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Opinion

  • Almost since the day he settled in Sunset Beach from his native Massachusetts, Richard Cerrato has torn through the town like a Yankee rebel with assorted causes.

    When he first ran for town council in 2005, Cerrato was fighting to preserve Sunset Beach and against conflicts of interest.

  • Sometimes it seems like “the state,” aka North Carolina government, can’t resist the urge to try to fix something that ain’t broke.

    That’s the case with House Bill 91 and Senate Bill 87, aka “ABC Laws Modernization,” requiring Alcoholic Beverage Control systems numbering two or more in a county to merge by June 30, 2021.

  • In mid-March we can mark a whole half-year since the unwelcome visit of Hurricane Florence.

    But nearly six months after the weekend storm blew through, many are still dealing with the after-effects.

    Blue tarps covering hurricane-damaged roofs still dot the local landscape as homeowners await reimbursement or available work crews, or both, to make repairs.

  • My wife is not an economist, but she does sometimes ask me about economic issues. One of her most frequent questions is about Social Security. Although she is retired and eligible to receive Social Security benefits, on my advice she has delayed until her monthly payment will be much higher in a couple of years. Her big fear, and her question to me, is will Social Security even be around then?

  • Sunset Beach has long been renowned as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The South Brunswick Islands beach town has the accolades to prove it.

    But just as we were lauding the town last month for volunteers and town leaders coming together to build an environmentally beneficial living shoreline, trouble was brewing once again beneath the surface in paradise — more accurately, at town hall.

  • As Mother Nature flirts with the idea of finally bringing warmer weather to Brunswick County, it’s important to remember that flu season is still upon us, running from October through May.

    Last Friday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the current flu season hasn’t peaked. As of Feb. 2 flu is widespread in 47 states, with 24 of them, including North Carolina, experiencing high flu levels.

  • There’s no doubt Sunset Beach is a microcosm of differing points of view on assorted town issues and politics.

    But when it comes to protecting the environment and making their South Brunswick Islands town better, citizens are about as united and unanimous as you’re going to find.

  • The Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced the holiday “Booze It & Lose It” impaired driving prevention and enforcement campaign, which ran Dec. 14 to Jan. 2, showed a drop in total driving while impaired arrests compared with last year’s campaign.

    A news release said 2,029 DWI arrests were reported across all 100 counties over the course of this year’s three-week holiday campaign; last year, there were 2,528 DWI arrests.

  • From The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute:

    In his iconic speech at the Lincoln Memorial for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. Mark Luther King Jr. urged America to “make real the promises of democracy.” King synthesized portions of his earlier speeches to capture both the necessity for change and the potential for hope in American society.

  • Holden Beach has put Brunswick County on notice it is interested in pursuing a project that could mean more sand being placed on the east end of the island.

    In an email sent to Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett, Oak Island Town Manager David Kelly and Brunswick County Manager Ann Hardy in November, Deputy County Manager Steve Stone said the county received a grant award contract from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources for the Lockwood Folly Navigation Project submitted last summer.

  • Formerly the county-run Brunswick River Park, the revamped, restructured and renamed Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville Park officially opened in 2015 and now boasts a 2,400-square-foot observation deck, 125-foot-long fishing pier, concert pavilion, a handicapped accessible mile-long nature trail and farmer’s market.

    The addition of a Cape Fear Raptor Center education facility and 1,480-foot waterfront boardwalk, among other amenities, are pending.

  • Editor’s note: The following is written in part by Mitzi York, Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority executive director.

    The holidays are a special time for families in North Carolina to gather and look ahead to the New Year with anticipation and enthusiasm. It’s also a time when we reflect on the past year including memorable highlights and challenges.

  • Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial.

    “DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

    “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

    “Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’

    “Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

  • The BBB reports charitable giving is always high at the holidays when donors are feeling generous. It is one of the reasons we published a special section in our Nov. 15 edition, “Season of Giving,” to highlight six of the many nonprofits serving the people of our community.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday issued Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) to five companies for seismic testing off the Atlantic Coast.

  • Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week was observed Nov. 10-18 this year, but hunger and homelessness continue to plague too many of our Brunswick County neighbors every day.

    The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition shared information about poverty-related problems and their impact during its seventh annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet:

  • This year, AAA Carolinas predicts close to 1.5 million North Carolinians and 732,000 South Carolinians will travel 50 miles or more — 90 percent of them by motor vehicle — for Thanksgiving this holiday season. The organization defines the holiday travel period as Wednesday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Nov. 25.

  • Brunswick County bested the state as a whole in terms of voter turnout for Election Day this year. According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, 3,714,582 of the state’s 7,089,657 eligible voters cast ballots, translating into 52.39 percent turnout, while 58,932 of our county’s 103,291 eligible voters did, too, amounting to 57.05 percent.

  • Nov. 11, 2018, marks the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I, the event that prompted the commemoration of Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919. It was our nation’s first observance of Veterans Day, as it came to be known in 1954, because the “war to end all wars” was not.

  • Avid Brunswick County cyclists asked the state Department of Transportation in spring 2016 to add bike paths alongside North Carolina Bike Route 3, which comes through Shallotte and goes down N.C. 179, as it prepared to pave sections of the highway in increments through 2018. NCDOT said it was not possible, not only because the request was received too late to alter plans, but also because resurfacing funds are usually not used to widen a road to add bike lanes.