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i HO TO BY BJLL FAVlt
SEAHORSES get their names from the resemblance to horses as they swim with head upright.
The Fabulous Sea Monster
BY BILL FAVER
When wc usually think about a fish, wc envision the
typical shape of the mackerel, trout, or tuna. But there
are some very unusual creatures in
the fish family, like the seahorse.
Its scientific name, in the Greek,
means "fabulous sea monster," and
this unique creature lives up to at
least a portion of that name.
Seahorses gel their name from
having heads bent at an angle to
the body so that they resemble a
horse as they swim upright in wa
ter. Their tails are similar to those
faver 0f monkeys and are used to hold
fast to some object underwater.
Scales on the seahorse are modified into plates that
fit closely together forming a flexible kind of armor
for protection. These bony plates also break up the
contours of the body and help camouflage the seahors
Locomotion is accomplished by the dorsal fin in the
middle of the back and the small pcctoral fins attached
just behind the gills, resembling small ears. Fins may
flutter as much as 35 times a second, but seahorses still
move very slowly. The small, tubular mouth is adapted
for feeding on small organisms, such as anima! plank
Seahorses are usually found in grassy bays, near
shore in shallow water. Preferring places where there
is a current, they anchor themselves to some object
and wait for the current to bring food to them. Since
they are too slow to pursue live prey, they must rely on
their ability to match their surroundings and wait for
tiny crustacca to come by to fill their hearty appetites.
One of die unique characteristics of the seahorse is
that the male broods and gives birth to the young. The
female inserts her ovipositor into the specially con
structed "brood pouch" on the belly of the male. She
deposits several hundred eggs which are fertilized in
side the male and undergo incubation for several
When time for birth comes, the male often will rub
against some object on the bottom of the sea and go
into violent convulsions as the young are popped out
one or several at a time.
The young are tiny replicas of their parents and
about one-half inch in size at birth. They are immedi
ately thrust into the world on their own and must begin
to find food and escape prcdation.
Several years ago, someone watching a seahorse in
our aquarium remarked they didn't realize seahorses
were real?they thought seahorses were like unicorns
and the product of someone's imagination.
These "fabulous sea monsters" are very real and are
found in our estuaries hiding among the grasses and
living out their lives along the edge of the sea.
Lottery: The People Already Voted
BY COY C. PRJVETTE
At practically every turn in the road, you will hear
some voice echoing: "When are we going to vote on the
The people made that decision on Nov. 3 when they
elected the members of the 1993 session of the General
Assembly. 1 learned in my 9th grade civics class that the
role of the legislative branch is to establish public poli
If a proposal is good policy, then the legislature ought
to pass it. If it is bad public policy, then the legislature
ought to kill it. That is what they have been elected to do
rather than to seek some "cop out" such as "put it on the
Harry Truman hit the nail on the head: "If you can't
stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." If our current leg
islators are not willing to deal with the "hot" issues, then
elect someone else to do it.
It is my contention that a lottery is bad public policy,
and the legislature should refuse to pass such legislation
regardless of how many lobbyists the gambling industry
employs to roam the halls of our legislature seeking pas
sage for its gambling proposal.
Briefly, I maintain that a lottery is bad public policy
for the following reasons:
1. A lottery Ls bad policy socially. A lottery "picks
the pockets of the poor." A California study showed that
four out of every ten players were unemployed. Another
California study showed that 24 percent of the heavy
players came from the 16.3 percent of the population
which made under 515,000 per year.
In Delaware, a study found that there were no lottery
outlets in an upper-income neighborhood in which
17,630 persons lived, "but one lottery outlet per 1,981
persons in the poorest neighborhoods." In Maryland, the
poorest third of the population bought 60 percent of the
daily lottery tickets.
Yet, proponents say, "It is a voluntary tax." Ask Pete
Rose or any of the other 4 to 6 million who are addictive
gamblers if gambling is a voluntary tax. The role of gov
ernment is to appeal to the strengths of its citizens rather
than to exploit their weaknesses.
