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pT((1WBY Bill fAVtR
KILLDEER are the only ringed plovers with two breast hands.
Rings Around The Neck
BY BILL FAVER
Some ot the scientists tell us the rings around the
neck ot some birds have formed in order to help pro
tect them from predators. The
rings, and other similar markings,
help break up the form of the bird
and contuse the predator so that ii
cannot see the shape clearly
enough to grasp it. One such bird is
the killdeer. one of the group
known as ringed plovers
The killdeer is the largest ot the
ringed plovers, about 9-11 inches
long, with a large head and short.
FAV KK thick neck. There are two black
hands around the neck and breast. The back is brown
with a long brownish orange tail. Undcrparl:s .ire
white. A black band extends across the front of the
crown, separating the while of the forehead. That band
extends to the red eyering. Bill is thin and black and
the legs are long and cream-colored. Both sexes ore
alike and the immature birds may have only one neck
Killdeer are found throughout the country along
roadsides, on golf courses, in yards and fields, and at
airports. They pielei shot I, giassy areas to feed on in
seels ami small invertebrates. Sometimes they follow a
tractor, searching for the grubs in a freshly-plowed
field. These birds are noisy and easily alarmed. When
in tlocks nt a few birds, if one flics. Ihey all fly. sound
ing forth their "kill-dee" or "kill-dear" from which
they get their name.
Nests are shallow scrapes in small gravel or sand.
Four heavily spotted eggs are laid and both sexes incu
bate the eggs for 24 or more days Both sexes sit on
the eggs and care for the young.
Kiildeer have two defenses against predators. If the
animal is ,i large cow. deer, horse, or similar, which
could only harm them by stepping on the nest, they
\\ ill sta\ put until the animal is right on them and then
quickly cry and llv up. This usually alarms the animal
enough io cause it to change course, ii Ilk- animal is a
dog. cat. or something that would prey on them, the
kiildeer will leave the nest and feign injury by drag
ging a wing, or fluttering to draw attention away from
Kiildeer in our area now have been joined by some
from the north who migrate here. They are very inter
esting birds to watch and are easily identified. Look
for a "shorehird". with two breast bands. It will have
to be a kiildeer!
r* i ii-r*-r i iuki
OULJ I ^ULUmiN
Congressional Retirements Unexpected,
Though Frustrations Understandable
BY JOHN CJIZZI
"My frustration with Congress is.
I suspect exactly the same as vonrs'
an apparent inability or unwilling
ness to focus on the substance of the
With those words. Republican
Alex McMillan announced that he
was packing it in after five terms as
U.S. Representative from North
Carolina's Charlotte-area 9th Dis
trict. In cutting short his tenure a
term ahead of his own self-imposed
12-year term limit, former Harris
Teeter CEO McMillan seemed to
say quite a bit about the Tar Heel
State's U.S. House delegation?
namely, that a political outsider was
not going to be forever patient with
the ways of Congress and would
likely move up or out. very much
like a colonel who. failing to attain
his cherished star after a period, opts
for civilian clothes and a pension.
'['his "up or out" attitude is not
confined to McMillan or his fellow
Republicans. Only weeks before he
made his startling announcement, a
similar farewell was uttered by six
term Democrat Tim Valentine of the
2nd District. Valentine was admitted
ly much more the professional politi
cian than McMillan was, hut, as the
most conservative-leaning of North
Carolina's eight Mouse Democrats,
he was an outsider nevertheless.
In an mi riioir that could easily
have been spoken hy a Republican,
the 67-year-old Valentine?who had
voted against the president's ccc;
nomie stimulus packagc c<u!icr iii
the year?declared that it was time
for newer leaders "who can move
our country along toward a more re
sponsive and fiscally responsible
I.ike the "preview of coming at
tractions" in motion pictures has
come the growing hints that sopho
more Republican Charles Taylor of
the 11 fh District will seek one more
term in his Western North Carolina
turf and then seek the governorship
in 1996. Far more than McMillan or
Valentine, successful iawyei and
tree farmer Taylor is the archetypal
"Mr Outside"?championing term
limits and congressional pay cuts,
and serving as the "namer of names
in both the Mouse Hank scandal of
1991 and the more recent House
Post Office flap.
In almost striking contrast, the
"insiders" (read: those with more
background in government than in
the private sector) in the N.C. dele
gation all seem to harbor no thought
of retirement. Among Democrats,
l()-lermer Steve Neal (5th District)
and ll-termer Charlie Rose (7th
District) are now in the proverbial
catbird seat lor genuine Mouse
clout Neal one seat away Irom the
chairmanship of the Hanking ( om
mittee and Rose, two from the chair
of Agriculture. The lawmakers sepa
r;i(ing these two N.C. members from
the gavels are all septuagenarians.
Two other Tar Heel Democrats
Bill Hefner (Nth) and David Price
(4th)?occupy coveted perches of
power on the House Appropriations
Committee. Their standing almost
certainly will improve on the so
called "College of Cardinals" with
four top members over 70.
Still another Democrat, i'our-ter
mer Martin Lancaster (3rd), holds
spots on Armed Services. Small
Business, and Merchant Marine and
Fisheries?all promising territory
from which a lawmaker can bring
home the bacon (which Lancaster
unabashedly does, having secured
$10 million for a new bridge over
the Neuse River and SI50,000 for a
bridge study in his district).
Even minority Republicans or
two freshmen Democrats could lx*
on the periphery of power in the
next session of Congress. As early
supporters of House OOF leader-in
waiting Newt Gingrich, both How
ard Coble (6th) and Cass Ballenger
(10th) are very likely candidates tor
high-profile assignments with the
House's "loyal opposition," Ballen
ger probably in the foreign policy
realm and Coble as a prospective
whip in the Gingrich floor operation.
