THE BRUNSWICK ^BEACON
Edward M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt Publishers
Edward M. Sweatt Editor
Susan Usher News Efiitor
Doug Rutter and Terry Pope StaJJ Writers
Johnny Craig Sports Editor
Peggy Earwood OJJice Manager
Carolyn H. Sweatt Advertising Director
Tlmberley Ad;uns & Cecelia Core Advertising Representatives
Tammle Galloway & Dorothy Brennan Graphic Artists
William Manning Pressman
Brenda Clcminons Moore Photo Technician
Loiuiie Sprinkle Assistant Pressman
Phoebe Clernmons and Frances Sweatt Ctnrulatfon
PAGE 4-A, THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 1991
'Friends' Have Opportunity
To Be New Voice-Or Wedge
A new group is organizing in the Sunset Beach community
to provide an alternative voice for people interested in the future
of Sunset Beach, but with a vision differing from that advocated
by the Sunset Beach Taxpayers Association.
Targeted for membership in Friends and Neighbors of
Sunset Beach Inc. are residents of the town and its "neighbors."
those who live or work nearby and whose lives and futures are
tied to those of the town.
The group has promise. We haven't heard complaints from
Ocean Isle, where a general property owners' association even
tually supplanted a non-resident property owners' association
that had gained a reputation for being "negative".
There hasn't been a visible forum for those in the Sunset
Beach community who do not share SBTA's vision of what the
town should be: a quaint, picturesque retreat with limited island
development, accessible by the existing pontoon bridge or a
slightly more sophisticated bridge. No high-rise bridge, no high
rise buildings, little or no growth.
The Friends and Neighbors believe that anyone who can get
to the beach ought to be able to come. Its philosophy is one of
planning for inevitable growth and providing the infrastructure
necessary to accommodate that growth.
The group also supports the ensuring of continued public
beach access, promoting protection of the beach "through edu
cation and information," supporting measures to protect the gen
eral environment and increasing public safety awareness.
Organizers say they want the group to be a "positive force"
for change in the community, that people are tired of hearing on
ly negative. They want to foster "a spirit of cooperation" as op
posed to the polarization now evident in the community.
Worthwhile goals, but not as easy to reach as one might
Any time one is "for" something ? a positive, then one is
most likely "against" its opposite ? a negative.
The low -density proponents of the SBTA found themselves
fighting FOR the pontoon bridge or a close relative of it and
AGAINST a proposed high-rise.
So the Friends and Neighbors may find themselves fighting
FOR a high-rise bridge ? and AGAINST efforts to keep the
pontoon bridge. Or for a public sewer system and against indi
vidual septic tanks.
That's how easy it is to gain a reputation of being "always
Both groups need to exercise care in what issues they ad
dress and how they express positions on those issues and the
personalities associated with them, in public and yes, in private
Otherwise, having two groups on the island will do nothing
to eliminate the divisiveness that now exists among those who
live and work and play at Sunset Beach.
There's a chance, in fact, it could sharpen and harden those
divisions by putting pressure on property owners to "declare"
their loyalties one way or the other.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
To the editor:
After reading the letters from
Ms. Babson's family and friends,
it's time for the other side of the
On behalf of the residents of
Sunset Beach and Calabash area, I
would like to thank, and offer my
support to Mr. Rhodes (director,
county health department) for the
wise decision to fire Ms. Babson.
We are tired of seeing packs of
dogs roaming around killing other
animals, threatening our children
and grandchildren, and even chas
ing us back into our homes.
One neighbor even called the
sheriff's department because there
was no use to call Ms. Babson.
We always got the same answer
from her: "1 don't have time to
come out-just leave those dogs
It seems to me wild dogs have
more rights than a taxpayer. 1 am
sure Mr. Rhodes knows more
about Ms. Babson than has been
printed and did not just one day
say, "I'm going to fire Ms.
For myself, 1 think she got what
To the editor:
Brunswick County Animal
Welfare League wants to go on
rccord that we have not authorized
anyone to speak on behalf of the
? Of Story
league concerning the discharge
of Zelma Babson or any oilier
Ms. Babson has always been
cooperative and helpful to us in
any way she could. We are not op
posed to Ms. Babson and we are
not in support of her discharge.
We have taken no position on
this matter bccausc it is our under
standing that she has proper legal
representation and we do not wish,
Jack O. Perry, President
Brunswick County Animal
Let Chief Run
To the editor:
1 cannot understand the
Shallottc aldermen voting to put
back on the job a police officer
who was suspended.
