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Edward M Swcatt and Carolyn H. Swcatt Publishers
Edward M. Swcatt Editor
Lynn S. Carlson Managing Editor
Susan Usher Neius Editor
Doug Rutter Sports Editor
Eric Carlson Staff Writer
Mary Fotts & Peggy Earwood Office Managers
Carolyn H. Swcatt Advertising Director
Tlmbcrley Adams. Cecolla Gore
and Linda Cheers Advertising Representatives
Dorothy Brcnnan and Brenda Cletnmons Moore . .Graphic Artists
William Manning Pressman
Lonnie Sprinkle Assistant Pressman
PAGE 4-A, THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 1994
Violent Teenagers Have
Abdicated Their Rights
To Be Considered Children
It's healthy that the state Senate and House of Rep
resentatives have fundamental ideological differences to work
out during their special session on crime. Maybe the punishment
versus-prevention dialog coming out the session will result in
legislation which does some good without wasting too much tax
But it's difficult to understand the logic of those who take is
sue with a Senate-passed hill requiring that 14- and 15-year-olds
charged with violent felonies he hound over to Superior Court
and tried as adults.
State law alreadv mandates that 14-and 15-year-olds charged
with murder he tried in adult court, and judges currently have the
discretion to hind over 14- and 15-year-olds for aduit court if
they see fit. Opponents of the proposal to make that a require
ment argue that ihe proposal would not serve as a deterrent and
would place more "children" in an already failed adult system.
The sad fact is that the juvenile justice system is failing,
loo?miserably so. Youthful offenders tried in juvenile court and
sentenced to training schools must he released at age IS. no mat
ter what they've done or how great the likelihood they'll do it
aiiain. !n this asie of escalatino violent crime :md repeated offens
C C P " I
es by adolescents, that is simply no longer an acceptable practice.
The system as it exists was designed to deal with "incorrigi
hles." out-of-control kids stealing cars for joy rides and running
away from home. Your average '90s kind of violent teenager
probably has a gun. may have a drug habit and should legally be
considered to have abdicated his or her right to be punished like a
Two other long-overdue juvenile crime bills were passed and
sent to the House for consideration last week. They would:
? remove the option of expunging juvenile records if the
youth is convicted of a violent felony. There are often instances
when district attorneys cannot use the juvenile convictions in
adult prosecutions because the records are expunged when the ju
venile reaches 16. The hill would allow for the use of such
records if the convictions were for violent felonies; and
? require law enforcement agencies to notify the parents any
time a minor is taken into custody.
A teenager who rapes, robs at gunpoint or commits any num
ber of other offenses has crossed the border between adolescence
and adulthood. There's nothing wrong with the law acknowledg
ing that as fact.
Destroying North Carolina
Families Through Taxation
BY THOM GOOLSBY
It you were intent on destroying the North Carolina family, how would
you go about it?
Would you outlaw marriage, break up couples and attempt to forcibly
take children away Irom their parents?
No, those types ot actions would be met with stiff resistance. In order to
accomplish such a complicated task, you would need to do it slowly so that
society-at-large would never catch on to your agenda until it was too late.
Although any claim of "conspiracy" is probably hogwash, social policy
"wonks" have done a very crafty job of destroying the North Carolina fami
ly by enacting misguided programs that insert bureaucrats into the role ot
parents and by continuing to virtually "tax the family out of existence."
Over-taxation of the tamily unit is probably the most insidious ot all
government activities and leads lo the wholesale destruction of families.
When my patents were raising my brothers and me. our mother could af
ford lo stay home and care for us because the income tax deduction for de
pendents was si/able and my father paid less than 20 percent of his income
in taxes. 1'his was before we had hundreds of federal and state programs
designed to "help" the family, and before the average family was losing al
most half its income to taxes.
My upbringing was a lar cry from life in the 'Xls. where more and
more children are raised by minimum-wage day care workers in govern
ment-subsidized warehouses. And once these children grow old enough to
become latch-key kids, they can then be raised by the likes of MTV's
Bcavis and Butthead and Nickelodeon's Ren and Stimpy.
Wh\ are these children pawned off on others to raise them? It's not be
cause their parents do not love Ihem, but because both parents must work in
order to make ends meet a tough but necessary evil for most couples who
desire children in the modern world.
So. how arc we currently proposing lo solve our dilemma? Will we do it
by reducing anti-family social programs and by cutting taxes in order to
economically invigorate families? No, those types of solutions are not be
ing offered, instead, we hear cries for even more social engineering and the
increased spending of taxpayer dollars.
The most recent policies designed to "strengthen families" were pre
sented by Governor Hunt in his crime package for the special session of the
General Assembly, fhey include state-run after-school programs for mid
dle-school students, mentor training programs run by state workers and the
creation of Family Resource Centers which are to provide child care, health
care, referrals to welfare agencies and parent training. These programs are
expected to cost taxpayers another $30 million per year.
