THE BRUNSWICK j^BEACON
1Mw.miI M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt Publishers
Kilward M. Swealt Editor
Susan t 'stu'i News Editor
I >. mu Kulic-r. 1 <tjv I'Ope and Dori GlKgailus S'u// Writers
? Iclinnv ? i. iic Sports Etlitor
I !' ir \u ? hI 0//i<v Manager
C.iri'lvn II Swratl Adwrtisiiuj lilnx'tor
I i'iiIh ilt \ V Sams, Cecelia Gore and
[ till Ni>bet Advertising Representatives
1 )i iiDi h\ Iti ennun Craptlic Artist
a m h. mi Manning Pressman
Mm in l.i (' leinilions Moore Photo Techniciati
I ciinif Sprinkle ,4ss<slant Pn'ssman
'i ? !<? ( leinilions and Frances Sweat t Circulation
PAGE 4 A THURSDAY. SEP1EMBER 76. 1991
Courtesy Of The Public?
The heavy, cream -colored legal si/e envelope bearing the
letterhead ol the Brunswick County Register of Deeds looked
too important to throw away.
\ rectangular safety yellow sticker on the front bore this
message: "This I'm elope Contains IMPORTANT Legal
Documents Relumed l or Sour Safekeeping."
Inside, on official letterhead with the Brunswick County
seal, a grammatically faults, computer generated, personalized
letter congratulating a local couple on their wedding anniver
sary. It reads in part. "...In these time when so many marriages
end in divorce, you are to be commended for yours."
The letter is signed, by stamp or machine, by Robert J.
Robinson, register of deeds.
l:rom all appearances, this letter and unknown others similar
to it. are being created and mailed at public expense by the
Brunswick County Register of Deeds. Who gets them, anyway?
\n\ couple who has celebrated a wedding anniversary? Or just
those marking their 10th or higher year together? Democrats?
Republicans? Non-voters? Prominent residents of the county?
Given that the typical business letter costs approximately $X
to produce, it's our duly to question the propriety of such an ex
County residents should be offended by this use of office
equipment, staff time, public records and county revenues.
Misrepresentation of this puffery as "important legal docu
ments" should be an embarrassment to Robinson.
It doesn't matter whether county property tax dollars are
covering the tab. If the cost is being borne entirely by fees gen
erated by the register of deeds office, that would be just as
If Robert J. Robinson, register of deeds, is paying for the let
e; > lib his own money, then he should be sending them out on
a personal, not official, letterhead.
I ruler no circumstances should such a letter appear to he of
ficial county business. It doesn't matter if the letters are a clum
s\ public relations maneuver, an effort to simply get before the
public the name of the register of deeds, an elected public offi
Such a letter as this should never have left the office of the
Brunswick County Register of Deeds or any other publiely
Let's hope this isn't the kind of activity being promoted by
the North Carolina Association of Register of Deeds, which
Robinson serves as legislative chairman.
Just A Little Preventive
Maintenance Hurts No One
Some people say low pressure pipe (LPF) sewer systems are
polluting our coastal waters. Others say there is no solid proof,
that an attack on LPPs is just an attack on local developers.
Whether LPPs are a true danger to humans and shellfish re
mains to be seen ?they've been around less than 10 years and
no one has yet written the definitive book on the subject.
However, a little preventive maintenance hurts no one.
That's the reasoning behind the Brunswick County Board of
Health's policy adopted last week that will try to keep tabs on
future I. Pi's permitted by the health department. Locai officials
want to "ensure their proper maintenance" to allay the fears of
those who question why the same soil that's not suitable for a
traditional septic system can work miracles for an l.PP.
l.PP -a stems were developed and approved by the state as
an alternative for soils where traditional gravity-fed septic tank
systems do not function well. Such systems must be wired and
equipped with a mechanical pump. They also contain a series of
small pipes that make better use of top soils for drainage fields.
If not maintained properly, the pumps fail, the nitrification
fields can erode and leachate may surface. The policy aims at
making sure LPPs are maintained properly by requiring that
crs hire contractors who will inspect the systems regularly,
it's .1 w ay to make sure the systems work as expected.
I his health board took a tremendous step when it adopted
the |h?I:c>. T he NT. Health Services Commission should be em
The commission dragged its feet in adopting LPP regula
tions while the public demanded that attention be given to a po
tential polluter of our estaurme waters. Word (lowing from
Raleigh now indicates the commission may delay its regulations
again, until July 1993.
