• Explaining what we don’t do so you know what we do

    The caller was frustrated, yelling as he took issue with our recent news coverage.

    “What do you people do there?” he asked angrily.

    I was taken aback — and insulted. What do you mean, what do we do? We report the news! Oh, and field the occasional furious, confusing or delusional phone call.

    I tried to explain how and why we report the stories we do, but he wasn’t having it. He’d made up his mind to be mad, and nothing I said was going to change it.

  • If only every day could be Halloween

    A week or two ago, one of my friends from back in Florence, S.C., posted online a photograph she’d taken recently of a woman standing in a checkout line at a store somewhere around there. The woman had long pink and black hair and was wearing a long Renaissance-style black dress with lace around the hem and long sleeves with the shoulders cut out — punk rock hair and a witch’s outfit. My friend told the woman she liked her costume. The woman replied, “It’s not a costume.”

  • October means celebrating Mom and Dad

    October has always been a month of celebration for me, even before we get to Halloween, my favorite holiday. It kicks off with my mom’s birthday, which will have passed by the time you read this column, then my parents’ anniversary, and then my dad’s birthday.

    My parents have supported me in every way from the very beginning. When I started the first grade, right after we moved to North Carolina, there was a kid in my class who picked on me every day. I told my teacher, but since she didn’t see it, she didn’t tell him to stop.

  • Sunset Beach election outlook: Hot with a chance of controversy

    It began with a debate about town finances and ended with an array of remarks aimed at a controversial mayor four weeks before the election.

    At the start of Sunset Beach Town Council’s pre-agenda work session Monday night, town administrator Gary Parker kicked things off by reading aloud prepared information about the town’s financial health.

    Mayor Richard Cerrato’s belief in a “looming fiscal problem” at town hall shows his lack of knowledge and is an abominable statement to make because it is completely untrue, Parker said.

  • On trend: Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely

    Judging from recently published reports in journals like Psychology Today and on social media, being an introvert is trendy these days. Until last week, I didn’t realize what a trendsetter it makes me.

    I found out by becoming a proud member of the 2013-14 Leadership Brunswick County class, offered by Brunswick Community College, the Brunswick County, North Brunswick and Southport-Oak Island chambers of commerce.

  • Get to know who represents you

    OK, Brunswick County, I’m going to give you a pop quiz: Name a commissioner.

    No, I can’t be more specific. I’m keeping the question general to make it easier for everyone to pass.

    I am not trying to trick you. It can be your county commissioner or any county commissioner, or it can be your town commissioner or town councilman, or even an alderman or …

    All of the above are acceptable answers, just as long as you have a little familiarity with your elected representatives.

    It’s good to know who represents you.

  • A closer examination of name-calling

    It’s been decades since anyone’s addressed me by my given name.

    Jackie’s a nickname I’ve had for as long as I can remember. The only people who ever called me Jacqueline are my grandfathers. Even when my parents got really angry with me, they never called me by my full name. It’s probably because the intended impact is lost if you don’t have a middle name.

  • Sources are subjects, not choosers in news reporting business

    Perhaps the worst thing about having spent most of my career in South Carolina was hearing people refer to the University of South Carolina as “Carolina.” Being a product of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC’s the only Carolina in my mind and I don’t pay much attention to the Gamecocks.

  • ABCPOA 'disinvites' press to board governance forum

    Maybe I’d gotten up too early and was just having a bad dream.

    Maybe it was because it was Friday the 13th.

    Whatever it was, upon my arrival at an Alliance of Brunswick County Property Owners Association (ABCPOA) governance forum early last Friday morning, I was told I had been disinvited and wouldn’t get to hear, among other things, what state representatives have to say about current homeowners association (HOA) legislation.

  • Being a public servant means being in the public eye

    We have an election coming up here in the next couple months, really weeks as it will be here before we know it.

    So I thought this would be a good time to throw out a reminder to those newly elected officials as well as the ones who will be voted back into office and even the people whose terms aren’t up for another year or two: What you are doing, you do in public.