Local

The first New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting in 2016 started with the adoption of a code of ethics.  Commissioners also paved the way for a new subdivision in the northern part of the county.

Strategies for Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

Dec 30, 2015

The New Year is rapidly approaching, and as we change our calendars, many consider changing old habits.  But why are New Year’s resolutions so hard to keep?  

Jen Johnson is a counselor and life coach, so she spends a lot of time thinking about how to help people meet personal goals.  She says less than half of people make New Year’s resolutions, and after six months, half of those resolutions are left in the dust. So what’s the secret to keeping them?

Wikimedia

Leaders across the country – including North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory – are calling for a hold on accepting Syrian refugees.  But WHQR’s Isabelle Shepherd reports that a terrorism specialist from UNCW says this move won’t decrease the threat of terror.  In fact, it may increase it. 

Professor Daniel Masters teaches Terrorism & Counterterrorism at UNCW.  He says banning refugees is playing into a terrorist strategy:

“What terrorists want countries to do is to default on their brand. So, as a country, the United States is perceived as this liberal, Democratic country. We’ve always been a very open, immigrant-based country. So, if you can create a situation where you show the United States starting to act like, say, the Soviet Union during the Cold War, where we’re throwing up walls, we are trying to limit the movement of people. Well, then that just takes the entire image we have of our country and just throwing it out the window.”

Masters says that creates a propaganda victory for the terrorists.  His proposed solution?  Welcome the immigrants and make them feel accepted, so they develop an affinity for the United States.

Governor McCrory has stated that North Carolina should not receive any additional refugees until he is satisfied with the thoroughness and effectiveness of federal background and security checks.

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Congress extends Charitable IRA Rollover

Dec 22, 2015

Happy Holidays! Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, 2015 has been a very good year for WHQR and our listeners. Here's information on a provision of the law that may be beneficial to some donors:

Congress has passed a tax extenders package that would make permanent the Charitable IRA Rollover provision, and President Obama is expected to sign it very soon if not already.

Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources / NOAA Fisheries

Offshore wind is working its way to the mid-Atlantic – and specifically to areas off the North Carolina coast.  Broadly supported by environmental advocates, this form of energy exploration faces some resistance by coastal communities concerned about visual impacts on tourism and real estate values. 

Now that the Environmental Assessment is complete, the next step in the development of offshore wind is the publication of a proposed sale notice.   

Chalmers Butterfield

Health disparities between white America and racial and ethnic minorities are well-documented.  The American Psychological Association says those disparities continue into the senior years – with minorities less likely to get medical help – and more likely to face chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.   But race isn’t the only determining factor for seniors who struggle with access to adequate health care.

Kaiser Family Foundation

In the United States, 14.5 % of the population is 65 or older.  That’s according to the most recent census.  In North Carolina, the number of elderly people is a fraction of a percentage higher at 14.7%.  In New Hanover County, nearly 16% of residents are 65 or over.  And that number shoots to almost a third of the population in neighboring Brunswick County.

According to the American Psychological Association, the number of Americans over age 85 is increasing faster than any other group. Since 1900, the proportion of Americans age 65 and older has more than tripled.

New Hanover County Planning Department

At this week’s New Hanover County Commissioners meeting, the planning department presented the final version of the future land use map.  That’s the fourth chapter of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  But the discussion turned contentious over a complementary map that outlines environmental resources. 

E. G. Shempf

The exhibit For All the World to See is now on display at the Cape Fear Museum.  It examines the role media and visual imagery played in the struggle for civil rights from the 1930s through the 1970s.

Joining Cleve Callison on this edition of CoastLine to discuss this history – juxtaposed against today -- with the immediacy of cell phone video and social media are three guests:  

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners has a new chair:  Beth Dawson takes the helm after a narrow three-to-two vote at Monday's meeting. 

Skip Watkins nominated Woody White for Chair; White seconded the motion. 

Jonathan Barfield nominated Beth Dawson – as he promised publicly that he would a year ago.  This was widely expected after Dawson helped Barfield to the Chairmanship in a three-to-two vote last year.   The local Republican Party blasted Dawson last December for that move.

New Hanover County

This week, New Hanover County Chair Jonathan Barfield attended a national roundtable to address issues for communities of color.  The event was sponsored by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which conducts research and suggests policy solutions to create equal opportunities for all Americans, regardless of race.

Cape Fear Museum

For All The World to See is currently on display at the Cape Fear Museum.  The nationally touring exhibit examines how the media impacted the Civil Rights movement.  But how is media — including social media — impacting race relations today? 

Open Blue

The United Nations Climate Change Summit is underway in Paris, and for the first time in years, world leaders are hopeful a global agreement is possible.  Without organized cooperation, NASA scientists say the Earth will see an escalation of catastrophic weather events – such as longer and more intense heat waves, more severe storms, flooding, sea level rise… the list goes on – impacting everything from human health to food production. 

North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE)

Today, December 1st, was the opening day of the candidate filing period for North Carolina’s 2016 elections.  Candidates have three weeks to register, with filing closing on December 21st. 

In order to make the most of the presidential primary, which is expected to draw out voters, lawmakers moved the primaries for federal, state, and local elections in North Carolina from May to March 15th.  And that means filing has been moved forward too.  Here’s New Hanover County Board of Elections Director Derek Bowens:

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

The day after Thanksgiving, shoppers come out in droves for Black Friday, a sales event for big box retail stores.  And that following Monday, e-commerce stores try to draw customers in with deals online.  Nestled between the two lies Small Business Saturday, and hundreds of local shops will participate. 