No one is trying to block LPPs from being used in
Brunswick County. The health board simply wants to make sure
that a system that needs maintenance gets that maintenance.
A fomier board of health chairman, who is also a septic tank
contractor, speaks from authority when he says, "The only thing
1 have found, as a contractor, is that they do need maintenance."
Sometimes you have to take a stand. The Bninswick County
Board of Health has progressively pursued measures to try to
protect the public's health.
What the state couldn't, or wouldn't do, little brother has
managed to accomplish.
Shrimpers Have Real Good Cause To Complain
Brunswick County shrimpers are
fed up with the federal government
and its rules mandating the use of
turtle excluder devices 111 shrimp
That's not really big news. After
all. it seems commercial fishermen
are always complaining about one
regulation or another.
In fact, fishermen as a group like
very lew of the rules that ate im
posed on them. They feel that every
little regulation cuts their ability to
harvest seafood and hurts their in
But in this case, I think the
shrimpers have good cause to com
plain. I think the federal govern
ment is giving shrimpers a raw deal
requiring the use ol turtle excluder
For those of you who don't know ,
turtle excluders are contraptions
with escape hatches that are sewn
into shrimp nets to keep endangered
sea turtles from accidentally getting
caught and drowning.
Tests have shown that TKDs sig
nificantly reduce iho number i>l sea
turtles that arc caught in nets. Hut
the problem is, TEDs also allow
shrimp anil marketable fish to es
cape along with the turtles.
Rules require boats 25 feet or
longer to be equipped with TEDs
while working in the ocean. Smaller
boats in the ocean and all trawlers
working inshore have the option of
using TEDs or lilting their nets ev
ery lX) minutes.
For the past two years. North
Carolina shrimpers have been re
quired to abide by the rules between
May 1 and Aug. 31. That's when
most of the sea turtle activity occurs
111 Ninth Carolina.
Hui ihc National Marine Fish
eries Service recently announced
that the rules would be enforced
year-round. That's what has local
shruii|vrs up in arms and rightlul
I'm all for the protection of sea
turtles. Bui North Carolina officials
and shrimpers question the need for
regulations in a state where there
are relatively few turtles most of the
I guess what gets me is that fed
eral fisheries ollicials themselves
have been reluctant about these tur
tle excluder rules from the lime they
were first implemented in 19X9.
Shortly after the rules took effect,
the Coast Guard temporarily
stopped enforcing them because sea
grasses were clogging nets in the
Gulf of Mexico.
Then enforcement was resumed,
but only long enough for the U.S.
Secretary of Commerce to issue a
45-day moratorium on the rules.
The moratorium was lifted a few
weeks later. when iIk* foils imple
minted another plan giving
shrimpers the t?i>i i?>n ol using I I .ik
or limiting their low nine lo ln<
This all happened over the perio<l
ol about a month, which sends out a
very strong signal licit federal lish
eries officials didn't really know
what they were doing when the
rules look ellcct.
Now the government has extend
cd the turtle excluder rules so they
remain in effect year-round.
Why did they do it? It wasn't he
cause they believe the rules are
working so great. The government
simply wants time to develop new
rules ior sea turtle protection.
That's sounds good to inc. Sea
turtles need all the help they can
get. But in the meantime, the feder
al government should not make the
It seems to me that the govern
ment needs to get its act together on
turtle excluders belore they can ex
pect the shrimpers to follow suit.
"Tell 1 hornborg we've gob
an insider wif ' "
about the School milk
(T W(IHAP<1D6I& TV LARSON!) CAROLINA CARTOONS
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
/s Th/s How You Want Your Child Taught ?
io inc editor:
In answer to Ms. Usher's questions in The
Brunswick Beacon dated Sept. 19, this is what all
the "Hurry over Quest is about."
1 am not against future Miss Americas pictur
ing themselves achieving their goals. Nor am I
opposed to the acting out of history, thereby cre
ating a more exciting learning experience lor
children. This type of visualization is not harm
ful. This uses the imaginative capacities of a
The type I oppose is one in which a child is
asked to do relaxation exercises in which they
completely clear their minds and then are asked
to dwell on one particular thought (meditation).
When they completely clear their minds it allows
for the views and thoughts of other persons to be
put there in place of their own.
As lor the claim that Quest helps children to
gain self-confidence and self-esteem, it is alright
to a degree. As parents we spend a good deal of
time training our children during their growing
up years not U) be selfish and to have considera
lion for others. This program feeds children on
"I, me anil mine" to ihe extent that egos are
blown out of proportion and the consideration
and love lor others is gone. 'I hey thereby lose re
spect for their parents, (heir elders, their (X'ers
and, most of all, God.
