ONDBEAT Years in review: 2016 vs. 2017 in hindsight, foresight

Some people — perhaps promoters if not instigators of 2016 fake news — claim this past year has been a bummer and a bomb and they’re happy to watch it wash out to sea.

Outlook and perspective on that no doubt have a lot to do with who they favored for president in 2016, a blockbuster and noteworthy election year whether they liked it or not.

But this past November is just one of a dozen months that compose a controversial year. What about the other 11 months of 2016? They count, too.

Month by month, here’s a closer year-in-review of hot headlines and news in 2016, along with hopes and predictions on what we might see in upcoming, shiny new 2017.

January 2016 — Nobody in Brunswick County wins $1.5 billion Powerball. Striving to maintain the lucky-number tradition of Shallotte millionairess Marie Holmes, who snagged a mere $188 million Powerball jackpot before taxes in 2015, we all bought tickets again nearly a year later when the jackpot grew too tall to ignore. But we still came up short.

January 2017 — As enticement to spur us to keep playing, Powerball and assorted lottery games could be redesigned (rigged?) so they become a win-win of at least a dollar or 10 to help recoup costs for any and everybody shelling out for a ticket. The only hitch is if everybody wins, there’s less money for individual jackpots, including the N.C. Education Lottery. Guess we can’t all be winners.

February 2016 — Canopies open “can of peas”: Sunset Beach Town Council opted not to ban cabanas and shade tents on the beach, at least for the upcoming season.

February 2017 — Unless council changes its everlovin’ mind from this past December, which was changed from this past November, we may or may not be able to lug or rent big shade tents at the beach for another season. At this point, I’m just as confused as any other beachgoer. Stay tuned.

March 2016 — Brunswick bicyclists pedal for better routes. Even as they advocated for safe(r) spaces to pedal, any number of roadblocks seemed to be obscuring their paths.

March 2017 — A year after bicyclists “spoke,” it would be nice to see roads honchos come full cycle as well by granting them a little extra asphalt.

April 2016 — The Brunswick County Association of Realtors announces it’s giving up its decade-old headquarters and event center, 101 Stone Chimney Place, because it can no longer afford to make payments on the facility.

April 2017 — Now that 101 Stone Chimney Place is destined to become a new senior center, it wouldn’t be deplorable to see a new central gathering spot for all citizens to use.

May 2016 — District 8 Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Southport, files a bill to “de-annex” three Sunset Beach town sites where development is either under way or has been proposed for development.

May 2017 — Rabon has a change of heart about meddling in Sunset Beach politics and — bonus — returns phone calls and emails.

June 2016 — Local towns opt to oppose Local Option Sales Tax.

June 2017 — Local Option Sales Tax finally gets LOST.

July 2016 — Shallotte River Swamp Park welcomes its first rescue alligators to its new sanctuary.

July 2017 — Shallotte River Swamp Park imports even more new gators, all of them granted free admission, food and all the swamp water they can drink and swim in for life.

August 2016 — Dog Days hit and it’s really hot.

August 2017 — It’s not as hot and we even have adequate shade at the beach.

September 2016 — Unwelcome weekend visitor Tropical Storm Hermine brings rain and bluster to the start of Labor Day festivities in Brunswick County as residents hunker down for a long weekend.

September 2017 — No more tropical storms, no more flooding.

October 2016 — Hurricane Matthew wreaks havoc on region Oct. 8.

October 2017 — No more hurricanes, no more havoc.

November 2016 — Trump is elected president. Clinton isn’t.

November 2017 — Trump is still president. Clinton isn’t.

December 2016 — Like it or not, we’re looking back on another year gone by.

December 2017 — Like it or not, it’s déjà vu all over again.


Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.