CoastLine

CoastLine​, a call-in, variety news show airs Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12pm - 1pm on WHQR.

Every week, we’ll look into issues that matter in the Cape Fear Region. Host Rachel Lewis Hilburn will interview expert guests and invite you to join the conversation.

Tell us what topics you would like discussed on CoastLine. Email thoughts and suggestions to coastline@whqr.org.  

You can now subscribe to our CoastLine podcast on iTunes. Search WHQR-FM: CoastLine to hear our most recent shows. 

Remember, this is a LIVE broadcast so please call, email, or tweet comments and questions to:

CoastLine phone:  910.343.1138 

Email:  coastline@whqr.org

CoastLine comment line (leave a question or comment anytime): 910-361-COAST

Twitter: @coastlinehqr 

Ways to Connect

Pixabay

More than 90 percent of people think it is important to talk about end-of-life care.  Fewer than 30 percent actually do it.  That’s according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a Massachusetts-based independent nonprofit.

HAMZA BUTT on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/141735806@N08/34367774536/

The business of publishing news is radically changing.  That’s present-tense.  We all know the old hometown local paper has undergone what could fairly be called profound transformation – but it’s still going on and what the Executive Editor of the StarNews in Wilmington calls “a period of disruption” continues. 

CoastLine: Road Trip!

May 12, 2017

May 11 and 14, 2017: This one is our Road Trip! show. In this hour, we’ll talk about some favorite as well as lesser-known places to see in the Carolinas, either South or North.

Our guests are Michael Graff, editor of Charlotte Magazine, and Philip Gerard of UNCW, author of Down the Wild Cape Fear.

Creative Commons Zero - CCO

The North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act will be 20 years old this August.  It was the result of heated debate from stakeholders on all sides of the issue – and while most describe it as a compromise bill, signed by Governor Jim Hunt in 1997, most also say it was better than nothing.  There is new legislation coming through the pipeline in Raleigh that could fundamentally change the way fisheries are regulated, and that has reignited a decades-old battle – that reaches beyond th

Mahalie Stackpole / Wikimedia Commons

Across the United States, fewer girls aged 15 to 19 are are having babies.  That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control.  A report published last year shows that in 2015, teen pregnancies hit a historic low for a birth rate of 22.3 per 1,000 women ages 15 – 19 years old.  In New Hanover County, the teen pregnancy rate is slightly lower than the national number:  just over twenty 15-19-year-old girls out of a thousand gave birth in 2015.    In Pender County, the rate is slightly above the national rate at more than 25 per 1,000 girls. 

New Hanover County Health Department

People in New Hanover County are getting fatter.  And this is not a body image problem; it’s an issue that’s leading to chronic disease and early death.  60% of New Hanover County residents are either overweight or obese.  That’s according to a New Hanover County health report published last year that uses only self-reported data. When the data is broken down according to race – a sad but predictable picture emerges:  58% of white people fall into the overweight / obese category.  But people of color in New Hanover County report much high

Red Beard Farms

A study recently published in the first issue of the scientific journal, The Lancet Planetary Health, concludes that large and small farms will be needed to meet the global demand for food, which is estimated to require a 70 percent boost in production by the 2050s.

You might have seen Jason Frye’s byline on restaurant reviews published in the Wilmington StarNews.  You may have used some of his recommendations from a Moon travel guide pointing the way to old-timey Appalachian music near Asheville, family-friendly beaches at the coast, where to fish in the Smoky Mountains or how to find fresh North Carolina oysters.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

An American Rivers Report recently identified the Cape Fear and Neuse Rivers as in the top ten Most Endangered in the United States.  A 2016 study of the presence of hexavalent chromium in drinking water by the Environmental Working Group found levels higher than it considers safe in the tap water of more than 200 million Americans.  This is the same toxin that first landed on the national radar in the early 1990s when Erin Brockovich

Julie Kozlow didn’t set out to be the first woman anything.  She has known for years about a penchant for the spiritual world, and that understanding crystallized during a deeply personal experience that we’ll hear about later. 

Ocean Isle Beach in Brunswick County is the second North Carolina municipality to receive a permit for a terminal groin since a long-standing ban was lifted in 2011. 

Creative Commons

It was almost exactly two years ago that two North Carolina Representatives – both Democrats – filed a bill in the House that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the state.

Wikimedia Commons

Warmer weather has moved into the southeast in fits and starts this year.  Reports of damaged crops in Georgia and both Carolinas came after multiple late-season frosts.  Whether those recent cold snaps will impact the price and availability of peaches, blueberries, and apples remains to be seen.    

But what does this mean for home gardeners who just hope to see their shrubs, trees, and perennials bloom?   And what might this mean for the showing of blooms during Azalea Festival?

Jon David and Ben David are brothers.  They also happen to be identical twins.  And they’re both district attorneys for adjacent jurisdictions in North Carolina. 

New Hanover County recently approved revisions to its special use permit.  Duke Energy is working to close its coal ash pits at the Sutton Steam Plant site and held a public meeting last week to update stakeholders on the progress.  Also last week, and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, and others held a public meeting in Navassa – about the testing and clean-up project on the former Kerr-McGee chemical site across the river in Brunswick County -- which is a Superfund site. 

Makaristos / Wikimedia Commons

The revised Presidential Executive Order banning travel from six mostly-Muslim countries, called a “watered-down version” of the first by President Donald Trump, is now blocked from going into effect by two federal judges -- in Hawaii and Maryland – as of Thursday morning.    

But in light of the movement to crack down on who is coming in to the country, we’re also seeing a crackdown on people who are already here who may not be here legally.  The efforts to find those people are called Targeted Enforcement Operations. 

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. 

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

CoastLine: Desert Island Bookshelf

Mar 10, 2017
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

When is the last time you picked up a book? I mean a real, honest to goodness book with a spine and a cover and maybe a few dog-eared pages inside. If it’s been too long, today’s CoastLine is for you. We’re going to go back to the days before smart phones and tablets, and talk about humankind’s greatest invention after fire and country ham, books.

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. 

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:

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. 

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

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