Good Shepherd Center

Most Americans look forward to a feast on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s a day of gratitude, time with family, and let’s be honest – unbridled consumption.  But for more than half a million people, the question of what to cook for the big dinner is overshadowed by much more basic concerns:  where to spend the night, how to stay warm, where to find food – any food.

Plan New Hanover County / http://planningdevelopment.nhcgov.com/plan-nhc/plannhc/overview/

To tackle the divide between high home prices and low wages, regional business leaders suggest increasing incomes through targeted economic development.  But at a recent roundtable discussion, local government representatives came at it from a different angle: lowering housing costs.

The heads of Wilmington City Council and the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners agree that partnerships between local government and developers are part of the solution to the region’s lack of affordable housing.  Here’s Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo:

Flickr Creative Commons -- https://www.flickr.com/photos/11032456@N08/

At a recent roundtable focused on the lack of affordable housing in the Cape Fear region, local representatives suggested ways of lowering the high cost of housing.  But some business leaders proposed a different route: raising incomes to meet housing prices.

UNC Pembroke

Local entrepreneurs have a new option for assistance growing from an idea into a viable business.  The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will soon cut the ribbon on a brand new facility for start-ups.

Eno Publishers

The recently-published anthology, 27 Views of Wilmington: The Port City in Prose and Poetry, compiles literary pieces from 27 accomplished, local writers – in addition to an introduction by Celia Rivenbark.   It’s produced by Eno Publishers -- a very small non-profit that puts out about two books a year.  27 Views of Wilmington is the last in the 27 Views series, which now has eight different editions, spotlighting Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Ashevil

New Hanover County Commissioners have rejected a proposed limit on travel expenses for Board Members. 

At Monday's regular meeting, Commissioner Woody White suggested travel decisions be shaped by the answers to three questions.

"Is the travel, whether it’s by a commissioner or particularly by employees or department heads and so forth, is it necessary for licensing and certification?  Secondly, is the topic of the conference relevant to an issue we’re addressing?"

City of Wilmington

In the Cape Fear region, there’s a large and growing gap between high home prices and low wages.  At a recent roundtable, regional government and business leaders discussed this disparity.  Who is affected by the lack of housing affordability?  And how does it affect the community at large?

City of Wilmington

In New Hanover and Pender counties, almost 40% of homeowners are cost burdened, meaning they spend over a third of their income on housing. That’s not even factoring in renters, who are about half of the local population. This lack of affordable options leads to housing instability, which hits those who’ve already had a hard knock—like imprisonment and illness—especially hard. 

Cucalorus Connect is an important new element in this year's Cucalorus Film Festival slate.  It's an offering that organizers hope will support the synthesis of arts and business -- to empower entrepreneurs, introduce them to artists, and possibly even connect investors with start-ups. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we explore how the confluence of artists and businesspeople might change Cucalorus and whether, by association, it could change the Wilmington area. 

An alternate funding option for smaller filmmakers will soon be a reality in North Carolina.  Cucalorus, in partnership with the North Carolina Film Office, is announcing a new film incentive for projects with budgets under a quarter of a million dollars.

Once the popular tax-rebate form of the film incentive expired in North Carolina and legislators replaced it with a grant fund, film production in the state dropped significantly.  With those big-budget films and longer-running television series also went the support structure for smaller projects.  

http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/

Over five thousand New Hanover County residents are in need of affordable housing assistance. This week, community leaders came together to discuss solutions at the Mayor’s Roundtable on Housing Affordability.

The roundtable’s panelists agree that a major barrier to bringing more affordable housing to Wilmington is the stigma surrounding the term, which many citizens equate with public housing.

New Hanover County Chairman Jonathan Barfield, Jr. says people need to be educated about what affordable housing really means: 

Municipal elections across North Carolina have concluded; the results are in. 

Wilmington City Council welcomes back its two incumbents – Margaret Haynes and Neil Anderson.  Paul Lawler was the third-highest vote-getter – winning the seat Laura Padgett vacated after more than two decades on Council.  The window between Paul Lawler and fourth placer-Deb Hays wasn’t huge:  88 votes. 

Brunswick County

The Village of Bald Head Island, with a year-round population of less than 170 people, has approved a $10 million bond for a broadband network.  But barely.  The “yes” vote squeaked through by four votes – not unusual, though, in a small municipality.

Village residents will see a new slate of council members.  The two incumbents running for reelection, Gene Douglas and Bob Helgesen, lost their seats to top vote-getters Kit Adcock, John May, and John Pitera. 

Town of Kure Beach

Carolina Beach Mayor Dan Wilcox will keep his seat for another term.  Challenger Bob Lewis lost to Wilcox by 276 votes.  On the Town Council, incumbent Steve Shuttleworth also kept his seat and won the most votes of all seven candidates competing for two seats.  Tom Bridges won the second open seat by a wide margin.  The third-place vote-getter, Tammy Hanson, came in a distant third – losing to Bridges by 319 votes.  That’s a percentage difference of almost 12 points.

Pender County Board of Elections; Wikimedia Commons; Robeson County Board of Elections

PENDER COUNTY

In Pender County, the Town of Burgaw voted Wilfred (Red) Robbins, Vernon Harrell, and Bill George III onto its Board for 2016. 

Surf City’s unopposed Mayor Zander Guy will serve another term.  Top vote-getters for the three open Council seats are Buddy Fowler, Donald Ray Helms, and Nelva Albury. 

Neighboring Topsail Beach re-elected Howard Braxton as Mayor – by a roughly 30% margin.  Steve Smith and Linda Stipe won the two seats on Topsail’s Board of Commissioners.

ONSLOW COUNTY

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