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The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, September 02, 1993, Page PAGE 5-A, Image 5

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ill 0k PHOTO BY BILL FAVtR THE TERNS have abilities to sense direction and routes we often cannot understand. Global Wings BY BILL FAVER One of the very real mysteries faced by scientists is the ability of so many species of birds to sense direc tion and to remember routes and surroundings. Migration studies have shown remarkable instincts and insights, and many of them arc hard to explain. In one species of the terns, the adult birds fly to the far north, nest and rear their young. The adults then fly to a point where all the adults gather before returning to their wintering grounds. The young are unable to leave with them, but fly a direct route ? one they have never flown before - with no guide to lead them. They arrive on time to spend the winter with the adults. This has baffled the experts for years and wiil for many years to come. In his studies with homing pigeons, Charles Walcoit wrote: We have learned that the pigeon senses a world quite different from ours ? a world of pressure chan FAVER ges, infrasonic sounds, polarized light , subtle vibra tions, naturally fluctuating magnetic fields, and per haps other cues yet to be discovered. ? (Natural History, Nov. 1489) I take this to mean there is a great deal we still do not know about the world we live in and how the nat ural forces and systems operate. After observing terns for several years, John Hay, author of The Bird Of Light, made this observation: We speed ahead, though with a remarkable lack of inner confidence. We make much of the change we are responsible for, but scarcely know where it is tak ing us. ...Ignorant of what moves us, we claim the planet for ourselves. I saw how the terns, more pre cise about their chosen ground, ready in their perfect wings to meet variety, coming on again to fish and breed.. .were in a sense on these islands ahead of us.. We needed their wisdom... We hear a lot about our "global environment" and the "global economy." We arc just beginning to think globally, to break out of our boundaries. Perhaps the terns have been a part of the "global wings" since the beginning. And we, indeed, might learn from them. MORE LETTERS Schools7 Early Dismissal Plans Difficult For Working Parents The following letter was addressed to the Brunswick County Board of Education; a copy was provided as a letter to the editor. Dear sirs: This year the Brunswick County School Board gave the elementary, middle, and high schools the option of dismissing classes early one day each week. Each school established their own scheduled day and time. Most have opted for Wednesday; however, the release time varies from 12:30 to 1:30. At least one school has opted to forgo the policy altogether. The consequences of this action are obviously not fully under stood by the people in authority. The following information was provided by the Brunswick County Department of Social Services and the Brunswick County Planning Departsent, 1990 census: ?The Community Standard of Brunswick County guideline investi gates unattended children under the age of 13. North Carolina fire law will not permit a child under the age of 9 to be left alone. They must be cared for by an older, competent in dividual. ?Approximately 5,200 students in Brunswick County are from homes in which both parents work. ?Approximately 1,600 students in Brunswick County are in single parent homes, with that parent work ing. A survey of some child care facil ities in Brunswick County found that most would not provide child care to the older children for one half day each week. Those that do charge a minimum of $8 a day for one child. Parents must provide transportation from school to the fa cility. School bus transportation this year will not allow children to ride any bus other than the one assigned, and they must get on and off at their regular stop. (Each school has their own variation on this policy.) This means that if a parent does find someone to care for their child, they may have difficulty in getting them to the care giver's establishment. Some of the elementary schools do offer after-school care, provided by the YWCA. This service is not provided for the older pre-adoles cents, and it is not cost effective to establish for only one day a week at the middle schools. If transportation can be worked out, this service may be provided at the hosting school. However, many parents cannot af ford the additional expense associat ed with this service. Some other alternatives to this policy should be considered: ?Consider dismissing classes ear ly only once a month, as other schoo systems are doing. ?Continue classcs with volunteer parents substitute teaching during this time, or provide enrichment pro grams. ?A full day out of school once a month could mean parents taking a day of vacation, if they have it or easier placement with child-care givers.Understand this will extend the school year. ?Offer a program at the high schools for students to have the op portunity to care for these younger students at the schools or in the homes. ?Some parents work 10-hour days and have Fridays off. Consider this day instead, it would reduce the numbers of unattended children some, but not significantly. There are many other suggestions System Worked To the editor: Once again the Town of Sunset Beach has had a chance to see the effectiveness of our