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PAGE 4-A, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1993
Water Quality Symposium
Has Profound Implications
The session topics may sound a little dry to the average guy
on the street, but the symposium on integrated coastal wastewater
management in North Carolina, which begins Thursday in
Wilmington, could have profound implications for Brunswick
Countians and other coastal dwellers.
There's a good chance that, somewhere down the road,
Brunswick Countians will be able to look back at this gathering
and be proud that it all started with us ? not the problem, but the
first real step toward a workable solution to the problem of devel
opment-related coastal water quality deterioration.
The two-day symposium is an ambitious effort, pooling the
resources of government officials, business leaders, scholars and
interested citizens toward the goal of concurrently managing
wastewater and stormwater.
It's not insignificant that the symposium grew, at least in part,
out of strong, honest differences of opinion about how to im
prove estuarine water quality in southeastern Brunswick County.
Proponents of central sewer service ? for the most part gov
ernments with the ways and the means to make it happen ? were
willing to listen to the arguments of the skeptics, private citizens
who pleaded for more consideration of what they termed the sim
pler, cheaper stormwater option. It became increasingly obvious
that the two approaches are not mutually exclusive; indeed, there
is reason to believe they may be interdependent if either is to
have a good chance for success over the long run.
At least on paper, the symposium appears to have been de
signed with no particular scientific or ideological bias. The spon
sor list includes entities as diverse as Brunswick County, the Am
erican Association of University Women, the Duke University
Coastal Environmental Management Program, the N.C. Coastal
Federation, UNC Sea Grant and the Wilmington-Cape Fear
Homebuilders Association. The scheduled presentations involve
not just academicians and politicians, but a fair cross-section of
experts on numerous aspects of the issues.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the symposium is what
it signifies ? the fact that doing nothing is no longer an option
while shellfish beds continue to close and more people continue
to fulfill their dream of living at the seashore.
Efforts Toward Temporary
Library On The Right Track
It was heartening to hear all three bcach property owners'
groups ask their members' help in keeping cnme type of library
service available while the West Brunswick Branch is being ren
The Sunset Beach Taxpayers' Association, Ocean Isle Beach
Property Owners Association and Holden Beach Property Ow
ners' Associations all brought before their annual Thanksgiving
weekend gatherings the news that library service in Shallotte will
be suspended for a few months beginning in March unless citi
zens who care do something about it. The effort, being led by
Friends of the Library, will require a temporary space to house a
makeshift library, plus the money to operate it.
The fact that the property owners' groups were contacted is
an indication that the Friends group is on the right track. Our li
brary serves the entire community and, in Brunswick County, the
community includes those who own property here and reside
elsewhere. Many of those owners have strong ties to, and feel
ings for, Brunswick County as a second home; a good number
will ultimately retire here.
It's exciting to look ahead in anticipation of the newer, better
West Brunswick Branch Library in our future. It will be nearly
twice the size of the current facility, and built with public funds.
For the time being, keeping temporary service available de
serves the commitment of the community's private sector ? its
businesses and citizens.
? When an American says that he loves his country, he... means
that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives
and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.
? Adlai Stevenson
? Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.
? Wolcott Gibbs
We All Ate Humble Pie
What is depicted on the back side
of a $20 bill?
What two vice-presidents served
without ever being elected?
One state has two words in its
name and also has a capital with two
words in its name. Name the state
and the capital.
How many points are there in the
headpiece on the Statue of Liberty?
What do they represent?
Name the Twin Cities.
Who is buried in George Wash
In what year did Alaska and
Hawaii become states?
The game the cousins talked a
willing sucker into playing Thanks
giving Day, after one more nibble of
ham, two cups of high-speed coffee
and a big wedge of chocolate pie,
should have been a piece of cake.
