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Columns

  • You decide: how will the ’new NAFTA’ impact North Carolina?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Who knew trade negotiations could play out like a best-selling thriller? The negotiations for a new trade treaty between the U.S., Mexico and Canada had a deadline of Sept. 30, which was a Sunday. I followed the news that day, and it was all gloomy about successful resolutions to several problems between the U.S. and Canada. An agreement on a new trade treaty had already been reached between the U.S. and Mexico, so as I went to bed on Sunday night I thought a three-country NAFTA deal was likely not going to happen.

  • Lesson relearned from a wasted tumbler of coffee

    Since I signed up to man the Beacon’s booth at the NC Oyster Festival on Sunday, going back to bed that morning wasn’t an option, so I turned to coffee to help wake me up.

    The drive from my place to Ocean Isle Beach normally takes about 15 minutes. I expected it to take longer with festival traffic and, for once, I prepared accordingly by making enough coffee to fill a to-go tumbler. The caffeine boost would make both heavy traffic and me much easier to tolerate.

  • Don’t dismiss the power of okra

    OK, I need to begin with two observations. First, my disclaimer is I am either a transplant or an implant from the Northeast. I am not a born and bred Southerner; therefore, I come naively to the unique customs and cuisine of this portion of the United States.

    Second, having lived in Brunswick County since 1988 and having grown to love all the “native” folks who claim this home, I deeply desire to be considered a newborn native. One might even say “born again.”

  • State Rep. Frank Iler: From the Legislature

    Last week the North Carolina General Assembly included committee assignments for the 2019-2020 session and some early bill filings. There were two floor sessions but only one procedural vote.

    After missing the Jan. 9 swearing-in ceremony in Raleigh due to medical reasons, I was sworn in Jan. 18 at the Brunswick County Courthouse by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week, the North Carolina General Assembly session began and ended Oct. 15. We expanded legislation for Hurricane Florence recovery we had begun two weeks earlier before returning to our districts in time for early voting, which started Wednesday, Oct. 17. A lot of work had gone on for two weeks, along with close communication among the House, Senate and the governor’s office.

  • You decide: considering the concept of risk and how we approach it

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    In the aftermath of hurricane season, I’ve been thinking a lot about risk. Indeed, many people are. I have friends who are second-guessing their decisions to move to the coast after retiring. Others are questioning why development is allowed in storm-prone beaches and barrier islands.

  • Send Santa down the parade route in appropriate style this Christmas

    I don’t want to be the one who jumps the gun on starting the Christmas season too soon. After all, the big box stores have shown tremendous restraint this year by keeping Halloween items front and center on the shopping aisles this far into October when all that real estate could already be stocked with wreaths and bells and fake trees covered in fake snow.

    But I have a Christmas wish I want to put out there early enough so that somebody in charge can make it happen.

  • You decide: what is the route for our state’s recovery from Hurricane Florence?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Hurricane Florence will likely go down as one of the most damaging storms to ever hit North Carolina. One estimate pegs the total cost at near $50 billion, which would place Florence as the sixth most expensive hurricane in the 21st century.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week at the General Assembly could be described as short and sweet. It was short because of the large amount of work done in advance by the bill drafters and the legislative leaders. It could be called “sweet” because of the preliminary agreement by those leaders and the governor that something had to be done quickly for our citizens struggling with the effects of Hurricane Florence.

  • On Campus with BCC: Brunswick Community College students SWIM for success

    By Dr. Susanne Adams

    Guest Columnist

    Brunswick Community College rolled out the red carpet for the Onsite Review Committee from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools — Commission on Colleges from Oct. 8 through 11. SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the primary accrediting body for public and private colleges and universities that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degrees.