2. A lottery Ls bad public policy governmentally. A
lottery puts the government into 'he gambling busi
ness...the promotion of gambling...the marketing of
gambling...77i?- Louisville Courier-Journal was right
when it wrote on its editorial page: "When states hustle
sweepstakes tickets, when they shamelessly tell poor
and rich alike to blow their money in lotteries, govern
ments are no longer neutral about morals...Rathcr than
promoting the best interests of their citizens, they are en
couraging the worst."
3. A lottery is bad public policy economically.
University of Minnesota economists have explained that
th; money spent on forms of gambling previously un
known in a state (such as a lottery) will be money that
would have been spent (and taxed) or saved (and invest
ed) in other segments of the cconomy.
The Holiday Food Store chain in California learned
this lesson the hard way. In the first six months of the
California lottery, their food chain sold SI.8 million in
lottery tickets. During that same period of time, their
food sales were off SI.8 million. They ccased selling
lottery tickets stating, "It is a moral issue when people
use money for lottery tickets rather than buy food to
feed their families." The Winn-Dixie stores in Florida
stopped selling lottery tickets for the same reason.
4. A lottery is bad public policy criminally. One of
the arguments that proponents give for the lottery is that
it will eliminate criminal activity. That idea cannot be
substantiated. Evidence from a number of states shows
that the presence of legalized gambling actually increas
es rather than decreases illegal gambling.
Connecticut started a state lottery to cut into illegal
gambling and organized crime. Austin J. McGuigan,
former Chief State's Attorney for Connecticut, ob
served: "Rather than cut into the revenue of organized
crime, the state has been swept by a gambling mania,
which has more than doubled the level of illegal wager
ing in the last eight years."
Former Director of the FBI William Webster said: "I
really don't see how one can expect to run legalized
gambling anywhere without serious problems?fraudu
lent tickets, counterfeit lottery processes. Any time orga
nized crime sees an opportunity to put a fix on some
thing, to gel an edge on something, it'll be there. And
gambling is still the largest source of revenue for orga
In light of this, I hope that the legislature will adhere
to its real purpose of establishing public policy and re
ject any overtures to put its seal of approval upon any
form of gambling.
The writer is executive director of the Raleigh-based
Christian Action League of North Carolina.
February ~ Special
32,000 Grain Water Conditioner Installed Only *729*
24,000 Grain Water Conditioner Installed Only $643*
*For conditioners installed in February includes bypass & 6 months free salt
FREE WATER ANALYSIS
?i?3 THE BRUNSWICK BEACON
A reader who took umbrage at
one of the recent opinion pieces in
these pages wrote a letter criticizing
with much enthusiasm the column,
the columnist ("the Usher woman")
and "your daggy little newspaper."
Another, a public servant and
sclf-dcscribcd "country boy," con
structed an intricate triple barnyard
analogy likening us, in a single sen
tence, to serpents, swine and horse
Because I have, as the latter com
plainant phrased it, "had the oppor
tunity to go to a school of journal
ism and teamed to tell half-truths
and twist the facts to my own advan
tage," these spirited letters warmed
my heart. No foolin'.
After all, this is no occupation for
pantywaists. In the news game, if
everybody loves you, then you're
not doing your job.
If people on both sides of any giv
en issue think you're on the other
side, you can rest assured you've
been objective, the rule goes.
But if, week after week, you keep
giving out what you hope to be a
lively journal of news and opinion,
and you get nothing in return resem
bling feedback, you'd better know
There's a rich, time-honored tra
dition of knocking the local fish
wrapper. We expect it and would
probably become insufferably pom
pous if nobody did it.
I grew up in a town whose weekly
newspaper was "The Critical"
(Chronicle), and the last place I
lived was covered by the daily
'Time to Snooze" (Times-News).
We've all done it.
Besides, there's a lot to poke fun
at in a small-town newspaper. Wc
can be so Maybcrryesque. Glancing
through some weekly papers, you'll
unearth an endless supply of those
little nuggets of rural journalism,
such as these I found after 10 whole
minutes of searching.
