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Columns

  • New arts and entertainment listings give taste of goings-on

    Two weeks ago we launched another new addition to The Brunswick Beacon.

    After soliciting feedback from our readers, we found out there was a need to provide you with more information about events and activities not only going on in Brunswick County, but also communities within a short drive.

    A team of Beacon staffers got together and spent several weeks planning out what we thought we needed to do to fill that information void. After lots of planning, we unveiled the new “Arts and Entertainment” pages in the March 20 edition.

  • Gearing up for spring, stuck in winter weather

    With spring officially sprung, I spent the weekend gearing up for my favorite season.

    No spring cleaning, planting flowers or mowing the grass for me. I braved the pollen-infused air for an afternoon at one of my favorite places in the world: the outlet mall, or as I like to call it, the eighth wonder.

    While I realize saying I needed to go “spring shopping” holds little or no merit, it seemed like a great excuse for me to indulge in only the spring necessities.

  • Tip etiquette questions arise in today's fast-moving world

    The whole world is on fast forward.

    Everything we do nowadays is hurried or rushed. The Internet makes any information imaginable available at the click of a button. TIVO and DVR makes it possible for us to not only watch our favorite shows, but also to watch them in about a third of the time if we fast forward through all the commercial breaks.

    Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’d tell you in full detail why I think these things are a few of the best inventions ever, but I don’t have time.

  • Bring back the gas wars

    So the weekend kicked off with the usual payday quest to fill up the car at the cheapest gas station, preferably one within reasonable driving distance in one of the Carolinas.

    About 10 years ago, when the price of petroleum was an issue but not as big an issue as it is now, I interviewed a local businessman who complained about “people who’ll drive 20 miles across town to save 2 cents on gas.”

    Well, anything for a bargain, I always say.

  • Easter bunny proves her worth on baby's first

    Peter Cottontail hopped down the bunny trail and right into my house Sunday morning.

    It was my son’s first Easter, and the Easter Bunny really went all out to make this first year a special one.

    In fact, I think the Easter Bunny probably had to take some Advil and use some Aspercreme for her back after all that hopping and shopping.

    My son, Levi, celebrated his first Easter in grand style with two teal Easter baskets filled with all of the top-rated toys and books

  • Alaskan adventure was great, but there's really no place like home

    If you’ve not been to Alaska, you need to go, and you need to go soon so you won’t say, “I wish I went earlier.”

    Alaska is a place of incredible beauty, with wildlife right outside your window, dangers that are more than just conversation and the rugged individualistic spirit of people similar to those who settled this great country.

  • Toilet terror: Unbelievable but true

    Has everyone heard the story about the poor woman in Kansas who spent the past two years in her boyfriend’s bathroom and was found stuck to the toilet seat?

    If you haven’t, trust me, I’m not making it up.

    According to various published reports, a 35-year-old Kansas woman, now identified as Pam Babcock, went into her boyfriend’s bathroom two years ago, and when he asked her to come out, she refused. So, he brought her food and water.

  • The light at the end of the tunnel: The outlook for FOI

    With higher temperatures and March sunshine, it really seems like our long Minnesota winter is coming to a close. This brings us a sense of optimism and hope.

    And it’s a metaphor for the future of freedom of information. I believe it is no coincidence that James Madison, drafter of the First Amendment, was born on March 16.

    This year, for the first time in a long time, there seems to be a real prospect that transparency in government could be restored.

  • Easter traditions provide lasting memories of childhood

    Growing up in a devout Catholic household, we celebrated holidays in many more ways than just going to church.

    On Sunday nights during the Christmas season, we’d light our own advent wreath and read passages from the Bible.

    On Friday nights during Lent, we’d attend the Stations of the Cross and follow it by attending the parish fish fry.

    We’d always have to give up at least one of our favorite treats during Lent, and our parents made sure we stuck to it.

  • Sunshine Week is about your right to information

    Last week I sounded a bit like a broken record here in the Beacon newsroom.

    “It’s not about us, it’s about the public,” I said repeatedly; so much so that a co-worker pointed it out to me.

    But it was an important point I had to make.

    In preparation for our Sunshine Week issue, we visited 19 different local agencies throughout the county making public records requests at each agency.

    Last week, we called every agency we visited to make a public records request.