College life today has much to do with fun, food and frivolities—time out from the real world where success demands one’s time, attention, effort and competitive ability. Five or six years at the academy offers mostly respite from serious thinking, hard work and learning to be a fully educated person—often at the expense of others. Of course, some students take learning seriously, but the greater student body takes the low road offered by our universities to increase the body count.
Most ratings of colleges base criteria on faculty degrees, money spent, class sizes and other factors irrelevant to a good college education. A StarNews article recently cited the University of North Carolina at Wilmington named in a top 50 “best value” public school by the Princeton Review and the top 100 “best value” schools listed in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. I don’t know what criteria were used to arrive at “best value,” but very likely a solid core curriculum of “general education”* wasn’t in the lineup.
According to the StarNews, an online database (RateMyProfessors.com) by students ranked UNCW 14th on a list of 25 top universities. The information at this site includes “student feedback.” One can easily guess what’s most important to students. Criteria included: “reputation, location, career opportunities, campus food, clubs and events, social activities and whether or not the student is happy with the decision to attend.” However, opportunity for academic learning should be the most important criterion.
A Pope Center for Higher Education Policy (popecenter.org) survey ranked 48 of North Carolina’s 54 accredited colleges and universities on general education requirements and graded them A to F. Catalogs were reviewed to identify schools that require composition, economics, foreign language, literature, mathematics, science and U. S. history or government. Only Wingate University received a grade of A. One third of the schools received a C grade, including UNCW. Eleven received a D.
Most of us would agree with the often touted mantra: “importance of education.” However, when nearly half of our institutions of “higher” learning have academic ratings of mediocre or poor, we must wonder about the real “value” of the money being spent at them?
Students and parents can get assistance to select a college on the Pope Center’s new interactive website NCCollegeFinder.org.
* (Jenna Ashley Robinson in the Carolina Journal defines the term as helping students “develop a spirit of inquiry, logical thinking, and a regard for the proper evaluation of evidence.”)Read full article » No Comments »
The only real surprise for New Hanover County’s beach communities is the 20% tax increase that sits on the horizon for Kure Beach. Mayor Dean Lambeth is a strong conservative voice on almost every front so this was an eye opener and tough for even him to swallow.
(StarNews) The proposal is preliminary, but Mayor Dean Lambeth said a tax increase, along with an increase for stormwater and water and sewer fees, is necessary to fill a budget shortfall caused by unexpected and additional expenses in the town’s estimated $4.9 million budget. The town’s current tax rate is 13.5 cents per $100 of assessed value.
No doubt that will be a tough one, the advantage Dean has is that he has been hard on spending each and every day. The entire town council even donates their ENTIRE stipend to charity. He defended his position on the radio this morning saying that CPAs, who are now doing the books, spotted a $400k swing in the budget (was a $200k surplus that was actually a $200k deficit.)
Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach will be holding their tax rates this year, after all, it’s an election year. Sadly, Carolina Beach will most likely raise taxes next year as they’ve wasted money on “road dieting” and are using savings this year to balance things out.Read full article » No Comments »
In one of Krauthammer’s hardest hitting editorial pieces I’ve read, he literally smashes Obama’s leadership.
(Leading from behind is illustrated in) President Obama’s shocking passivity during Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution to his dithering on Libya, acting at the very last moment, then handing off to a bickering coalition, yielding the current bloody stalemate. It’s been a foreign policy of hesitation, delay and indecision, marked by plaintive appeals to the (fictional) “international community” to do what only America can.
WOW! The opinion piece is worth the read over at the Washington Post and gets more damning as you read on.
Other presidents have taken anti-Americanism as a given, rather than evidence of American malignancy, believing — as do most Americans — in the rightness of our cause and the nobility of our intentions. Obama thinks anti-Americanism is a verdict on America’s fitness for leadership. I would suggest that “leading from behind” is a verdict on Obama’s fitness for leadership.
Read full article » No Comments »
The small Columbus County town of Chadbourn, recently famed for having a town manager (Stevie Cox) that impersonated a police officer in the presence of its town mayor and two ABC board appointees, will have RC Soles as the grand marshall of their Strawberry Festival. The festival is the Official Strawberry Festival of NC!