I he real question is this: Who can best provide for the family, the state
or the parents? Lach new program takes more money from the pockets of
parents and further reduces their abilities to build strong, loving homes and
to raise intelligent, law-abiding citizens Continuing to trust politicians, bu
reaucrats and misguided policies to strengthen families" is a uiajoi mis
The basic building block of our society?the family?is much too im
portant lo leave lo our politicians to handle. Only by giving control, respon
sibility and economic resources back to parents can we expect to rcinvigo
rate the family and restore hope to the future of our slate and nation
Thorn (loolshy is the editor of Carolina Syndicated Columns, an attorney
and a professor 'it ( ampbell l a* School
Sorry, No Unholy Alliances, Conspiracy Scenarios
1 made .t dumb mistake last week
thai, if my source isn't exaggerating,
gut some people at lloldcn Beach
imagining ail soils of unholy al
liances and conspiracy scenarios.
I lost two stories Doug Ruttcr
wrote about the Feb. 23 lloklcn
Beach Hoard of Commissioners
meeting. Well. I didn't exactly lose
them; I stored them in the wrong
computer tile, so they didn't get
picked lip and placed on the inside
pages of the A section of iast week's
Rcacan as I intended
It wasn't until the next Wed
nesday afternoon, after the paper
was on the racks and in the mail,
that we realized Doug's lloldcn
Beach stories weren't there. I apolo
gized. he said it was okay and we
agreed to run them this week with
an explanation lit her that or to in
corporate the information into his
account ot Mondax night's commis
sioners" meeting, whichever seemed
most appropriate when the lime
Some harm, some foul, but not a
I felt bad. though, and hoped
Doug wasn't secretly mad at mc. I'd
be inclined to hit the ceiling if my
stories go! mislaid alter I suffered
through a town hoard meeting when
I could have been relaxing at home.
But that's not Doug's style, so all I
could do was hope he understood.
Then Thursday afternoon I heard
that folks "all over lloldcn Beach"
were outraged that the Beacon had
suppressed news of the commission
ers" meeting. I even heard that one
commissioner was taking credit for
having quashed the stories.
I did a double-take and called up
the two articles on my computer
screen. "Holden Beach Rejects Ke
Inspcction Fee" was the main head
line. about a plan that got voted
down. The secondary story was
"Board Has Two Vacancies." six
short paragraphs about open slots on
the planning and zoning board.
I didn't get it then and I don't get
it now. That doesn't exactly seem
like bombshell news to me. but
granted, I'm no insider.
In fact, in the two years I've lived
at llolden Beach, I've never been to
one of our commissioners' meet
ings. Until recently it was my job to
cover the Sunset Beach Town
Council which meets at the same
time. Just like W and 44/100 percent
of out readers, what I know about
llolden Beach municipal govern
ment is what's in the Beacon.
I do understand that it makes a
more interesting mini-drama to as
sume the stories were suppressed
rather than misplaced. Sorry to dis
I couldn't help feeling somewhat
gratified?first that people relv so
strongly on the Beacon to carry the
news of their town, and second that
anyone would ascribe that kind of
power to us.
It gave me a momentarv Alexis
Carrington kiiul of fantasy?you re
mcmbcr. the soft-focused stone
hearted dame on "Dynasty," who ran
a successful multinational corpora
lion and made every decision solely
on the basis of who she wanted to
tick off at the moment
There I was in my daydream,
wearing a thousand-dollar hat and a
couturier suit with ermine collar and
cuffs, smoking a long French ciga
rette in tortoise-shell holder, sipping
Roedercr Cristal from a Baccarat
flute as I paced my seventieth-floor
glass-walled office screaming into
the phone: "I warn you, DON'T tri
fle with me or I shall destroy you!"
I opened my eyes and caught a
glimpse of the printer's ink all over
my sneakers. I looked around and
remembered that I share a small of
fice with two other people and lots
of machinery, and that I barely have
time to empty the cat box at my
house, much less manipulate the
machinations of elected officials.
The brutal truth is, it's a lot more
like "Beat the Clock" than "Dy
nasty" around here. Again, sorry to
v Web be happyio
donate seme -trailers
OS -ferojporcm/ housiry
_ , ,.y
upo kidding ?
1*he courts (dootd
never h+ y$
<?>i^v< cAAotlNA Cflf*T?OKS
Time For The Annual March AyAoto-Migration
Get your motor rutin in'
Head out on the highway.
Lookin' for adventure
In w hatever comes our way.
They rumbled inlo the parking lot
at Kirby's Food Center in Supply
last week: four llarley-Davidsons
loaded down with rolled up sleeping
bags, extra clothing and camping
The riders dismounted slowly,
pulling oft gloves and helmets,
stretching muscles and straightening
out knees gone stiff and achy from a
hundred miles of late-winter wind.
I glanced at their license tags to
see where they were from. I already
knew where they were going.
"Daytona?" I asked.
"Where else?" said one.
For years, like the swallows re
turning. to ( ?i|tisii<tlio, iiic 1 list week
of March has brought tens of thou
sands ol motorcyclists flocking back
to the city of speed.
It's called "Hike Week," but it's
actually more like ten days; ot races,
rallies, custom motorcycle shows,
poker runs, swap meets, manufac
turer exhibits and parties, parties,
parties You may enjoy riding two
wheeled motor vehicles Hut you
can't really call yourself a biker un
til you've done Hike Week.
