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Opinion

  • At the next Brunswick County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 3, officials will make a final determination about what time classes will start for the 2012-2013 school year.
    This year, the district adopted a staggered-start schedule, beginning and ending classes at various times depending on whether students are in elementary, middle or high school.
    Superintendent Edward Pruden says the change has taken a number of school buses off the road and has essentially saved the district about $500,000 of an ever-decreasing, tighter budget.

  • You’ve seen the advertisements.
    You’ve heard the debates.
    And now it’s getting closer to time for you to make a decision.
    This year’s May primaries are just around the corner, and before you show up for voting on May 8, there are a few important dates to keep in mind.

  • Skies turned dark and winds picked up suddenly Monday afternoon in Shallotte. The familiar clicking of tiny hail stones bouncing off the ground soon joined sounds of heavy rain. The storm popped up quickly and after a drenching rain it was gone, leaving clear skies.
    Sudden, drastic changes in the weather like this help note the importance of Severe Weather Awareness Month, which spans throughout March.

  • It’s Sunshine Week and for the fifth year in a row, The Brunswick Beacon is taking a close look at government transparency in Brunswick County.
    This week, we join other news outlets across the nation in shining the light on open government.
    What we’ve found in the five years of looking at, challenging, chastising and praising agencies in our community is although some groups know North Carolina’s public records and open meetings laws well, there are still far too many agencies who flub the law altogether.

  • Brunswick County School Board members did the right thing Tuesday night when they voted to approve the calendar for the 2012-2013 school year.
    There were three draft calendars before the board for consideration. Two of those got a nod Tuesday night.
    Both of the approved drafts are viable under current state legislation. One has 185 days of student instruction included. The other, which needs a waiver from the state’s department of public instruction, has 180 student instruction days.
    Both would have students going back to school on Aug. 27.

  • A megaport in Brunswick County. You’ve heard about it, but how much do you know?
    Is it good for Brunswick County?
    Is it bad?
    Are you unsure?
    For years the North Carolina Department of Transportation has been talking about building a new, large-scale port here. While the site in Southport—near Progress Energy’s Brunswick Nuclear Plant and Sunny Point Military Terminal—is getting the most attention, there is also another proposed site under consideration in the Leland area.

  • Finally.
    And as far as we’re concerned, it wasn’t soon enough.
    Monday night the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners had a hearing to determine if there was just cause to remove fellow commissioner Charles Warren from the DSS board where he has been causing havoc as its chairman.
    Warren refused to leave the DSS board even after commissioners passed a code of ethics calling for commissioners to step down from such posts.
    He didn’t think that was “just cause” to remove him.

  • Brunswick County candidate filing is under way. Monday morning there was a line of candidates at the board of elections office in Bolivia eagerly waiting to sign up for office.
    Many of those who will file between then and closing at noon, Wednesday, Feb. 29, will be incumbents.
    Many of these people have proven, consistently, they are tireless, dedicated public servants who are willing to put the community’s needs and well-being at the forefront of their decision-making processes.

  • We’ve said before how much we love our very own Brunswick Community College—and now people around the globe are finding out why.
    The college’s Center for Aquaculture & Biotechnology is drawing attention from students right here at home and across the world. This semester a continuing education course about fish farming has students enrolled from North Carolina as well as Great Britain, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Nigeria.
    How’s that for making a splash on an international scale?

  • If the North Carolina Department of Social Services wants to write a handbook on what not to do as a county board, all it has to do is record the goings-on of Brunswick County DSS.
    If there weren’t lives and significant taxpayer dollars associated with this debacle, it would be humorous.
    But there’s nothing funny about providing quality-of-life services, especially for children and the elderly.

  • Who would have believed when it first opened a small, rural community’s airport would grow as fast as Oak Island’s Cape Fear Regional Jetport has?
    Who would have believed  it would be one of the few area businesses robustly growing during an economic time when others are closing or struggling to stay afloat?
    Who would have believed that not only are locals and visitors using its services today but also international residents and businesspeople have grown to appreciate the quality of services provided there.

  •  We support the county commissioners’ resolution asking the General Assembly to overturn the governor’s veto of the voter identification bill. If that doesn’t happen, legislators should move forward with allowing county governments the authority to mandate voter IDs.

    The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners, in a majority vote of 4-1, supports a measure that calls for members of the North Carolina General Assembly to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the voter identification bill.

  • Local entrepreneur Lloyd Milliken is looking at ways to create some new jobs here in Brunswick County.
    If all goes as planned, 25 new jobs could be created as Milliken makes changes to business operations at his oyster house on Village Point Road. Milliken hopes to successfully rework his oyster house into a new scallops-processing business.
    In an area where new jobs are desperately needed, and after feeling the effects of the dwindling seafood and related markets over the past several years, it’s good to see a new approach getting under way.

  • It doesn’t matter what side of the dais you’re on, one thing remains true—enough Sunset Beach voters supported Rich Cerrato to secure him a seat as the town mayor.
    And clearly, it’s going to be an interesting term.

  • Time’s up, commissioner Charles Warren.
    You’ve had ample time to prove you can handle your role on the county’s Department of Social Services board—a role you’ve so desperately clung to you’ve even violated the county’s code of ethics in doing so.
    You so badly wanted to prove you could helm the board as chairman you were even censured by your fellow commissioners. In fact, you couldn’t even be bothered to show up for your own censure hearing.

  • Judith Ann Wanser Coufal, 72, of Calabash, died Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, at Emeritus of Westminster.
    Born on Dec. 10, 1939, in O’Neill, Neb., she was a daughter of the late Max and Ceceila Carr Wanser.
    She was the wife of Robert F. Coufal, her husband of 51 years.
    She was a homemaker and later was an information specialist with General Electric. She was of Catholic faith and enjoyed playing bridge, bowling, attending football games, spending time with friends and cooking for the family.

  • Brunswick County Schools officials have a problem getting some of its bus drivers to show up for work.
    And it’s costing taxpayers extra money.
    Worse yet, it’s likely going to cost you more.
    Each time a bus driver calls in sick, the district pays that employee sick time and then must pay a substitute to fill that route.
    To make it worse, officials are often left scrambling to find a replacement driver in the wee hours of the morning—ensuring someone shows up to get a bus on the road and your children safely to school.

  • We’re quite proud of our community college.
    Brunswick Community College has been an innovator in education. Through creative fundraising and knowledgable, visionary leaders, the institution of higher learning continues to grow.
    It offers courses for area students who may have otherwise missed out on a college opportunity or who could have been ill-prepared for life at a bigger university.

  • When swearing-in ceremonies take place there will be some new—and renewed—faces in local elected
    positions.
    In four of our area towns—Shallotte, Calabash, Carolina Shores and Sunset Beach—new mayors have been elected. There are also a number of new people who will serve on town boards.
    While elected officials are getting ready for new terms and soon a new year, we call upon all to learn about—and commit to—open

  • It has been a while since I was 15 years old, but this weekend I was reminded of the trials of being a teen.

    At 15 years old, I was awkward. I had acne. I was shy. I was anxious about my appearance. I was scared to talk to boys. I was a typical 15-year-old girl.

    Anyone who has been 15 understands it is not an easy age. One would hope adults would have compassion toward issues facing a 15-year-old.