Local

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

Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington is frequently held up as one of the highly-regarded programs there.  Life and Marine Sciences were identified by a New Hanover County economic development analysis two and a half years ago as one of the existing strengths for the Cape Fear region and one that should be exploited.

UNCW

As North Carolina legislators begin a new long session in Raleigh, both political parties have pointed to education as an area needing attention.  The first day of the session, Republican lawmakers filed a bill in the House to address class sizes.  That’s because last year, a newly-passed law reduced maximum class size – but came with no additional state funding.  That left some school systems looking down the barrel of cutting in other areas – such as arts and physical education.  That will be addressed this session.  And Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has listed education – particularly

Wikimedia Commons

When you think of an accessible space, you might picture a ramp to the side door of a building, big metal grab bars next to a toilet, or a button with a wheelchair insignia that automatically opens doors.  But a concept called Universal Design is gaining traction.

Google Earth

Every successful municipality will inevitably grapple with the push-pull of growth versus green space –  how to grow a tax base without over-developing a city.  Echo Farms, a development within the City of Wilmington, is at the center of this battle in the Cape Fear region. 

City of Wilmington: http://protrak.wilmingtonnc.gov/PTDocuments/Uploads/Comments/Plans/WoodlandsatEchoFarmsTRCrev2.pdf

In August of last year, news broke about a proposed redevelopment of the Echo Farms golf course. Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods claim the very idea of the project has already decreased the value of their homes, but the numbers paint a more complex picture. 

Matrix Development Group submitted their site plans for The Woodlands development to the city of Wilmington last fall. Ever since then, Echo Farms residents have been filing into city council meetings to protest the changes and call for the preservation of the golf course.

Encore

The man we meet on this edition of CoastLine is a bona fide Air Pirate -- convicted in absentia by the Nigerian government just after the civil war.  He was the first broadcast engineer on staff at WHQR.  He’s written a book of fiction called The Ship’s Cat.  And he acted in the notoriously – um – horrific film Death Bed:  The Bed that Eats.  He also helped to design the bed that eats. 

Guest:

From Cheese on Bread

Jeremy Vest has interviewed Karl Rove, Ben Affleck, John Stamos, and Al Franken – among others -- for an MTV show called How's Your News?.   He has been coached by Geraldo Rivera.  And he’s appeared as the lead character in a Western called Bulletproof Jackson – which became the subject of a separate documentary – Becoming Bulletproof.  That documentary was written about by the New York Times and distributed by Morgan Spurlock Productions. 

North Carolina ranks 9th in the nation for most racial progress:  that’s according to a new analysis published by WalletHub, a personal finance website that frequently publishes analyses based on demographic statistics.

University of South Carolina Press, 2016


UNCW Associate Professor Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock examines emodiment questions and stigma surrounding disabilities.
Marion Post Wolcott / Library of Congress

When you think about disability and how you define it, what comes to mind?  A child who doesn’t learn through conventional methods?  An older person who struggles to get groceries from the car to the front door?  Do you imagine a person in a wheelchair? 

One disability researcher says our binary view of ability or lack of it is misguided; ability spans a spectrum from Olympic-level athleticism to death – and we’re all somewhere on that spectrum.  On this edition of CoastLine, we explore how we look at disability and what impact those views have on all of us. 

Magnus Manske / Wikimedia Commons

This edition of CoastLine is about food.  But it's not about the world food supply, ethical or nutritional food choices, or even food deserts.  Nope.  In honor of the holiday season, including but not limited to the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, Pancha Ganapati, Human Light Day, and Newtonmas, we are celebrating food .  And to help us do that, we have two of the most celebrated chefs in Wilmington.

Guests:

Robert Parr

North Carolina has a controversial history when it comes to its willingness to accept and plan for sea level rise.  In 2012, the state legislature enacted a multi-year moratorium on considering data from a science panel for future planning and policymaking.  That moratorium has since lifted and a new study out last year, looking at the next 30 years, is now accepted as a reasonable basis for policymaking.

National Park Service -- https://www.nps.gov/guge/learn/management/index.htm

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor stretches from its northernmost point near Wilmington, North Carolina all the way south to Jacksonville, Florida.  Created by an Act of Congress in 2006, the ten-year-old Corridor is a work in progress.  

Gullah Geechee culture originates from West Africans brought to the United States as slaves and many of their traditions, including the language, continue through later generations. 

paws4people

Dogs and people — it's a profoundly deep connection that has evolved over millennia, and it's one that scientists are still studying. According to a report in National Geographic, researchers have found that dogs can read facial expressions, communicate jealousy, display empathy, and watch TV. Experts estimate these traits have evolved over the course of 11,000 to 16,000 years. 

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