It just gets more interesting by the day in Columbus. More questions surrounding RC are coming up every day. In light of their own leadership problems it’s somewhat fitting that Chadbourn would pick such a controversial figure.
From WECT, who was the first to break the story:
According to Sandra Nobles, the president of the NC Strawberry Festival committee, the committee voted in December to have Soles be the grand marshal of the parade. Nobles said he’s been a personal friend to the town of Chadbourn and has done a lot for his home county during his reign, and many people agree.
Interesting choice of words by Nobles. She mentions his “reign” rather than his “leadership” and how he has done “a lot” for Columbus County. In what way is Columbus County better off for RC having “reigned” over it like a lord rather than a leader?Read full article » No Comments »
The state of NC continues wasting money on projects that apparently can’t survive on their own in the free market.
(WECT) More than a dozen small businesses and organizations in North Carolina will receive awards from the North Carolina Green Business Fund, totaling nearly $4.6 million. ”Encouraging investments in the green economy is a centerpiece of our job creation strategy,” said Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco. “This fast growing industry holds vast potential for the future and we must continue to support its development in North Carolina.” This is the fourth round of grants awarded by the Fund, which was created by Gov. Bev Perdue in 2007. The program has given out approximately $8 million over the years.
So you have to read that kind of carefully. If it’s about job creation, then it shouldn’t need taxpayer money. If the industry is “fast growing” then it shouldn’t need taxpayer money. If the jobs created hold “vast potential for the future” then it shouldn’t need taxpayer money. Again, it is subsidized, and that means that we all had to pay these companies with money we didn’t get to invest in ourselves or companies of OUR choosing.
Giving this money for the creation of “green” jobs just means the “green” that we earn is redistributed.Read full article » No Comments »
I’ve often wondered why the Tabor City police continue to respond to the domestic issues at the home of former state senator RC Soles whose home is well outside of their jurisdiction. The prevailing excuse was obtuse at best having to do with extra-territorial jurisdiction. The problem there is that ETJ issues have to do with planning and zoning, NOT law enforcement. Finally, the answer has been revealed and it only adds more problems to the already troubled Columbus County situation.
WWAY learned today that former District Attorney Rex Gore set it up that way. When Soles has problems, he usually calls Tabor City Police Chief Donald Dowless directly on his cell phone. Soles rarely, if ever, dials 911.
But all that may be changing. We’ve also learned that District Attorney Jon David now wants the Columbus County Sheriff’s Department more involved when problems pop up at Soles’s house.
Now why would long time friend and political ally Rex Gore set up such a blatantly ridiculous waste of power? Why would the police do it? Why wouldn’t the taxpayers be upset? This just leads to many more bizarre questions. Business as usual in Columbus County has a wrecking ball headed in its direction.Read full article » No Comments »
Judge Jolly has ordered a well known safe driving program (in use in New Hanover and Pender Counties) be discontinued by order. District Attorney Jon David fired back saying the accusations put forth by the Judge were without merit. It’s ugly!
(StarNews) The order (by Jolly) erroneously cited a second donation from a company affiliated with Darrell that was refunded and the type of classes StreetSafe would offer. It also misidentified him and incorrectly called the program a for-profit operation.
“They’ve basically cast aspersions all over us when all we do is try to stop kids from crashing cars,” said Darrell, who added that the contract would have been with Brunswick Community College and had not yet been signed.
Because of the judge’s order, law enforcement officers will direct those who receive tickets to appear in court on an officer’s court date. That means more time in court for officers compared to the system David had introduced earlier this year.
Law enforcement has rallied around the DA while some judges are supporting Judge Jolly. It’s political, no doubt. Brunswick County Judge Ola Lewis has been asked by folks to support the DA (she is a Republican) but has not responded as to where she stands. Her response thus far has been ambivalent at best:
I have been in touch with Mr. David and Judge Jolly long before the email from the Republican women was sent. The press has contacted me today and I have responded to the extent that I am allowed.
Please note that I have been fully committed to the citizens of this district and the fair administration of justice herein for twenty years and will continue to do so. I sincerely appreciate all of your concerns and they are being addressed.
Have a wonderful day,
Doesn’t look like much of an answer and other judges aren’t hesitating, what’s up with Judge Lewis? Either she agrees with Jolly that the DA has done something wrong or she doesn’t. She mentions justice, but doesn’t address the issue at all and accusations against the sitting DA casts aspersions across the district with respect to his ability to dispense justice.Read full article » No Comments »
It appears you all made a difference, this entry did make it to Rep. Iler’s office and his response is attached!