Now don't get me wrong, I believe in self-es
teem and confidence, but not to the extreme thai
you esteem yourself higher than your fellow
Our country was founded on the principles of
all men being created equal. Will we be equal
when our future leaders look down upon iheir
Another concept of Quest I don't understand
is the journals. Why are the children required to
record their's and their family's private lives in a
journal? Why aren't parents allowed to read
these? Mr. Owens (principal) says they're no
more than a personal diary that anyone might
keep. 1 personally would not want my diary (if I
had one) to be viewed and scrutinized by teach
ers and anyone else's eyes who may happen to
see it. Would you?
Look at the test scores; are they wasting valu
able schtx>l lime (that as taxpayers we pay lor)
on a so-called drug program thai does not put
emphasis on saying no, but puis it on you have a
Instead of teaching academic skills, Mr.
Owens says middle school philosophy is explor
ing, not academics. Academics will he empha
sized in high school. Parents, is this how you
want yojr child taught.' Is you child getting the
education he or she is entitled to or are they be
ing used as guinea pigs? Since there is a need to
have a drug program, why can't it Ik one that's
just that without all of the extra baggage along
As for me being a religious fanatic, if loving
God and trying to instill my children with Godly
principles is wrong, then so be it!
(Letters Continue On Following Page)
BCC Foundation Helps Open The Doors
Brunswick Community College,
like its sister institutions across the
state, has an open door policy.
That means it is to try to meet the
educational needs of any person
who crosses us threshold, taking
them from wherever they are ? nun
reader to Ph.D. ? and helping them
get where they're wanting to go. A
student may want to pass a written
driver's license exam or get a high
school diploma, retrain in a techni
Meeting the diverse needs of these
students is a challenge anytime, and
especially so when a sch(x>l lacks the
faculty, equipment, textbixiks and
other materials required.
BCC has been through some
tough limes. After passage of a ma
jor bond referendum and the start of
a major building program, it lost
students following a statewide en
rollment scandal and fired its first
Then, just when its student body
began increasing again and with it
the need for more instructors, books
and supplies, state budget woes that
have led to one cut in funding after
Rach year since the cuts have
gotten worse. Last year BCC had to
actually call back an order for
txjoks temporarily because ol a
This year employees aren't get
ting pay raises. And the slate left
BCC to either pass on or pick up the
lab for increased health insurance
premium costs about S.MX) for
each of its 6H or so employees.
BCC hasn't had the financial
flexibility to lake on more lull-time
faculty, relying vcy ??\??psi\v!y on
part-time instructors. Stall members
have had to wear multiple hats,
teaching one or more courses each
term in addition to their other re
And management stall has been
handling an extra workload, since
no successor has been named to the
laic dean of continuing education,
Jesse Clemmons, and several other
persons have had to take extensive
To make morale even belter, Ben
Deblois, vice president of adminis
trative services, has found himself
saying "No" lo a lot of requests thai
However reluctantly, he's hail to
blixk routine requests lor work-re
lated travel to training conferences,
lab or shop equipment and other
One group has helped significant
ly to bridge Ihe gap betwe.n what
the college can afford io do and
what it would like to do: the BCC
Its supporters have raised funds
for student scholarships and loans
as well as lor computer software
and aulo mechanic shop equipment.
The Foundation serves also as a ve
hicle for BCC to receive in-kind
gilts such as equipment and books
for the library, as well as cash.
At the Foundation's annual meet
ing last Thursday night, guests
heard a virtual litany of how the
Foundation has made a difference
lor the better at BCC. Students and
instructors shared one inspiring sto
ry alter another. Students who
would not have been able to contin
ue in school without help from ihe
Foundation. Instructors who would
not have been able to teach properly
without equipment the Foundation
The needs the BCC Foundation
has met in some instances are so ba
sic, so essential, one wonders if the
college would have survived this
long without this type of communi
It becomes very clear that the
BCC Foundation could use a little
more help from the rest til us.
With our gilts, you and 1 can help
make it possible lor the doors at
BCC to truly be open and for the
college to do more to meet the
needs ol all iLs students.
Outgoing director Paul Dennis
summed up the Foundation experi
ence nicely last Thursday night as
we left the Sea Trail conference
center. "You never know who
you're helping," he said.
Ihat's the beauty of it. If you're
interested, contact Vicki Spencer at
BCC. She'll be delighted to let you
know how you can help loo.