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Edward M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt Publishers
Edward M. Sweatt Editor
Susan Usher News Editor
Doug Rutter and Terry Pope StaJI WrittTS
Johnny Craig Sports Editor
Peggy Earwood Office Manager
Carolyn H. Sweatt Advertising Director
Timber icy Adams & Cecelia Gore Advertising Representatives
Tammle Galloway & Dorothy Brennan Graphic Artists
William Manning Pressman
Brenda Clemmons Moore Photo Technician
Lonnle Sprinkle Assistant Pressman
Phoebe Cleminons and Frances Sweatt Circulation
PAGE 4-A, THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 1991
We'll Lose Our Voice If
Voters Are Not Careful
Brunswick and Columbus counties may be neighbors, but
they share very little in common.
A redisricting plan approved by the N.C. General Assembly
has Brunswick joining Columbus Ccup'y for a two-member
House district. Precincts from Cape Fear I and 11 in neighboring
New Hanover County have also joined the family.
It sounds fair and simple enough, but there is an underlying
concern that all residents should at least be more aware of.
If Brunswick County voters are not careful, they may lose
their local voice in Raleigh. Columbus County residents must
feel the same way.
Voters will go to the polls to elect two representatives from
District 14. It is highly possible for both winners to emerge not
only from a single political party, but from a single county as
It will probably take such an election to raise people's
awareness of why two-member House districts are such a prob
lem. but by that time it'll be too late to scream.
Currently, District 14 Rep. E. David Redwine of Ocean Isle
Beach is elected to represent all of Brunswick and small parts of
New Hanover and Pender counties. Voters in Columbus County
have elected Rep. Leo Mercer as their voice in Raleigh.
The kinds of issues that concern residents in Brunswick
County, coastal and beach population growth, don't make a hill
of beans in Columbus County. The kinds of farming and rural is
sues dominating the Columbus County scene are not the same
hot topics here along the coast.
Voters would have to elect a couple of Jekyll and Hydes to
give equal treatment to all of the issues in the entire district.
Geographically, as opposed to other areas of the state, these two
counties may be brothers, but they are far from twins. There's
not even a resemblance.
It may look great on paper, but in reality it's not good for the
In the Senate redistricting plan, the 18th District changes
very little witM Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen counties still
included in territory represented by Sen. R.C. Soles Jr. of Tabor
Redwine said the redistricting plans are subject lo possible
challenges and could be revise^ in the future.
Residents shouldn't wait until after the next election to chal
lenge these plans.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Times Are Changing
To the editor:
"Things ain't what they used to
be-" an old saying that's certainly
true of Brunswick County law en
Having just had a birthday caused
me to realize, from the '50s until a
few years ago, the sheriff and what
liule department existed, was a joke
all over the state and an embarrass
ment to respectable people of
I'm also aware the sheriff's pow
er must have first been okayed by
the county commissioners, who
were a joke too. They were certain
ly not all bad men, but mostly play
ing follow-the-leader of their prede
It spoke well for our county a few
weeks ago when our sheriff, John
Carr Davis, was host to county law
enforcement from all counties of
North Carolina for a yearly confer
Recently I was awakened by an
unwelcome guest, literally almost
knocking my back door off the
hinges. Il was lime for a changc.
Advice I valued said, "Get a gun." I
had always been anti-gun, but
changc was needed.
I needed to know what kind,
where from and how to. So 1 placed
a call to our sheriff for professional
advice. He recommended what kind
and where to make my purchase.
Then came the last step-1 explained
I knew absolutely nothing about us
ing a gun.
Mr. Davis didn't sec a problem
there. He would send a very compe
tent man out to my house to teach
me how to handle, load and shoot.
About five minutes after return
ing home with my gun. Detective
Holden called, saying he would be
right out. He looked and conducted
himself as a gentleman and a pro
Thanks to him this red-head has
something on the inside of the door
that she's not afraid to use. Things
ain't what they used to be no more.
Harriett H. Norris
(Letters To The Editor Continue On Following Page)
Calabash Needs To Fish Or Cut Bait
Calabash commissioners have a
decision to make.
They have to make up their
miiuls once ami for all.
Do they want to keep taxes down
ami continue operating without a
police force? Or do they want to
hire someone to enforce the gobs of
ordinances they have adopted in re
cent months and the ones yet to
The building inspector and code
enforcement officer, Ed Schaack,
has been handed more ordinances in
the last few months than he can
shake a stick at.
As fast as the Calabash area is
growing, Schaack has probably
been so busy inspecting buildings
that he hasn't had time to read the
ordinances, not to mention enforce
the blooming things.