emergency teams and how well they respond to unexpected misfortune. On Friday, Aug. 27, a shrimp boat ran aground and broke up on the beach. The emergency units and rep resentatives that responded included Sunset Beach Police and town em ployees. In addition there were the first responder from Sunset Beach Fire Department, Ocean Isle Emergency Unit, the Coast Guard and, of course, Cecil Logan of the Brunswick Emergency Manage ment. To all of these people who have such concern for the welfare of peo ple, we are grateful. They have al ways come through for us, and we recognize their professionalism and competence. With the threat of a hurricane coming in our direction, it was nec essary to remove the flotsam and jet sam as expeditiously as possible. Our town employees undertook the task, aided by their own families as well as residents and visitors. that could be considered. Employ ers frown on parents asking for addi tional time off to care for their chil dren. Parents cannot take the risk of losing needed employment. The working parents of Bruns wick County realize that teachers need additional time to do the ad ministrative duties required by their jobs, and time to receive additional training. "Staff development" is very important for the continued rise in test scores, and the education of our children. They also understand that schools are not baby-sitting services. Yet, every parent is comfortable knowing that if something does happen to their child, it will be handled in a professional manner. The weekly early dismissal of children does not appear to be the best solution to an ongoing problem. Take a look at the problems encoun tered during bad weather dismissals and apply them each week. Will it take a child removed from a home, hurt, or worse for you to see the ad verse impacts of this decision? Eva Corbett Winnabow During Mishap Together they picked up debris and stacked it. Sea Trail Corp. granted the town permission to use a portion of their property as a way station for the col lection of the debris. This facilitated the removal of it from the beach, since each truck did not have to make the round trip to the county landfill and minimized the time beach visitors were inconvenienced. We recently saw people in the Midwest working to help others dur ing the floods. Now we have had a demonstration of the same kind of cooperation and neighborliness right here. To those who were upset and complained about the accident, I apologize. 1 am sure that those peo ple also appreciate the efforts of our residents, visitors, employees and contract workers. The beach, except for the engine and riggings, was cleared in about 48 hours, and no one was injured. I think that is remarkable and a credit to all those who came together in adversity. Mayor Mason Barber Sunset Beach Co ping With Flotosis Deprosurfio Hopefully, by the lime you read this, It will all he over. I'm talking about an affliction that frequently reaches epidemic proportions in a significant portion of the coastal population during the "dog days of summer." This dreaded disease, known by the l-atin name "flatosis deprosur fia" or lack-of-wave syndrome (LWS), affects millions of surfers throughout the world whenever there is a prolonged period of wave icssncss. Those stricken with l.WS often exhibit random mood swings, an in ability to concentrate, frantic and sometimes bizarre behavior and an unexplained desire to watch old "Gidget" movies and "Hawaii Five 0" reruns. In addition, surfer/sufferers may drift iiito a hallucinatory state in which sand dunes, hillsides and walls of buildings are perceived to be perfect, head-high, glassy waves. Except for a few minor, one-day swells, this summer has been a frus trating one for surfers along the South Brunswick Islands. Many have been forced to show up for work ON TIME nearly every day without once calling in sick. Which means it has probably been a profitable season for con struction firms, painting contractors and restaurants that typically lose a good number of employees whenev er the waves arc good. Although I haven't seen any stud ies, I suspect that these economic benefits are more than offset by the havoc wreaked by LWS-crazed surfers seeking other outlets for en ergies normally channelled into wave riding. A surfer without waves is like a Carlson Eric 1 cowboy without a horse, an artist without canvas, a kid without a tele vision, Nintendo and VCR. it lends to make them a little crazy: SURE'ER: "Gosh, officer. I guess maybe i WAS driving a little fast. BUT I I S BEEN FLAT FOR SIX WEEKS!" TROOPER: "Hey. I dig. brah No problem. That LWS is a bummer. But help's on the way. There's a big low pressure system off the coast. The wind's supposed to go offshore. Should be overhead barrels tommor row. So slow down and live, eh? See you in the water." (Surfers please note: Don't try this on the road. It rarely happens that way. And don't believe the myth that consuming mass quanti ties of beer at night will bring good waves the next day. This is merely the rationalization of kooks who see every morning through hung-over eyes.) Actually, wave-starved surfers have made a number of significant contributions to the sporting world as they searched for ways to dupli cate the incomparable experience of riding waves. Whether you like it or not, skate boarding is a major industry in America and good clean fun for kids who might otherwise be tempted in to less athletic and more destructive purMiits (like drugs). It doesn't take much imagination to envision a bored surfer