?"Entrance to 'The Hole' has
been sealed, and parr/goers in the
Lickskillet community will have to
find another place to gather."
?A weekly school lunch menu
that included "fish shapes with tartar
sauce and cornbread" on one day,
"pork chopctte with roll" on another
and "tater tots" on no less than three
?From the social news: "Dr.
James Little Jr. and his daughter,
Sally, vacationed in the Bahama
Islands last week. Each child gets a
trip when she is a senior in high
school." Well, la-de-da!
?Item under the "Food for the
Body and for the Soul" column:
"Ladies, before you put on nail pol
ish, rinse your nails with vinegar.
This will clean them completely and
help the nail polish stay on longer."
?Headline on a story contributed
by the local agriculture extension
agent: "Goats make good kudzu
?And, of course, the Farm
Market Report: "Egg prices were
higher on medium and large and
steady on smalls compared to those
of the previous week. Supplies were
adequate. Demand was moderate."
Much of that material is what you
bring to us to share with your neigh
bors. And it's often what makes you
pick up a paper and read it?not be
cause you're expecting to unravel
the great conundnim of life, but be
cause might contain some tasty lit
tle surprises that relate to you.
Like a picture of your kid's scout
Or a write-up about your bowling
Or vow mother-in-law's name in
the court docket.
We make a special place for our
opinions, too, not just because we
have so much pontificating to do,
but bccausc it's part of our responsi
bility to the community to try to
give you something to think about.
We have our reporters write col
umns bccausc we like for you to
think of them as people (even if they
don't always behave accordingly).
We don't expect, or even neces
sarily want, you to agree. Opinions
are like glass bowls. Everybody's
got one and they're not all alike.
So keep those cards and letters
coming, even the slings and arrows.
(Just remember that if you don't
have the guts to sign your name, Mr.
Calabash Resident Korean War
Veteran Conservative Smart Person
who finds me to be a "liberal social
democrat of the 1960's wacko gen
eration," your letter goes directly in
to the circular file.)
In the meantime, we'll try not to
be too "daggy." Whatever that
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Parents Must Be Responsible
For Helping Children Learn
To the editor:
I've never written a letter to an
editor before. But I feel very deeply
about where and how we live and
about our young people in this coun
Week after week 1 read about the
problems with the education in our
schools. 1 read about the superinten
dent, the principals and teachers and
about how they aren't doing a good
But 1 don't read or see much em
phasis being put where the real
problem lies. That is right square on
the shoulders of the parents.
Who held a gun on the girl and
boy to make them become parents?
Who told them to bring a child into
the world for someone else to pro
vide food, home and education for?
Parents have to accept full re
sponsibility for their children's
needs until they arc old enough to
accept responsibility for themselves.
Children need and have a right to
expcct their parents to provide them
with a clean place to live, clean food
to eat, and clean clothes to wear.
They also have a right to have a
parent to help them learn to read and
do their homework every day. Our
teachers then would have children
they could help to gain a higher edu
cation, which is what they arc taught
and paid to do.
Then, as citizens, we will find we
will have higher scores in our educa
tion fields and less crime in our
neighborhoods. Then we can begin
to enjoy our well-adjusted, educated
children and grandchildren. Yes, it
all starts with the boy and girl who
made the baby.
So get off the superintendent,
principals and teachers' backs and
back in the mirror. Find our cause
and you will find our cure.
Steinem To Blame
To the editor:
Concerning the controversy going
on in your letters to the editor col
umn, 1 think there arc a few things
that need to be said about the battle
between male and female that has
been going on all over the country
for about 30 years or more.
The hatred that has been created
during that time is brand new to our
society. Only a few years ago a man
would not even say the word
"damn" in front of a woman. A
woman was the most highly respect
ed thing in our society.
This division and haired has not
happened by accident. It has been
well orchestrated. There are a num
ber of well-financed, well-organized
groups lhal have been spreading
hale venom among our people.