Don't get me wrong. 1 certainly
believe that local governments need
to have rules in place to make sure
the community develops in an or
I'm a big believer in zoning and
other regulations designed to im
prove a town's appearance. And
Rutter m !
Calabash has done more toward that
goal in the last two years than any
other town in the South Brunswick
But there's such a thing as
overkill. In my humble opinion, en
acting 19 new zoning ordinances at
one silling is overkill.
That's just what the board of
commissioners did back in March.
The rules cover everything from
refuse container; and signs to noise
and junk vehicles.
Town commissioners would have
passed 22 ordinances, but too many
people complained about three of
them. So the rules on landscaping,
off-street parking and subdivisions
were temporarily put on hold.
Don't worry. They'll be coming
up again soon, along with several
other rules on sidewalk sales, yard
sales, peddling, etc.
In case you missed it, the town
board's latest move was the adop
tion of an ordinance lowering the
speed limit on town streets from 35
mph to 30 mph.
That's great if that's what the
town board wants. But even the
town board members admit they
have nobody to enforce this one. I
just can't picture Ed Schaack hiding
in the bushes and waiting for speed
My question is this: Why have an
ordinance on the books if the town
doesn't intend or have the means to
enforce it? That makes all of the
other ordinances meaningless.
I'm not advocating starting a po
lice force tomorrow to enforce the
speed limit and other ordinances.
But it never hurts to slick some
money away for a rainy day.
Over the last two years, the town
board has cut the tax rate from 24
cents to 10.5 cents per SI 00. That
might seem great for the taxpayers.
bui it's hard lor mc to believe the
tax rate won't go back up in the fu
Let's just play a numbers games
for a minute. If the town board
hadn't cut the tax rate at all over the
last two years, taxpayers would
have thrown another S2(X),(XX) in
the kilty, more or less.
That's a nice piece of change to
set aside for a police department. Or
at least a full-time code enforce
ment officer and secretary to lake
some of the load off the building in
Who knows? There might have
even been some money left over to
expand the town hall, which is bare
ly big enough for the mayor and
seven board members.
Before they adopt any more rules
and regulations. Calabash commis
sioners need to decide if they actu
ally want to enforce the ordinances
or just put them in a book to gather
If you ask mc, it's high time that
the elected officials in the seafood
capital of the world either fish or
Compassion Guided Animals
Back To Safety
There is a happy ending to a
Brunswick County story that drew
statewide attention in late April.
When news spread about the
seizure of more than 300 animals
from a pet mill in Belvillc, the
Brunswick County Animal Control
Shelter in Supply was bombarded
with telephone calls and letters from
animal lovers all across the state.
Animal control workers confis
cated 14 Pekingese dogs, four cats,
five mice and 288 birds from the
Town and Country Motel and
charged the owner with multiple
counts of cruelty to animals.
Albert Sidney Boney, 48, stood
accused of keeping his animals in
unsanitary conditions and of not
providing them with proper veteri
narian care. The dogs were found in
small, wire cages with overflowing
buckets of feces beneath them.
Some could barely walk because
their hind legs were crippled and
long wads of untrimmcd hair trailed
Residents responded with shock
and compassion, finding it difficult
to believe it could actually happen
here, in peaceful Brunswick County.
Boney pleaded guilty to 16
counts of misdemeanor cruelty to
animals and was ordered to pay
$4,042 in veterinarian bills, fined
$500 and given a one- year suspend
District Court Judge D. Jack
Hooks Jr. ordered that Boney not
own any animals for a year.
Three months after that story
broke, all of the animals that sur
vived the ordeal have been placed
into caring homes and arc on their
way to full recovery.
Rita Hatcher, public health edu
cator for the Brunswick County
Health Department, said some resi
dents of both North and South
Carolina have followed the plight of
the 300-plus animals since April.
In a news release last week, the
health department publicly ac
knowledged and thanked "all ihe
many concerned and compassionate
citizens for all their meaningful sup
port, time donations and numerous
It was the largest animal seizure
in the county's history. The shelter
was not large enough and did not
have the personnel available to care
for the numbers of animals that had
to be nursed back to proper health.
Stores in the county donated food
and volunteers donated their lime.
Just after the seizure in April, a
volunteer, Sammy Ganey, greeted
me on the sidewalk at the animal
shelter and warned me about the
condition of the Pekingese dogs I
was about to see.
"When you see them, it'll bring
tears to your eyes," he said, "no
matter how strong a man you are."
He was right. 1 could barely take
photographs of the animals.
