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Opinion

  • 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?

     

  • To the editor: The other day, I attended a meeting at the museum that included our superintendent of schools, school principals and administrators.

    The topics presented were most varied and absolutely current for the economic conditions of today: the role of schools in our county and the problems confronting our school system now and in the future.

    Of note to me was the excellent presentation of an ongoing program to reduce the rate of high school dropouts and buck this national trend. Brunswick County wants no part of that.

  • To the editor: It is difficult to feel sorry for General Motors, based on its sordid past.

    If GM gets a dime of taxpayer bailout, it should be to reinstate the clean electric rail system this country once enjoyed.

    How many people have even heard of the “General Motors Streetcar conspiracy?” Between 1936 and 1950, GM bought out more than 100 electric surface-traction systems in 45 cities and replaced them with their filthy GM buses. At the time, 90 percent of all trips in the U.S. were by clean electric rail.

  • To the editor: Regardless of one’s political affiliation, I think we can all agree our nation is facing a severe economic crisis. Pointing fingers and laying blame will accomplish little.

    Finding solutions to ease the pain of people should be our government’s first concern.

  • To the editor: I believe everyone should be held accountable for their actions—adults and children alike.

    My family and I attended the Shallotte Christmas parade. I have never been so appalled by the actions of grown women and men in an environment where everyone around you can see and hear everything that you do.

    I have never encountered such disregard and disrespect for others than I did that day.

  • To the editor: While driving through Shallotte a few days ago, I noticed a strange message on the marquee of a local restaurant.

    It read: “It’s called CHRISTmas.”

    Strange, because many other establishments have no qualms about celebrating the Holy Day; however, to avoid offending anyone, they attempt to be politically correct and omit Jesus.

    No thought is given about offending Christians who know Jesus is the reason for the very existence of Christmas.

     

  • To the editor:

    A recent article in the Beacon highlighted an awards ceremony for volunteers for their service to Brunswick County.

    Recipients were individuals and groups cited for their contributions as part of the Governor’s Award for outstanding service to the county.

    Among those worthy recipients for honors bestowed was special recognition for the St. James Fire Department and its large volunteer organization, including a fire auxiliary that raises money and provides support and maintenance.

  • It’s always great to hear of billionaires donating money and resources to organizations, especially children’s charities, but to me, it means more when you hear of hard-working, everyday people going the extra mile to make a contribution or donation simply because they want to, not because they have an extra million or two laying around and send out press releases announcing their good deeds to the world.

  • According to the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, in Brunswick County in 2007, 183 women younger than 19 became pregnant. The youngest reported was a mere 12 years old. Across the state, more than 20,000 women younger than 19 got pregnant last year.

    In the Brunswick County Health Department’s Community Assessment for 2007, the report indicated the county “continues to have an unusually high rate of teen pregnancy,” referring to 296 children born to mothers younger than 19 during a year-and-a-half period.

  • To the editor: Shallotte lost another of our town forefathers last month.

    Those of you who have been here for a long time remember Dykes Tires as Shady Park Esso, which opened around 1940.

    You remember Dykes checking your tires, looking under the hood, chit-chatting while he filled up your tank, never seeming to be in a hurry for you to leave.