Their desire is to destroy the family,
thereby destroying the nation, or at
least changing it to suit their own
One of these groups are fashion
designers. They have all but stripped
our women naked, and this has cre
ated a great disrespect for women.
Movies, soap operas, magazines,
books, the television networks have
aided in creating this immoral soci
We could learn something if we
ask ourselves who owns and con
trols the above-mentioned. How
ever, the number-one problem
comes from Gloria Stcincm and her
well-trained lesbians and the rest of
her National Organization for
Women (NOW) crowd.
People like Gloria Steinem have
no love for our people or our coun
try. They are destroying us, and we
arc allowing them to do it. They are
putting words in our mouth and they
are coming out just the way they
want them to.
We as a people had better start
paying some attention to what's go
ing on around us and stop fighting
among ourselves before it's too late.
Opal J. Stanley
Thanks For Coverage
To the editor
First, I would like to thank your
paper and staff for al! the coverage
that you have given to me. If it had
not been for your paper, people in
this area would not have known my
situation or my medical condition.
Second, 1 would like to thank all
the businesses, churches and indi
viduals who gave their time, prayers
and donations to my bone marrow
I had my bone marrow transplant
in September 1992 Afterward I had
to take about 25 treatments of radia
tion. I am doing very well with good
Duke Hospital and the transplant
clinic did almost all my treatment on
an outpatient basis to help curb our
financial responsibility. Although
we still owe them money, we will
continue to have fundraisers until
we get them paid.
Thank you all for helping to save
my life, for it couldn't have hap
pened without you.
Crystal (Chris) Caudill
To the editor
It was Tuesday night about 11
p.m. Winds had registered 41 mph
"Quality Furniture Restoration"
Repairs, Staining, Re finishing, Caning,
Wicker, Mirror Resilvering
Hwy. 17 South ? (919)754-4552
P.O. Box 718 ? Shallotte, NC 28459
on my weather vane, with a wind
chill factor of 17 degrees. I had just
come home from playing basketball
in the church league (we lost by one
point!). I already felt bad, so 1 went
outside to check how the boat was
surviving in this "gale."
1 couldn t believe my eyes. It was
gone?the boat, the dock, every
thing. Thank goodness, the wind
was coming from the north, so the
only possible way the boat could be
going was toward the end of the
canal a half-mile away.
I grabbed a flashlight and began
running through the back yards
checking all the docks as I ran. What
a glorious sight when I got almost to
the end. Two police cars, a rescue or
fire vehicle and numerous residents
had responded to a cry for help over
the radio. "A big boat is loose trav
eling fast down the canal, with the
dock still attached!"
This letter is to thank these men
Dave Harrcll, A1 Crawford, Bobby
Yoho, James Stewart, Tommy
Allen, Bryan Ericksen and any oth
ers who in this freezing cold lassoed
ihe pilings that had broken off in the
ground and were still attached to the
dock, and helped us to safely ma
neuver the dock and boat to safety.
Thank you for preventing a near dis
Ocean Isle Beach
To the editor:
As I write, the snow is falling out
side and the temperature is a beauti
ful 23 degrees. The forecast is for
the temperature to be 32 tomorrow
(seasonable), and there is to be some
I enjoy Eric Carlson's column
tremendously and liked his column
of Jan. 21 ("Cheer Up, It Could Be
Worse ). My wife and I live 30 min
utes west of Syracuse and know ex
actly what he's talking about. We
come to Sunset Beach every April
break from school?we're both
teachers?and we've already started
getting ourselves into a tizzy about
this year's trip.
Eric's writings, as well as Lynn
Carlson's and Susan Usher's, really
do warm the days and, believe it or
not, a tiny bit of South Brunswick
sunshine escapes from the pages in
to the central New York skies. Keep
up the great work!
The Beacon welcomes letters
to the editor. All letters must be
signed and include the writer's
address and telephone number.
Under no circumstances will
unsigned letters be printed.
Letters should be legible We
reserve the right to edit libelous
comments. Address letters to The
Brunswick Beacon P O Rn,
2558, Shallottc, N. C. 28459.