Shallottc should be very proud
of their police force, not ashamed
of it. Police Chief Rodney Gausc
docs a very good job and works
very hard at it.
As they say, one bad apple
spoils the whole barrel.
Let's get back on the right track
and let the police chief run his de
partment the right way, not the
way some aldermen think it
should be run.
Mrs. K. Kiclbosa
Who's Really In Charge Around Here?
Sometimes I wonder who's really
in eontrol ? man or insect.
Summer may have something to
do with it; this seems to be the in
sect world's favorite season, while
we mere humans struggle to over
come the heat and humidity.
We've been having water pump
problems at our house. Until last
week, Don and I thought we had
heard every possible explanation of
why a water pump or well stops
That was before our plumber
"Ants," he said.
Ants? You've got to be kidding.
He wasn't. Fire ants, to be exact.
A bunch of them.
Like most creatures, in wet
weather ants head lor high ground.
What better place than inside a
water pump motor ? high, dry,
warm and co/.y. l.ike a private
oceanfront condo, only free. Some
body else picked up die tab.
Then again, it could be part of a
universal take-over plot by the in
sect world. 1 can see them now, con
tacting HQ. "Commander, Unit I
reporting. We've effcclivcly shut
down itic water supply. Next larger
The septic system. These humans
should be evacuating the premises
within 72 hours..."
The rains also triggered the
marsh mosquitos at Sunset Beach ?
and probably everywhere else. That
first gusher of rain wet down some
eggs that had been left high and dry
for weeks apparently, upping the
birth rate rather suddenly.
For a few days, the phone calls
kept on coming ? at the office and
away, as Sunset town officials can
Judging from the tone of many
of these calls, the disgruntled folks
at the other end were probably
scratching their biles as they talked:
"1 paid ginxl money to come to the
beach and now we can't step out
side the house without getting eaten
by the ? mosquitos."
Anyway. 1 guess they don't have
mosquitos or black flies or chiggers
or fire ants or any of those other
pesky insects hack wherever this
guy came from. Or maybe they
know how to buy them off.
But then the seacoast is supposed
to be Paradise, isn't it? At least
when it's YOUR week at the beach.
But the mosquitos don't know
that. They gel excited about the new
But Town Administrator Linda
Flucgel ami the crew headed by
Larry Crimm were hard at work last
week attacking the mosquito prob
lem as best iliey could.
They took the tnick out into the
dunes and other areas, spraying a
mixture of 90 percent Malalhion
and fuel oil targeted at killing adult
They put out expandable pellets
that, when placed in the standing
water areas where mosquitos like to
breed, arc supposed to destroy the
"We set out the briquettes in the
standing water around the dunes
and walkways," said Linda, predict
ing that they would probably get
left "high and dry" before they
could work properly.
That was when we thought the
rain was going to end. The briquettes
are probably in the Atlantic Ocean
by now ? or some other beach.
lite tourists are mollified ? after
all, they can SER the town crews
out trying their best to solve the
Besides, by now those same call
ers probably have cabin fever and
would be delighted to get outside,
even with ihc mosquitos for inti
Meanwhile, those feisty mos
quitos (we've only got about 22 or
more different species in Brunswick
County) are probably hanging from
the sea oats and blanket dowers, get
ting high on Malathion and propa
gating little ones as fast as they can.
Unlike us humans, insccts arc in
credibly good at adapting.
(Aoqost-the state -finally mails-the lost
ncone tax refund checks.).
This Local Fishing Story Tops Them All
There arc fishing slorics lhal tell
about the big one that got away, but
Lcland's Jerry Mullins has a fishing
story that tops them all.
Mullins has been selected to rep
resent the United States in the
World Championship Bank Fishing
Tournament to be held in Szeged,
Hungary, Sept. 1-2.
The Dixie Drive resident will be a
member of the five-man fishing team
selected by the American Fishing
Association. He expects to leave
Leland around Aug. 20 to head for
Hungary, where thousands of fishing
fans are expected to gather from
throughout Europe to watch the
world's finest fishermen in action.
"Over there, it's just like the
Super Bowl here," said Mullins.
An estimated 20, (XX) to 50,000
people attend the annual event that
is moved each year to a different
host country. In 1992, the tourna
ment will be held in Ireland.
Mullins was picked for the team
by three-time World Bank Fishing
4 : .
Championship medalist Mick Thill
of Illinois, who won a gold medal in
Italy's 1982 tournament. Thill
learned the sport of bank fishing
while living in England and has de
veloped a line of European-style
fishing gear in the United States.
