http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/todaysopinions/rss.xml en Time to prepare for winter http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/time-prepare-winter <p> Based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration&rsquo;s seasonal forecast, Brunswick County is likely to have a drier and warmer winter than normal &mdash; the opposite of what we experienced last year.</p> Service provides important reminder during holidays http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/service-provides-important-reminder-during-holidays <p> The roster of people who die as a result of violence inflicted upon them grows longer each year. This year in Brunswick County, the number increased with a fatal stabbing, an alleged patricide and an apparent murder-suicide. A handful of other cases also bear a connection &mdash; by victim or perpetrator &mdash; to our community.</p> <p> For 21 years, residents of Brunswick, Bladen, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties have gathered for a candlelight memorial service organized by the 13th and Fifth District Attorneys&rsquo; Offices to honor homicide victims.</p> Give many thanks for generosity http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/give-many-thanks-generosity <p> As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we need to recognize how many of our neighbors are struggling here and across the state.</p> <p> The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition&rsquo;s recent fifth annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet called attention to the number of people in our community, including children, who have no stable residence.</p> BFA remains critical to county http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/bfa-remains-critical-county <p> After a successful distribution of U.S. Department of Agriculture commodities from the former pressroom at the Beacon last Thursday, Brunswick Family Assistance and its new executive director, Stephanie Bowen, are preparing for perhaps its busiest event of the year: its annual Christmas distribution.</p> <p> The abrupt, dramatic departure of Bowen&rsquo;s predecessor, Lou Nistler, who resigned Aug. 19 after 48 days on the job, seems like a distant memory. It may be one we would rather forget, but the resulting lesson is something we cannot.</p> No need to hunt gators for now http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/no-need-hunt-gators-now <p> The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the North Carolina Alligator Task Force led a meeting in Leland last week as part of a three-meeting series along the coast to get public input on an alligator management plan and whether the plan should include alligator hunting.</p> <p> The commission earlier this year proposed a limited alligator hunting season. After receiving public comment and reviewing available up-to-date data, however, the commission opted not to establish an alligator hunting season in the state but decided to develop the task force.</p> Continue with water conservation http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/continue-water-conservation <p> A state of emergency was declared for Brunswick County twice in October, both times apparently because of Hurricane Matthew.</p> <p> The first was issued before the storm was expected to sweep through the area. The second was issued because of a break in the water main that carries water from the Kings Bluff Pump Station to Brunswick County-owned Northwest Water Treatment Plant.</p> <p> Officials posited flooding from the hurricane weakened the stability of the ground supporting the water line and caused the break.</p> Make your vote count http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/make-your-vote-count <p> Election Day 2016 is Nov. 8, but One-Stop voting is already under way in Brunswick County at four sites, with six more scheduled to open Thursday, Oct. 27.</p> <p> As Sara Knotts, director of our county board of elections, explained, &ldquo;it&rsquo;s called One-Stop voting, but is essentially absentee voting because voters are away from their election sites. You can request a ballot and vote the ballot all in one stop. That&rsquo;s where that comes from.&rdquo;</p> Battle against breast cancer http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/battle-against-breast-cancer <p style="margin-top:.1pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:.1pt;margin-left:0in"> <span style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:13.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color:black">By now most people know October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Here in Brunswick County, the observance kicked off with the Sea Trail Ladies Golf Association, which had its Rally for the Cure Oct. 3-5. This was the group&rsquo;s 20<sup>th</sup> year of fundraising for the Susan G. Komen Rally for the Cure.</p>