deciding not to run for re-election.

  • To the editor: With our nation in the midst of its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Congress must be willing to take bold and decisive action to spur a housing and economic recovery.

    Unless we are able to halt the slide in home prices, the nation’s housing and economic woes will continue to grow even worse. This is why a robust housing component must be an integral part of the new economic stimulus package under consideration by the incoming Obama administration and new Congress.

  • To the editor: It seems strange with a downturn in the economy, rental rates at Holden Beach seem to be rising.

    Is there so much demand any price will be paid, or are the middle-income people being voted out by overpricing the rentals by the owners and landlords?