February 3, 2023

Aaron Harward

Rare plants find a GOOD friend

A rare carnivorous plant species native to Boiling Spring Lakes finds itself endangered – poachers hoping to make money by selling the unique Venus flytraps have been known to rob them from their natural habitat.

And since they grow naturally in the city’s ditches and along roadsides, the flytraps can also face destruction at the hands of mowers or equipment.

Boiling Spring Lakes Public Works Superintendent Aaron Harward has made it his mission to help manage and save the many Venus flytraps in his community. He has worked to resolve issues with state roadside mowers to better protect the plants.

For his GOOD work, Harward was recently honored by members of the Southern Conservation Partners for helping to protect plants in BSL from further eradication. He has been fascinated by Venus flytraps since he was just a kid.

Harward said the city manages all roadside mowing now around the flowering season and timeframes that are critical for the Venus flytraps. No where else in the world can one find Venus flytraps growing naturally in their backyards or ditches.

The endangered plants now have a GOOD friend and a GOOD chance to survive in their native BSL thanks to the work of protectors like Harward.

Read the original story in this week’s State Port Pilot.

What is the Venus fly trap?

Do you have a “happy story” about good people doing good things in the community that you'd like to share with your fellow readers? Submit your uplifting idea or anecdote for Below the Fold to

New News

Here’s what we’re working on for next week’s

Not Exactly News

The State Port Pilot’s long-running column, Not Exactly News, was a weekly assemblage of various local-interest items. They’re GOOD reminders of what life was like in our corner of the world and we’re excited to re-present them here. Enjoy!

Logo - Not Exactly News

From The State Port Pilot – Wednesday, February 8, 1950

Good to Know

Happy National Golden Retriever Day – February 3, 2023
  • February 3: National Golden Retriever Day. Native to Scotland, this highly-adored doggy breed was created in the 1800s by landowner Lord Tweedmouth in an effort to produce a dog that could swim long distances. His brilliant mix of two of his dogs, a Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel resulted in what we know today as the Golden Retriever.

  • February 4: National Homemade Soup Day. It’s time to do more than just open that can of boring, bland, soup! This is a day that is all about celebrating a fresh, healthy pot of homemade soup!

  • February 5: Western Monarch Day. Each way of the Monarch butterfly migration takes four generations! The decline of the beautifully colored creature’s population is near 90%. You can help by planting milkweed. Go to for free seeds.

  • February 6: National Chopsticks Day. Getting their start at least 3000 years ago or more, chopsticks originated in China and were first used as utensils in the process of cooking.

  • February 7: Rose Day. Roman mythology considered roses to be a symbol of secrecy and desire. Perhaps due to their sweet smell and interesting colors, the rose has been correlated with love through western and eastern cultures.

  • February 8: National Kite Flying Day. This day was created to remind us of the feeling of freedom that one feels when guiding a kite through the currents of air.

  • February 9: National Read in the Bathtub Day. The origins of reading in the bath probably emerged in Roman bathtubs, the first culture to truly embrace the culture of bathing. The owners of these facilities would often adorn them with scrolls in the walls or sometimes entire libraries.

  • FOMO? Did you miss a previous edition of the GOOD NEWSLETTER?
    We’ve got you covered! Check out the archive

Community Focus

Reader Photo Showcase

This week more GOOD readers submitted another round of awesome photography featuring stunning shots from the Outer Banks, the ICW and the Shallotte skyline. Thank you to Ray Barkalow, Vanessa Davison and Bridget Bellamy for your great work!

Submitted by Ray Barkalow

“Ghost shrimper” on the ICW, submitted by Ray Barkalow.

Submitted by Vanessa Davison.

View from Cape Lookout Lighthouse, submitted by Vanessa Davison.

Submitted by Bridget Bellamy.

Shallotte skyline at sunset, submitted by Bridget Bellamy.

View past reader photo showcases

We're trying something new here in the Photo Showcase – no more restrictive photo prompts! We’re encouraging all our GOOD readers to send in any interesting photos you want to share – new photos, old photos, whatever you have. We look forward to seeing what you come up with and thank you for sharing your creativity with us.

Recipe of the week

Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treat

Peanut Banana Dog Treats
Today is National Golden Retriever Day and I’ll give you just ONE guess who our favorite golden boy is here in the office… WOODY, of course! He’s a very GOOD boy so we’re honoring him by sharing this Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treat recipe that sounds good enough to eat! In fact, if you’re so inclined, they’re absolutely human-friendly too, for a lower sugar cookie snack!


• 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
• ½ cup natural peanut butter
• 1 large ripe banana (or 2 medium bananas), smashed

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Pulse the oats in a blender until you have a fine "flour" and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and banana. Add the oats and smash with a fork until the dough is thick and well combined. If it’s crumbly, add 2–4 tablespoons more peanut butter and recombine. You want the dough to be firm, sticky, and pliable.
4. Roll dough into a thin slab about ¼” thick, and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Or, you can roll it into tablespoon-sized balls and flatten it with your hands to make a cookie.
5. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until lightly brown underneath. Allow to cool for 10–15 minutes before sampling or sharing with your pup!

You can store treats in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!

Click here for a printable recipe card.

Pet of the Week!

This week’s Pet of the Week is the wonderfully named Whiskey River, decked out for last Halloween and hamming it up for all you GOOD readers. We love this photo! Thank you so much to Renee Clement for sending it in. You can send in your own pet photos here.

Whiskey River, submitted by Renee Clement

See the complete collection in our Pet of the Week Showcase Gallery!

Play Time

Before you go, why not take a few more minutes, refill your coffee and take on our "Spot the Differences" challenge?

We've taken a photo from this week’s Portfolio section the Thursday Boxing class held at the Brunswick Center at Southport.
You can read this story in our e-Pilot.

We’ve made seven alterations to the original image. See if you can spot the differences between the two images and test your observational skills. Click to get a closer look and check your guesses with the key at the end of the newsletter. Good luck!

Spot the Differences

Good Times

It’s Friday! Presented by Up Your Arts, here’s the weekend line-up, full of music and activities for everyone.

Up Your Arts Creative and Performing Arts Logo

Friday, February 3

  • Apist laborpor @ Os dolorum rerro

  • Tom Choiniere @ The Joyce (Leland)

  • All About the Beat @ Oak Island Moose Lodge

  • R&R @ Second Wind

Saturday, February 4

  • Live music (TBD) @ The Grape and Ale

  • Chris & Sandy @ Ocean Crest Pier

  • Astonia Bound @ The Joyce (Leland)

  • Live music (TBD) @ The Pub of Southport

  • The Doorsmen (one-year anniversary) @ The Tiki Tavern

  • Down South Thunder @ Second Wind

Sunday, February 5

  • Nick Black @ Koko Cabana (OKI)

  • Open Beach Jam with Dennis Walton @ The Lazy Turtle (OKI)

On a GOOD Note

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

― Albert Einstein

Spot the Differences Answer Key

Spot the Difference answer key

1. logo removed 2. cables removed 3. tattoos removed 4. added extra stripe on shorts 5. bandana removed 6. glove is now blue 7. Iron Mike!

Have a really GOOD weekend!