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Edward M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt Publishers
Edward M. Sweatt Edttor
Susan Usher News Editor
Terry Pope and Dorl Gurganus SlaJJ Writers
Doug Rutter Sports Edilor
I'ejyy Earwcuxl OJJice Manager
Carolyn H. Sweatt Advertising Director
Tlnibertey Adams and Cecelia Gore ..Advertising Representatives
Dorothy Brennan and Brenda Clemmons Moore ..Graphtc Arttsfs
William Manning Pressman
Lonnlc Sprinkle Assistant Pressman
Tracy Smith Photo Technician
Phoebe Clemmons and Frances Sweatt Circulation
PAGE 4-A, THURSDAY. JANUARY 9, 199?
Decision To Study Bypass
Intersection Welcome News
There's no doubt about it. Announcement that the North
Carolina Department of Transportation plans a design study of the
U.S. 17 Shallotte bypass and N.C. 130 West intersection is very
It means the state has softened its position and is willing now to
at least discuss the possibility of an overpass at thus grade-level
crossing, the site of a three-vehicle, double-fatality accident last
The news comes as a welcome surprise, on the heels of oft-re
peated, adamant statements from Day 1 ? from the time the project
was on go until mid-December ? from DOT officials that there
would be no overpass. First, because it would significantly delay
construction of uie bypass. Later, because it would simply cost too
much and would delay the four-laning of U.S. 17 and other danger
ous two-lane highways statewide.
The state knows an overpass would most likely make the inter
section safer, just as the lights, rumble strips and such have already
helped. In a recent letter to a concerned Shallotte resident. Secretary
of Transportation Tommy I Iarrelson said it would be good to have
bridge and ramp designs at all such grade-level crossings. But. he
continued in a placating tone, the money is better spent four-landing
roads like U.S. 17 and making them safer overall.
However, the study agreed upon just last month will investigate
the need, impact and benefits of an overpass and the land that would
be needed to build it. DOT's division engineering is estimating a
cost of at least $2 million.
It will be up the State Board of Transportation to decide 1 ) if an
overpass should be built and 2) where the money to do it would
What prompted transportation leaders to take a second look?
Who knows. It might have had something to do with the upcom
ing dedication of an area welcome center that will open this month
alongside the bypass. The center was built by the state, but from a
different kitty than the one used to build overpasses.
It might have been the Brunsw ick County Board of Education's
tally of the number of buses and students that ride through the inter
It might have been a non-partisan pressing for action from
Republican auu Dcinuciaiic leaders alike.
It might have had more to do with it being an election year.
Then again, it may be that state transportation officials simply
listened to local residents and realized how sincere and how great
their concern is about this overpass. As DOT has been reminded re
peatedly, local residents thought an overpass should have been in
cluded in original plans for the project. From their point of view, the
state was negligent in not providing it.
Whatever the reason for this change of heart, it's good to know
someone in Raleigh is listening if we only scream lsudly enough.
The state's willingness to reconsider is very good news for any
one who travels through this intersection.
But What Does It Mean?
There will be at least two new faces on the Brunswick County
Board of Commissioners next year.
After serving just one term in office, both Kelly Holden of
District 1 and Gene Pinkerton of District 3 have announced they will
not run for re-election.
The door has been left wide open for potential candidates, but
most residents probably don't know whether to laugh or to cry.
Democrats who were so red in the face when the all-Republican
board took officc must be stunned. They won't have Kelly and Gene
to kick around anymore.
One tactic Democrats used last spring was to push for two-year
terms for commissioners as a chance to better oust the devils from
their seats. It was a desperate attempt 10 slap Republicans in the
face, like changing the niles in the middle of a Softball game.
However, there is a saying that warns, "Don't wish for some
thing unless you are absolutely sure that you want it. because it just
might come tnie."
Residents followed the Democratic lead in November and voted
overwhelmingly in favor of two-year terms. Did they know what
they were voting for?