(original) The state is still moving towards trying to get rid of the goats at Ocean Isle Beach. And the town’s mayor has abandoned any semblance of leadership by not really saying anything beyond, “I’m staying out of it. It’s a state issue.” which is exact opposite of what she might say if the state wanted to infringe in any other way.
But it does illustrate the lack of creativity with the “guvmit” types scurrying around this issue. If nothing changes, the government is taking bids to get rid of the critters to be unsealed on May 18th. There is even a website set up to stop this over at OceanIsleBeach.com. The first assertion was that the goats were invasive and causing environmental damage. First assertion correct, but they’re limited to the government owned Islands. The second assertion was just false as the goats eat what deer eat and are no more damaging and actually more beneficial than deer. From the StarNews:
“It ticks me off,” Gary Pope said. “It just seems unfair. It’s not like they’re in somebody’s yard. They’re just hanging out like goats, doing what goats do best.” The office of Rep. Frank Iler, R-Brunswick, has been flooded with emails over the weekend about the goats, legislative assistant Carla Farmer said. She said Iler has not yet taken a position on the issue, but might have a statement later this week.
Rep. Frank Iler has responded below! If the folks in the area were smart, they’d turn this into an opportunity like the folks in Austin, Texas did with their Mexican free-tail bats, Puerto Rico with Monkey Island and countless other communities that bring in tourists for such anomalies. Heck, they could even sell naming rights to your own Ocean Isle goat! Hopefully, creative minds will prevail and stop this ba-ba-baaad idea.
This just in from Rep. Iler’s office:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the goats on Goat Island. Per Gordon Myers at NC Wildlife, the plan to get rid of the goats has been put on hold indefinitely to gather additional information and seek public input. It may not be over yet, but for now, the goats are safe.
Carla Farmer (Rep. Iler)
The “road diet” implemented by the leaders of Carolina Beach was designed to get rid of two lanes of traffic. In so doing they hoped to make the tourist dependent area more friendly to bikes and walkers. But it may well have discouraged visitors to the area by making it harder to get around.
A year after wasting taxpayer money to implement the diet and causing massive traffic problems, the cops were dispatched over Easter weekend to see what effect the lane closures have had on traffic. Just funnier now:
(WECT) – Officers with the Carolina Beach Police Department conducted a review of traffic patterns for the holiday weekend to see if the new layout could handle heavy traffic, but they said the results were somewhat inconclusive because they didn’t get nearly as much traffic as expected.
The police department said they are counting on upcoming busy weekends to do the traffic pattern studies.
Several points here. 1) They implemented a plan without having a clue about what the impacts would be. 2) The used the police to do a traffic study which is more funny than bad. 3) They neglected to consider that maybe, just maybe the new traffic was actually a disincentive for people to visit an area that is now nearly impossible to drive through due to the new plan. It will get funnier.
A better idea, figure out a way to let traffic flow onto the roads that were paid for to allow cars to drive on them.
Read full article » 1 Comment »
If you’re looking for a way to market your county to outside interest, Brunswick would probably prefer a different route than the news running today. Story 1 involves an investigation into a building inspector under taxpayer employ.
(StarNews) – A state inspector has found that enough evidence exists to hold a hearing on whether the Brunswick County chief building inspector is guilty of misconduct, negligence or incompetence. During the investigation, the number and type of code violations found in several community features was enough to justify a hearing to see if chief building inspector Delaney Aycock is “guilty of willful misconduct, gross negligence, or gross incompetence,” the investigation report states. The investigation report also cites another code enforcement official, Harold Douglas Morrison, but he is no longer an inspector. No action will be taken unless he decided to begin work again, the report states.
Story 2 involves a member of the sheriff’s department taking indecent liberties with a minor.
(StarNews) A Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office detective sergeant was arrested Sunday on a charge of taking indecent liberties with a minor. Henry Thomas Cole, 45, of Bolivia, was also fired from the sheriff’s office the same day, according to a news release.
Not the kind of press you want when you’re marketing yourself as the greatest retirement community on the east coast. Just sayin’.
Read full article » No Comments »