Why Davtona? And why March?
Probably because it's an off week in
a resort city that needs to keep its
hotels occupied. There's a lull be
tween the Davtona 5(H) NASCAR
race and the spring-break student in
vasion. when North Florida is still
too cold for all but the hardiest vaca
tioners?like the ones who ride mo
And there's another reason. While
most towns would rather see an out
break ol bubonic plague than have a
hundred thousand motorcycles roa
ming their streets Daytona actually
makes the bikers feel welcome.
Most touring riders have pulled
up to a motel office after a long
day's ride and watched the neon
NO itgiii ilasii oil ifi o' the
"VACANCY." Hut that rarely hap
pens in Daytona. Where else can a
dozen long-haired, tattooed, bearded
men in dirty denim, black leather
and jack boots sit down lor dinner at
a nice restaurant without the manag
er calling ''I I ?
Even the police are remarkably
tolerant. They occasionally set up li
cense checks and pass out tickets for
ioud exhausts. And they make a
show of force in full riot gear on
Main Street every night.
Hut with so much craziness going
on and with the authorities so woe
fully outnumbered, most minor of
fenses tend to get overlooked A cop
told me that despite appearances, the
motorcyclists cause far fewer law
enforcement headaches than the col
"The bikers tend to police them
selves," he said. "They might gel
drunk and fight each other. But they
don't do stupid stuff like falling off
balconies, driving into the ocean and
throw ing furniture into hotel pools."
More than one Day tona merchant
told me that Hike Week brings more
money into town than any other an
nual event. It seems a lot of car-rac
ing fans come equipped with almost
everything they need. Many bring
motor homes. They cook their own
meals and spend most of their time
at the track.
The spring breakers end up cost
ing the town as much in damages as
they bring in business. Waitresses
say most of them are rude, obnox
ious and notoriously bad tippers.
Motorcyclists arrive with little
more than the leather on their backs.
Most are working-class northerners
just emerging from a winter of hi
bernation I or many, Bike Week is
their vacation and their first chance
to ride without wearing a snowmo
bile suit. I hey treat themselves to
comfortable hotel rooms, good
restaurants and plenty of nighttime
When they start feeling guilty
about all the fun they're having,
they buy something nice to lake
home lor their wives. Usually some
thing small and portable. Daytona
jewelry stores love Bike Week.
I've been to Daytona twice (so
tar)?once on a Yamaha and once
on a Norton Commando?and I can
tell you it is motorcycle- heaven. The
bikes far outnumber I he cars. At
every intersection, you can check
out 100 motorcycles of every imag
inable description while waiting for
the light to change.
Hut the thing I always liked the
most was the incredible variety of
people who share a passion for mo
You'll see plenty of "One
Percenters," those rough-looking
hard-core bikers with "l ive To
Ride?Ride To Live" tattooed on
their bicep and almost nothing in the
way of possessions, except $20,000
worth of polished chrome and
Milwaukee iron customized into a
unique piece of rolling sculpture.
Main Street will be packed with
the great leather-clad masses of the
Harley-Davidson Iribe. Fiercely loy
al to their brand of machinery, near
ly every one will be wearing the lo
go somewhere. They pack the clubs
and bars and parade the sidewalks,
admiring the thousands of bikes
parked brake-pedal-to-gearshift as
far as the eye can see.
Other motorcyclist species like
wise gather to share information,
find spare parts and admire each
other's mounts. British bike owners
rumble their Triumphs. Nortons and
BSAs through town, slopping to ad
mire the occasional rare Vincent,
Brough Superior or Velocette.
At the race track, near the Italian
pits, there are more Ducatis, Moto
Guzzis. Cagivas and Gileras than
one would normally see in a life
time. In the German paddocks.
BMW riders exchange long-distance
touring stories and sneak knowing
glances at each others odometers.
(They have a 3tH),(KMl-mile club.)
I'iihng out the mixture are the
ever-present Japanese motorcycles
?from make-believe Harleys, to
plush tourers, to 150-mile-per-hour
And then there are the races?flat
track, enduro, motocross, big twins,
vintage, superbike. And the factory
shows?with all the new models and
accessories. Anil the fun rides?
where you can take a new bike for a
spin And the custom bike shows...
Mmmmm, .let's see. If I charge
the battery on my Honda tonight and
leave at dawn. I could be at Volusia
County Fairgrounds for the flat
track finals I can catch the vintage
races and "Battie of the i'wins" the
next day, and check around for
Norton parts before heading back...
ll have enough money to last me the rest of my life, as long
as I don't bay any thing.
r The flow of the river is ceaseless and its water is never the
same. The babbles that float in the pools, now vanishing,
now forming, are not of long duration: so in the world are
man and his dwellings....(People) die in the morning, they
are born in the exciting, like foam on the water.
?Kamo no Chomei
I Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear
nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there
is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and
joy, there is neither meed nor avarice. Where there is
peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.
?St. Francis of Assisi
V /?.'/ oroy amores eran malos de encubrir. (dold and love
affairs are difficult to hide.)