After all, we were all born, reared
and educated in the United States,
and have had lifelong access to ma
terial relating to our own country's
geography, history, economy and
government. That doesn't count all
the stories we've heard parents and
Seems we may not have been lis
tening. The game we played sound
ed more like a round of Stumped
Even playing as teams, with
members allowed to consult before
answering, we missed more answers
than we got right. As our playing
pieces moved across a (blank) map
of the 50 states, the game was neck
You only got to roll the die and
move the piece forward one to six
places if you correctly answered a
question of the same color of the
state on which your piece was stand
ing. Red questions were the easiest.
purple Ihe hardest. But for us, the
color didn't seem to matter. We for
mer Monopoly marathoners were
mainly guessing ? and listening for
clues from the adjacent room where
members of an older generation or
two rat, priding themselves on
knowing certain answers.
It was painfully clear how much
we take for granted about America,
and how little some of us know
about our nation. Yes, it was just a
game and we are talking trivia. But
all those little facts and figures add
up to something larger ? a core of
basic knowledge or information we
simply didn't have individually or
If you can answer all of the ques
tions given above (these were the
easy ones I can remember) then you
might have a chance to play the
game at a lower level of frustration
than ours. That is, if you can find it.
My cousin Timmy brought the
game home from Germany, where
he is stationed with the U.S. Army.
While marketed by a well-known
toy chain, he says you can hardly
find "U.S.A. Trivia" (Item No. 910
by Boynton) in any stores in the
United States. (Stumped Again!,
Round No. 2)
That's a shame, because I think it
would make a good classroom activ
ity or personal game for middle or
high school students, as well as
Apparently the board game is
marketed mainly in Europe, feeding
an interest among teen-agers and
young adults in any and all things
American. On many geography-re
lated questions, a player who has ac
tually visited a place can earn an ex
tra roll of the die. Being able to pass
around a U.S. $20 bill and show oth
er players its back side is also worth
an extra turn.
I'm looking for a copy of my
own, in order to bone up before
Timmy returns for Christmas and
there's a chance for a rematch.
Because of our lack of knowl
edge. what might have been a piece
of cake turned into a generous help
ing of humble pie, even for the win
Yip/ ju^fwhcrf X
?J CJ ,
NEUSXTHM: THE STATE DEPT. OF MOTOR VEHICLES WANTS TO WEI6H
TRUCKS WHILE IT PATROLS I INTERSTATE. H1SHWA/ REST AREAS.
Tax Dollars At Work: Idealism
I'm trying to resist becoming a
conservative. Something in my psy
che equates that with loss of opti
mism, idealism and youth ? not to
mention hair, sense of humor and
the right to listen to a Rolling Stones
album from time to time.
But every time I open the morn
ing's mail, it gets harder to resist
crossing that line.
Here's a sampling from today's
"Dear Editors and News Direc
We look to you for help in bring
ing society up-to-date in its use of
language when referring to persons
with disabilities. Language chan
ges with time and events, and the
media is (sic) the primary source
for educating the public in proper
use of terminology...
We have enclosed suggested
guidelines which we suggest you
use in educating the public about
the preferred language. "
Attached is a two-page document
entitled "Suggested Guidelines
When Referring to Persons with
Disabilities," complete with an en
tire page of "affirmative phrases" as
contrasted with "negative phrases."
We Editors and News Directors are
therein reminded not to refer to any
one as "crazy" or "nuts," but rather
as "a person with psychiatric dis
Am I alone, or do you get a little
ticked at the idea of someone being
paid $40K or so a year of tax money
to tell me this?
I want to set the mind of the exec
utive director of the Governor's
Advocacy Council for Persons with
Disabilities at ease by assuring her
that, at any newspaper for which I
have worked, the market takes care
of this type of problem all by itself.
If we do somebody wrong, we hear
about it quickly, loudly and, occa
Ten years ago I covered the trial
of a worthless sack of.... sorry, a per
son with ethical disability, who had
spent an entire afternoon raping and
otherwise brutalizing a non-ambula
tory woman with multiple sclerosis.
My account of the trial described her
as "confined to a wheelchair."
The paper had been on the stands
for less than two hours when I re
ceived a call from another woman
with multiple sclerosis who inform
ed me in no uncertain terms that
when your legs don't work, a wheel
chair is not a instrument of confine
ment, but of liberation.