The two men have become friends
over the years.
Bank fishing is a little different
from what wc arc used to here along
our coast. At local fishing tourna
ments, wc arc accustomed to seeing
hundreds of boats lined up at dawn
wailing for the horn to send them
out to sea, in search of marlin.
mackcrcl or flounder.
Bui in the World Bank Fishing
mcei, fishermen never leave ihc
shore ? ihcrc arc no boats. Teams
from 25 countries arc entered in the
event. Each team is allowed a 15
yard section of shoreline from
which to fish.
Fish in European countries arc
small and difficult to catch, said
Mullins, who plans to compensate
by using a 30-foot lightweight
graphite pole and one-pound test
line will) a No. 16 hook.
The icam catching the most fish
by weight, regardless of variety,
will win the tournament. Fish
caught arc released, as is a usual
practice by European fishermen.
The town of Leland may help
fund Mullins' trip to Hungary. Like
the Olympics, contestants must
raise their own expense money, ex
pected to be around S3,(XK) per fish
erman, said Mullins.
Mullins has been asked to ad
dress the town council and may do
so tonight (Thursday) at the town
hall, for council members are also
interested in his plans to start a fish
ing club in Lcland sponsored by the
American Fishing Association.
The club would teach youngsters
how to fish. It is Mullins' dream to
establish such fishing clubs through
out North Carolina, with annual tour
naments to select a state winner.
The AFA organized in 1982 in
some Midwest states, said Mullins.
It hasn't yet spread south. The non
profit organization is dedicated to
fishing education and teaching kids
to fish, he said.
But first things first ? the trip to
Persons who wish to donate mon
ey may do so by contacting Mullins,
371-5551. Donations go to the
American Fishing Association and
arc tax deductible.
Good luck to the American team
and to Mullins. Let's hope he re
turns to Brunswick County with an
even bigger fishing story to share.
Septic Tanks Can Be The Solution
Holden Beach officials and resi
dents recently learned some very
valuable information concerning the
handling of sewage.
They learned that conventional
septic tank systems that have been
used on the island for years can be a
long-term solution to wastewater
That's what Dr. Michael Hoover,
a soil scicncc professor from N.C.
Slate University, told them during a
Septic tanks have been around for
many years, but Hoover said they
aren't dinosaurs by any means.
They're still one of the cheapest and
most effective ways to handle hu
man waste, under the right condi
Hoover said septic systems can
last a long time and work effective
ly, but only if they arc properly
maintained. In that respect, he com
pared them to automobiles.
A car owner who never changes
the oil or docs other routine mainte
nance will eventually find himself
walking down the highway to the
nearest service station. A car that
isn't maintained will break down.
The same holds true for the own
er of a septic tank. A tank that isn't
pumped out regularly will fail.
Pouring grease and cooking oil
down the drain and driving over
septic systems arc also no-no's.
1 think Hoover came up with an
interesting analogy Being stranded
without wheels is one thing. But life
without a septic tank could cause
some major inconvcnicnccs, if you
catch my drift.
Two wastewater studies conduct
ed in die last five years have indi
cated no serious problems with pol
lution from septic tanks at Holden
However, because of less-than
idcal soil condiiions, rapid develop
ment and what the town is expect
ing in the future, both of the studies
recommended a move away from
the use of septic tanks and toward a
The town paid S50,(XX) for the
studies, but officials really haven't
done anything that the engineers
They really haven't taken any
steps toward the establishment of a
sewer system. So were the studies
just a big waste of money?
Not necessarily. At least they let
the homeowners know that their
septic systems weren't causing seri
ous pollution problems.
But 1 think Hoover's words of
wisdom ? which incidentally didn't
cost the town a dime ? will proba
bly mean more in the long run that
the two studies put together.
With the high costs of building
and operating a central sewer sys
tem, septic tanks may be the best
bet for Holdcn Bcach.
And the scpiic lank inspection
and maintenance program being
considered by the town board could
help ensure a healthy future for the
The proposed program would en
sure that scpuc tanks arc being
maintained and repaired when they
It would also open the dcxir to al
ternative waste treatment systems
that could be used on lots that are
unsuitable for septic tanks.
And of course, data on failing
septic tanks would let town leaders
know if or when they need to con
sider other alternatives, such as a
central sewer system.
Holdcn Beach developers and
property owners have managed to
build on about 50 percent of the
barrier island lots without any kind
of wastewater management program
But that's starting to catch up
with Holden Beach. Something has
to be done soon if the town wants to
see the other half of the island de