Local

Beatrice Murch from Buenos Aires, Argentina - Fireworks, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3393567

Our "Take a Day Off Drive ends today.

Thanks to your generosity, we hit the $140,000 goal of this campaign today. As promised, we will end the campaign one day earlier than ever before, and resume regular programming at 7 pm Tuesday night.

Public stations face an uncertain future if we lose funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. So it’s essential that support for WHQR reach unprecedented levels from our renewing and especially NEW members.

By Beatrice Murch from Buenos Aires, Argentina - Fireworks, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3393567

We're taking a day off!

The Spring 2017 "Take a Day Off" campaign reached its announced goal just before 1:00 pm on Tuesday March 21 -- with a day taken off! Our previous drives have run at least 7 days, but we wanted very much to shorten this drive, and thanks to you our listeners, we did.

Looking good for Day 5 of what we hope will be a 6-day drive. Thanks to all who have pledged!

We're giving away an Apple Windfall Wednesday night -- iPad Mini, Watch, Ear Pods and $100 in the iTunes store. You don't have to make a pledge to enter, and Sustainers are automatically in. 910-599-0398 or whqr.org.

The new WHQR App is ready for action!

The WHQR app for smartphones and tablets provides super-useful features like live streaming, local news stories, your favorite programs and on-demand content. The App is free and available to download for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android phones. Find it using the links at the bottom or by searching for “WHQR” in Apple’s App Store or Google Marketplace. Or, just click here. 

So this happened: I was interviewed by the BBC concerning the President's plan to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and what the impact would be on local stations like WHQR. In this story, the segment I'm in runs from c. 16'51" to 20'00".

Here is a link to my recent Op-Ed on this topic, published by the Wilmington StarNews.

ncleg.net

Susi Hamilton held the House seat in North Carolina’s 18th District for three terms and was recently elected to a fourth.  She resigned near the end of January – after new Democratic Governor Roy Cooper tapped her to lead the state’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 

Vince Winkel

More than 400 business leaders packed Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station last night to hear from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.  The occasion:  the 150th anniversary of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/instantvantage/6698540291/in/photolist-bcVLDZ-AB2bi-hNRgb-4hg9MT-qeYszp-4p8AET-7h6LAG-rFCnq-aj4s6D-7KPdLa-47eXQW-24KHMV-aBBZ2q-aBzju6-aBzjf6-auA8cD-4qBBn7-aBBYWY-7oVm8R-auA7xZ-auCjXs-aBBYT5-aA942Z-7o4K6z-ahiQHs-9kZQPN-JPq156-

Last month, Deb Butler was sworn in to the North Carolina House of Representatives to fill Susi Hamilton’s seat. As a Democratic newcomer to the General Assembly, Representative Butler has found one issue that drives lawmakers to reach across the aisle: the opioid epidemic.

Most of us know very little about the organisms in our own backyard, bedroom, roommate or even on our bodies. Rob Dunn, a Professor of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University, will try to change that – when he speaks tomorrow night at UNCW.  

Vince Winkel

There’s a move afoot in the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal a plastic bag ban along the Outer Banks. More than 125 municipalities in the U.S. have adopted bag bans, but several states are now reversing that trend. 

Brunswick County Sheriff's Office

One community in Virginia is looking closely at its animal ordinances.  A Wicomico County council member observes that the governing body did a good job of putting ordinances in place to protect people from dangerous dogs several years ago, but they hadn’t done much to protect dogs from people who are irresponsible or cruel.  That’s according to the Delmarva Review.  So the county is reconvening a Dog Review Committee – this time -- to look at regulations through t

Vince Winkel

The commitments from players are starting to roll in for the Wells Fargo Championship, set for May at Eagle Point Golf Club.

WHQR Announces New Full-Time Reporter, Vince Winkel

Mar 8, 2017

WHQR Public Radio is pleased to announce that Vince Winkel has been hired as a full-time Reporter, joining the staff of the HQR News team. Winkel started on March 2nd.

Vince Winkel

On Monday the New Hanover County Commissioners unanimously approved a new Special Use Permit or SUP. The permit is required of certain industries if they wish to build a facility in the county. The vote came after a year of work by county staff and the planning board, concerned citizens and business leaders.   

The Special Use Permit is on the agenda for Monday’s New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting. It’s comes up after a year of work by county staff and interested parties.

After almost a year of meetings, public hearings and work sessions, the New Hanover County Commissioners will discuss changes in the Special Use Permit or SUP, Monday afternoon.

Last month the county planning board voted 6 to 1 to approve the changes in the SUP and send it to the next level.

Thursday morning, North Carolina state legislators, including Representative Ted Davis, Junior (R-New Hanover County) and Senator Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick County), held a press conference to announce the introduction of the STOP Act.  It’s legislation intended to address the opioid epidemic in North Carolina by "ensuring smarter prescribing and dispensing of highly-addictive prescription drugs", according to bill sponsors.  The bill would also provide funding for treatment and recovery. 

On Friday, March 3rd the Wilmington StarNews published an editorial honoring Station Manager Cleve Callison on his decision to retire from WHQR. We here at WHQR appreciate the tribute. To read the editorial click HERE.

Alliance for Cape Fear Trees

 

How important are trees to a city’s landscape?  When you see the glorious oak trees in Carolina Heights in Wilmington, do you wonder how long it took them to grow?  Do you worry about the safety of those old trees and heavy limbs falling on roadways?  Do you think tree preservation gets in the way of development and economic growth in what is an urban area? 

As Wilmington enjoys a development boom – with hundreds of new apartment units, single-family homes, and commercial properties going up – what’s happening to the area’s trees? 

Some local activists in Wilmington and Southport are working to help municipalities do more to protect trees by advocating for rules that are clearer, more consistent, and more enforceable. 