For the first time since George
White left the House in 1XW. North
Carolina has black House mem
bers?two, in fact, both elected after
reapportionment and both apparent
ly on the congressional "fast track."
Eva Clayton of the 1st District in
Northeastern North Carolina won a
slot on the House Agriculture Com
mittee and was elected president of
the freshman class. Charlotte's Mel
Watt (12th) was one of three fresh
men Democrats named to the pow
erful Democratic Steering and
The personal popularity in Wash
ington of the two members aside,
their relatively quick moves to note
worthy sinecures could he interpret
ed as signs that the House Demo
cratic leadership would rather they
stay in Congress instead of perhaps
lacing tough re-election challenges
should the courts throw out North
Carolina's district map.
Such reapportionment and the
historic volatility of North Carolina
voters (nearly half of the state's
members had. by congressional
standards, relatively tight races in
1W2) are. then, the only two obsta
cles facing a delegation with seniori
ty and the prospect of great clout in
the near luture. hor IW4. the elec
toral stakes will be high, and not just
in the two open seats vacated by
McMillan anu Valentine.
John (iizzi is associate political
editor of Human Events, a national
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LETTERS TO THE ED!TOR
Ordinance Can't Stop Natural Noise
To the editor:
Much ado has lx;en given in \ari
ous letters to editors about the lack
of ordinances or enforcement of or
dinances concerning excessive
noise, particularly harking clogs.
I. for one. appreciate the lack of
noise thai the country has to offer
compared to the constant Mare ot
larger cities. I appreciate not having
the repetitive and constant sounds ot
sirens, jack-hammers and traffic.
I also have enjoyed listening to
the "little" sounds that I never knew
existed that are so enjoyable in the
country. Hut I also have enough
common sense to realize that all the
laws and ordinances in the world
will never stop noise, especially
those that are natural to all species
of animals and mammals.
People make noise when they talk
(some more than others). That is .1
natural occurrence. How would you
like it it it was against the law lor
you to communicate verbally? Mow
loud do you have to be to call your
kills (or husband) in from playing
outside? How loud do cough or
sneeze? How do you keep a baby
from crying, completely? How
would your life be if you really had
to live it in silence?
F.xcessive noise of any type is not
enjoyable, but some noise is natural
and cannot be completely stopped.
As an animal lover for my entire
life, I cannot think of any humane
way to stop an animal from its only
means of communication, especially
There is also not an animal that I
know of that understands written
law s, or the time on the clock. Cows
"moo," lions "roar" and dogs
"bark." A person may be able to re
duce the frequency, but not it's en
tirety. Please be fair to animals of all
James I-'. Hendricks
To the editor:
Brunswick lounty Lodge 53
fraternal Order ot Police would likv.
to express its sincere appreciation to
the citizens of Brunswick County
for their support of our "Shop with a
Because of this generosity, the
POP was able to take more than 45
children Christmas shopping, pur
chasing much-needed clothing and.
in some cases, uroceries.
We also want to thank Meezie
C'hilds and her co-workers .it the
Brunsw ick County Department of
Social Services who assisted \Mth
the program These dedicated em
ployees both suggested the recipi
ents anil spent hours helping v\ ith
It is not possible lor the children
to thank each of you personally, but
we can assure you that what was
done lor theni was appreciated.
Fraternal Order of Police
No Blasting Nov/
To the editor:
Many people realize that .1 quarry
is not needed and certainly not want
ed in Brunswick County.
However there are some who are
afraid that (the anti-mining) ordi
nance will halt the operation of
small open pit sand quarries; such is
not the case.
This ordinance w ill halt the blast
ing/de watering necessary for deep
mining operation. There is to my
knowledge no one in Brunsw ick
County using blasting at this time
Our commissioners have the right
to protect the local residents from
any harmful activities.
To the editor:
(Martin Marietta) a good neigh
I believe we should question any
one who calls themselves good
neighbors when their tirst move is to
post the land "no trespassing" and
post a guard.
I assure you. the people ol Bruns
wick County would like to protect
this land from people who do not
live here and do not appreciate its
Italutal beauty. What ale these good
neighbors trying to hide from us?
To the editor:
1 read with interest your recent ar
ticle on "home-grown teachers." I
think they are some of the best
teachers in our county and state.
1 don't understand why the Bruns
wick County Board of Education
don't acknowledge home-grown tea
chers arc the best and give them the
top priority when hiring teachers, in
stead of hiring out-of-state and out
Bill Shoemaker said "home
grown teachers are probably one of
the last of the vanishing breed of
community schools." Home-grown
teachers are a vanishing breed in
Brunswick County because princi
pals hire teachers from other coun
ties and states. Sometimes they hire
their buddies from the schools they
I feel when a Brunswick County
native wants to become a teac.ier
strongly enough to obtain loans and
get .1 degree and become a teacher,
the least the board of education can
ilo is make sure these home-grown
teachers get top priority in hiring.
Other counties give their home
grown teachers top priority in hiring,
so it's difficult for Brunswick
County native teachers to get hired
in other counties.
The Brunswick County Board of
Education passes the buck to princt
pals. saying the principals do the
hiring. Who hires the principals?
Brunswick County Board ol
Education, who votes you into of
fice? Certainly not out-of-county
and state voters.
Voters of Brunswick County, il
this practice of hiring out-of-county
and slate teachers instead of home
grown teachers continue, I think it's
time we voted in a new board of ed
ucation next election.
Voters, remember, the next home
grown teacher not hired by the
Biunswick Boaid of Education may
be one of your children, a family
member or a friend.
Dianne M. Mabry
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Address letters to:
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P.O. Box 2558
Shallolte NC 28459
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