Animal Control Supervisor
Zelma Babson told me in May that
the dogs were boarded out to indi
viduals who had the time to spend
with them, to work with them one
on one to help rehabilitate their legs
and to get them adjusted to normal
Confinement in the dog pound
wouldn't do the job. Ms. Babson
took one of the dogs that was in the
poorest condition and spent her free
time, after work, to personally care
for the animal.
She was fired from her job last
month and is now appealing that ac
The story look another unusual
twist in late May when someone
broke into the animal shelter and
stole an estimated 125 of the most
expensive birds seized.
Taken were a number of cock
atiels, canaries and finches, along
with their cages. The thieves cut
through a bar and lock that held a
steel gate closed and then broke into
the shelter. Let's hope that those
birds, too, have found happy homes
and were not returned to another
1 promised you a happy ending,
and there is one to this story.
"The animals were given won
derful care and a lot of love and at
tention," said Ms. Hatcher. "Since
then, all the animals have been
adopted and placed in good homes.
It look a lot of hard work and a lot
The nine Visiting Artists hosted
by Brunswick Community College
since its founding have left Bruns
wick County the belter for having
lived and worked here.
For now. though, there will be no
more. Over the pa.;*, two years or so
the state has changed the way it
gives BCC money. And this year,
the packet that comes labeled
"community services" was
S100.000 lighter than in the past,
leaving BCC with some tough
choiccs. There will be no Visiting
Artist for the 1 99 1 -92 term.
The Visiting Artists program be
gan as a joint venture of the N.C.
Dept. of Community Colleges and
the N.C. Arts Council. Any com
munity college willing to provide
an artist with office space, supervi
sion and nominal support would re
ceive a grant to help provide a
stipend for a 10-month residency.
A Visiting Artist isn't a free col
lege teacher, but rather an ambas
sador for the arts. Visiting Artists
lecture about and demonstrate their
chosen field of art and perform free
throughout the community In out
case, they "played' all ol Brunswick
County, sorely lacking suitable loca
tions for public performances, its
communities distanced by telephone
systems, geography and more.
In turn the artist spends a similar
share of their time in personal de
Each of the nine BCC artists
contributed to Brunswick County
in his or her own way, leaving their
mark on the county's cultural re
sources and opening our eyes to
new ways of considering the arts.
Paving the way in 19X0 was Jan
Davidson, country musician and
singer ? a man who made music a
lot of Brunswick County residents
could relate to and an excellent
choice as the first Visiting Artist.
He helped spark the fire that creat
ed the Brunswick County Arts
Council. Davidson was invited
back for a sccond stint.
Then the late Jesse Clcmmons,
who coordinated the Visiting
Artists Program, branched out
boldly. Disregarding his own per
sonal tastes, Clemmons saw the
value in exposing county residents
to a wide array of artists and forms
of art. We experienced them all:
Bill Heam, classical violinist;
Robert Williams, saxophonist and
recording artist thanks to a grant
from the county arts council;
Barney Bush, Native American po
et; Bruce Piephoff, writer and folk
Pamela Reid, a very talented
black dancer and dramatist, left her
stamp on the county as the toundcr
of the Black Ans Festival. She
came closer than any previous
artists to reaching the widespread
popularity attained by Jan David
son. Pamela also was asked to re
main a sccond year.
Rcncc Vincent created memo
rable one-act characters, with the
most personal her portrayal of
Nncnna Freelon of Durham
swept through the county like a
breeze, leaving audiences quietly
stunned and appreciative each time
she sang. Necna's in residence now
with the N.C. Symphony for An
Appalachian Summer in Boone, but
we haven't forgotten her.
Most recently, Emily Weinstein
introduced her fresh, multi-dimen
sional approach to art, tied to her
passion for all members of the ani
mal kingdom. Reminders of her
stint include a rotating art exhibition
in the ALS building lobby and an
unusual interactive mural at BCC.
In part bccause of ihcsc visitors
in our midst, the "cultural arts" are
wclcomc here. We have a little the
ater group, a county band, a dance
troup, one established and one
fledgling artists' association and a
county arts council. Our children
are learning to sing, dance, draw
and write. Through the example of
the visiting artists, they know that
these too are honorable professions.
We will miss their vision, their
fervor, their enthusiasm for their
calling. Each and every one en
riched their audiences, leaving us
something to think about, broaden
ing our view of the world and our
understanding of the word "art".
The loss of the Visiting Artists
program leaves a niche that will be
difficult, if not impossible, to fill.
Still, I think they achieved their
goal over the 1 1 years of the pro
gram: to create a broader, more ap
preciative audience for the arts in