She was right. I thanked her and
banished the phrase from my usage
"The enclosed press release an
nounces the (U.S.) Public Health
Service I Region IV Culturally Ap
propriate Health Care Symposium,
scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in the
Atlanta, Ga., area.... (as if I can't
flip the page and figure this out)
The theme is "Cherish our
Diversity ? Cultivate our Common
This symposium reiterates the
importance that as educators,
health professionals and communi
ty leaders we have a responsibility
to not only understand that this
world is made up of uniquely di
verse cultures but that each should
be understood and respected as
Call me cranky, but I want my
contribution to PHS to be used on
things like vaccinations, pap smears,
mammograms, AIDS prevention,
and TB treatment.
Seems that we could divide up
cultures and find ways to be unique
ly understanding until the cows
come home. I heard last week about
an Asheville radio announcer who
said he will no longer tolerate being
referred to as a white male. He
wants recognition as a "Hillbilly
Item 3, saving the best for last:
It's from Paul Hardin, chancellor
of the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill. For a page and a half,
the chancellor pleads with students,
occasionally lapsing into snivel, to
understand the university trustees'
recent decision to rescind a trial 24
hour visitation policy in six campus
"1 hope you.. .will refrain from at
tacking either the sincerity or au
thority of the Board.... "
Many people of my generation
have found great happiness in re
serving sex for marriage and mak
ing that ultimate physical expression
part of a total, loving commitment to
a lifetime partner. They ? we ? hope
that members of your generation
will not carelessly pass up the op
portunity to nourish that kind of en
during, exclusive relationship. I also
express the hope, as a man, that the
men of Carolina will respect the
women they date. I worry especially
about acquaintance rape, a serious
problem most often related to exces
sive use of alcohol ( and probably
not related directly to official visit
ing hours in dormitories).
Is there even the slightest possi
bility that the chancellor's message
to newspapers throughout North
Carolina will result in the taming of
a single collegiate hormone? Well,
of course not.
How much respect will his com
munication engender among stu
dents for administrators and trus
tees? About as little as parents get
who enforce a .ule on their kids and
then apologize for having done so.
...All of which reminds me that
it's Friday, time to go home and dive
into the album stacks and try to
stave off curmudgeon status for an
other 48 hours. There's no more
mail until Monday.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Hearing Speaker Says Remarks About Mining Misconstrued
To the editor:
Your headline article last week depicted me "as favor
ing the proposed Martin Marietta Aggregates limestone
mine." What I said at the planning board hearing was not
a lecture on the merits of a rock quarry.
You conveniently failed to quote my remark that
There are numerous legitimate concerns over the
Martin Marietta project, many of which I share.
However, approving this request as written would affect
several other property uses." My concern over the zon
ing amendment was that a total ban on mining would
eliminate the removal of topsoil and peat, and that the
extraction of these products is necessary.
I also made some philosophical comments to illustrate
that property rights are increasingly under attack and
that preposterous reasons are often cited to deny the use
of private property. Although some of these inane rea
sons have been cited to prevent the quarry, you some
how equated my criticism of them to being "pro-quar
These remarks were unrelated to the quarTy. I was
simply calling attention to a growing trend that should
be immensely disturbing to everyone.
I happen to value human life above that of woodpeck
ers and lizards. And when demands are made to deny
humans of their constitutional rights because these crit
ters might be inconvenienced, those demands need to be
Some of the latest "environmental concerns" have
reached the level of absurdity. They do not protect the
environment and, in many cases, ultimately do more
harm than good. They are nothing more than an excuse
to prevent the use of private property.
Our society demands and deserves the standard of liv
ing it has acquired. And preserving that standard some
times means changing what some of us would prefer to
be left alone.
Only a dimwit would oppose being good stewards of
our environment. But good intentions have become idio
cy and it's time to halt the nonsense. We should at least
be smarter than the woodpeckers and lizards when as
sessing how progress is regulated.
Editor, I understand your need to sensationalize
things. That sells papers. But by mischaracterizing what
I said, you did your readers a disservice because they
were shielded from the crucial point I was trying to
make. If you must sensationalize, please do not do it at
the expense of something that is so important to our
Patrick Newton, P.E.
(More Letters, Following Page)