City officials admit that Wilmington’s current development ordinance is a bit long in the tooth -- last updated in the 1980s.   And there is work underway to bring it up-to-date. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we learn about the particular challenges builders and developers face when building within city limits.  We also hear from advocates who are focused on the urgency of protecting trees in Wilmington and Southport. 

Guests: 

Bill Jayne served on the Wilmington Tree Commission, a twelve-member body, nine of them appointed by members of City Council, for six years.  He chaired the commission for two.  He is now a member of a relatively new local nonprofit Alliance for Cape Fear Trees.

Scott Len chairs the Southport Forestry Committee and is a member of the North Carolina Urban Forest Council.

Brian Chambers, Associate Planner, City of Wilmington

Cameron Moore, Executive Officer, Wilmington Cape Fear Home Builders Association

Resources: 

Wilmington Tree Commission:

New Hanover County

The five New Hanover County commissioners unveiled this year’s state of the county via a 12-minute video late yesterday afternoon, detailing their individual visions for the area.

It's the 2017 State of the County.

The overall message was one of enthusiasm and optimism.  The entire video featured a music soundtrack, as well.

“I’m so excited about the things that we’re doing from a quality of life perspective."

That's Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.

Cast Your Vote To Support WHQR!

Mar 2, 2017

As a way to involve local residents and help support other community organizations, WDI partners with area nonprofits to split the proceeds from wristbands sold each week during the Wilmington Downtown Sundown Concert Series. Cast your vote for WHQR and help support your local public radio station. 

Billy Hathorn

The decline of North Carolina’s film industry has affected the local theater community in more ways than one. Two artistic directors—Justin Smith of Cape Fear Theatre Arts and Steve Vernon of Big Dawg Productions—and John Staton, Arts & Entertainment editor for Star News, sat down with CoastLine host Rachel Lewis Hilburn. 

Rachel Lewis Hilburn: Besides the talent pool, is there any other way that the loss of the lion’s share of the film industry here has contributed to this? Steve Vernon.

Harry Taylor Photography / N.C. Arts Council

The Red Barn Theater on Third Street in downtown Wilmington, launched by Linda Lavin and Steve Bakunas, is now on the market.  It’s widely expected to cease operation as a theater.  Thalian Association, the theater company that has rented the space for the last several years, is moving out in a matter of months.

Another small Wilmington venue, the Brown Coat Theater and Pub, closed its doors in October. 

And City Stage, an iconic venue in the Masonic building on Front Street in downtown Wilmington, also recently shuttered.

Have you seen headlines in your Facebook feed or at the bottom of an article that reads, “Hillary Clinton meets Osama Bin Laden” – with a picture of the two shaking hands?  Or “President Obama’s daughter, Malia, is pregnant”?  Or “The process to impeach Donald Trump has begun”?  Just to be clear, all of those stories are false.  Hillary Clinton’s picture was photoshopped; Malia’s teen pregnancy and Donald Trump’s impeachment are both patently false.  It’s fake news. 

From Free Press/ Free Press Action Fund, Flickr Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/freepress/6641427981/in/photolist-b7T49Z-RCoFCA-SaEHaS-ShrjQ4-RBXjcu-R48wma-R5GJn2-69VWz6-9RvvjZ-qiVGwn-RZBVXC-S2VBao-4ro6ez-SeWkkJ-sBkT9o-R855dC-axchBk-66BXuS

On this week's CoastLine, Rachel Lewis Hilburn sat down with David Pernell, who teaches journalism at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, as well as WECT anchor Jon Evans to discuss fake news. According to Evans and Pernell, the trick isn't just avoiding overtly fake news, but also seeking out different viewpoints, instead of listening to your own echo chamber. 

WHQR Announces Station Manager Cleve Callison Retirement

The Friends of Public Radio, Inc. Board of Directors has accepted Station Manager Cleve Callison’s resignation, effective August 15, 2017.

Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey recently passed one of the nation’s most comprehensive laws to combat the growing opioid and heroin crisis.  Tennessee is battling its own opioid epidemic as is Nebraska, Virginia, Connecticut, Washington State, New York, Wisconsin, Montana – the list goes on.  And as we’ve reported on this program before – Wilmington, North Carolina and the larger Cape Fear region is near the top of a national list for its abuse of opioids and heroin. 

President Donald Trump declared at a recent National Prayer Breakfast that he would totally destroy the Johnson Amendment in order to allow representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.  Until that declaration, Americans might not have thought much about the Johnson Amendment and what it means.  On this edition of CoastLine, we explore the potential implications with two local clergy members. 

But before we meet our guests, a quick explanation:

photo - left: Trikosko, Marion S., photo - right: Fibonacci Blue / Wikimedia Commons

It’s almost impossible to turn on the TV or radio, read the paper, or look at your news feed on your smart phone and not see a story about the recent Executive Order on Immigration. 

Signed by President Donald Trump last month, it temporarily halts the admittance of refugees into the U.S. and prevents immigrants from seven predominantly-Muslim countries from coming to the U.S.  However, enforcement of the Order is on hold. 

https://www.cisbrunswick.org/
Communities In Schools, Brunswick County

In the Brunswick County School System, there are 19 schools.  Two academic years ago, in 2014-15, 158 kids dropped out of school.  The following year, 21 fewer kids – 137 -- dropped out.  That lowers the dropout rate less than a half a percentage point, but on a practical level, it means there are twenty-one more students that have a shot at getting their high school diploma. 

By Psychonaught (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wilmington, North Carolina is at the top of an unfortunate list.  One study published last year, based on analysis of numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, shows more than 11.5% of the population abuses opioids.  Opioid abusers tend to live in the rural south – according to the Castlight report

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