sitting around with no waves and nothing to do when he glances at a piece of lumber and his sister's roller skates and has a revelation. (My first skate board. circa 1964, was a piece of 2 by-6 inch board with metal skate wheels nailed to it.) You can probably make similar assumptions about such popular pur suits as windsurfing and snowboard ing. Both have LWS written all over them. And 1 must admit, with some embarrasment. that one of the stu pidest activities on the planet was probably developed by surfers with IWS. Although I have no proof of this, I strongly suspect that the first per son to bungee jump was a wave starved surfer. Where else would you find the strange mix of lunacy and boredom necessary to tie a rub ber band to your ankle and jump off a high place? On the other hand, the boating world owes a great debt to surfers. If it weren't for a couple of bored wave nuts named Hobie Alter and his pal Phil Edwards, millions of Americans would never have en joyed the thrill (almost as good as surfing) of flying across the water on a Hobie Cat. So let us not forget the contribu tion that surfers.. ..RIIIIIING! "Hello. What? A hurricane ap proaching off the coast? I've got to make preparations!" Let's see. I'll need to fill up the car with gas and make sure I've got everything I need for the storm ? my big wave surfboard, a heavy-duty leash, a few extra bars of wax. I'm ready. GUEST COLUMN The Importance Of Reading BY GOVERNOR JIM HUNT In our increasingly complex society, the ability to read well is crucial for personal and professional success. To underscore * the importance of literacy, I have ^ proclaimed September "North Carolina Literacy Month." I am joining the N.C. Press Asso ciation and the N.C. Literacy Coun cil in encouraging efforts to boost North Carolina literacy rates. We must do all we can to ensure that every North Carolinian can read well enough to develop to his or her ful lest potential. I was very fortunate in this respect. My mother was an English teacher and a librarian, and passed her love of reading on to her children. We did not travel much as a family, but books allowed us to visit the world from our living room. Newspapers allowed us to broaden our horizons as well, and to understand the problems and promise of our state and nation. When I was still in school, 1 began keeping a file of newspaper articles about different issues affecting our state. Without this love of reading, 1 could never had learned all I did about the world and about North Carolina, and would never have developed the drive and the desire to make things better as governor. I have done my best to use the power of this office to promote education, because the quality of our eduction helps determine the quality of jobs and quality of life in North Carolina. But quality education cannot happen without literacy. Literacy is the vehicle for learning. If you can't do math problems, you can't learn chemistry, physics, engi neering or architecture. If you can't read, you can't un derstand history, politics or current affairs. Without these skills, it will be difficult to get a high-skill, high-wage job, or advance in your profession. On International Literacy Day, the U.S. government will release results of the National Adult Literacy E Survey. The study is expected to show that a large pro portion of American adults have limited literacy skills that keep them from achieving their personal and eco nomic goals. And the definition of literacy is changing, adding even more urgency to the issue. An auto mechanic can't work on a $20, 000 car that's run by a computer if he or she can't read, write, understand complex computers, operate high-tech equipment and follow illustrated in structions. We are working hard to increase literacy in North Carolina. Our community colleges provide literacy ser vices at more than 2,5(X) off-campus sites throughout the state. They have partnerships with more than 400 busi nesses to provide workplace literacy programs. And homeless shelters in 14 communities provide basic skills instruction to homeless adults. Recent figures show more than 120,000 adults are served annually in our literacy programs, assisted by more than 6,000 instructors, counselors, administrators and volunteers. As impressive as these efforts are, they're not enough. We must do more to keep pace with the changing world. The luckiest children get an early start at home, listen ing to a loving parent read from the Bible or a favorite family book. Our Smart Start program, which aims to make quality early childhood education available to every child in North Carolina, is another important step in improving literacy. But we must also raise standards in our schools, get more computers in the classroom, and improve pro grams for our non-collepe-bound students. Parents, teachers, principals, leaders, clergy and gov ernment leaders must join together to lift the literacy rates ? and lift the lives, of all people in North Carolina. If you are willing and able to donate some of your time to this effort, please call my Office of Citizen Affairs at 1-800-662-7952 and ask to speak with Lynn Wareh. She will put you in touch with people who are eager to learn, and who will be grateful for your help. Make money fast. Rid yourself of unwanted items by advertising in the classifieds. Your items may be exactly what someone else is looking for. Advertise in the classifieds and watch your stuff "sale away." THE BRUNSWICK^BEACON 754-6890

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