Holden predicted the vote would set county government back at
least 20 years, bring instability to the Board of Commissioners and
open up the "good old boy" system of politics, where candidates are
uncomfortably controlled by special interest groups.
One month after his apocalyptic statement, Holden steps from
the 1 992 race
Both Holden and Pinkerton are self-employed businessmen.
They have approached county government with a businessman's
eye. Both candidates possess numerous traits that are often admired
in county leaders. For better or for worse, their presence on the
board has been felt.
They both defeated Democratic incumbents to win their seats in
1988. Holden did so in dramatic fashion, receiving an overwhelming
majority of votes He was chosen chairman of the board in 1991 and
again for 1992.
Now, he appears to have his sights set on a higher goal, maybe
even the stale House seat for the 14th District. Pinkerton says he will
leave politics to devote more time to his growing import business.
But what does it all mean?
The people who surprisingly elected an all Republican board,
and who later voted for two-year terms, hold the answer.
Brunswick County residents haven't been consistent lately in
naming what they want, but they are getting what they asked for.
For better, or for worse
'92 Could Be A Very Good Year For Us
1 don't know about you, but I'm
feeling pretty optimistic about 1992.
Call me an optimist with blinders,
but that's just the way 1 sec it.
Maybe it's rubbed off from all the
positive people I get to be around
these days ? people who arc making
things happen and in a good way.
? m looking forward to 1992', In
fact, I'm cxcitcd about it.
Certainly. 1992 will be rougher
for some than others. After all, the
local unemployment rate is running
about 1 2 percent.
But that is 1) in the dead of winter
in an area that unfortunately has a
large jicrcentage of seasonal jobs;
and 2) better than it was las'. May.
And we have people working, ami
working hard, to make life uciici for
those trapped at or near the bottom
of the economic scale. People trying
to make more affordable housing
available, to bring jobs to the area,
to provide more affordable health
care. Individuals who know they
may not have much control over
world affairs, but that they can make
life better here at home, right now,
In the course of a week's work,
we at the Beacon encounter a broad
cross-section of county residents ?
young, old, retired, working, from a
good mix of backgrounds. Most of
the ones I've been talking to feel
good about the year ahead. Maybe
that's partly because 1992 is off to a
better start than 1991.
Remember? We all started off
1991 worrying about the war, and
that's not good for our hcaith or the
nation's. In fact, during the first
quarter of the year wc were so busy
ing worrying ? and watching CNN
? that our pace of activity and
spending made a turtle's look swift.
But that's not what we're seeing
right now. Momentum has been
building over the last half of '91 and
now it is picking up speed even
Certainly 1991 taught a few basic
lessons. Look at the empty store
fronts. It's been reported in the na
tional press that the United States
has too many stores. Based on the
local view, that would be easy to be
The businesses that are left, or
that will be left when the shakedown
is completed, are those that have
learned to do what they do well.
They deliver ijuulily an^l ser
vices, promptly, reliably ami at a
reasonable price. Businesses that are
tuned in to the needs of busy cus
After all, most businesses are
dealing these days with mail-order
competition that's open 24 hours a
day, offers customer hotlines for an
swering questions and solving prob
lems, same- or next-day shipments,
d wide affay of SiOCk afiu SOpi*iSti
catcd inventory management.
You've got to do it better to stay
With growth still a constant here,
businesses in our area have the po
tential of doing well under these
conditions ? if they lake to heart the
scrvicc with a smile theme being
pushed by the South Brunswick
Islands Chamber of Commerce
Interest rate arc down; that means
we should gradually see more aclivi
ty in the housing market and in busi
ness activity in general.
Gas prices arc down, even though
gas taxes are up. But look around,
the price of gas looks the best it has
in a long lime. If it's the same else
where, that should bode well for
Certainly there arc some question
marks, such as the overall impact of
the opening of a new post office at
Sunset Beach and the opening of
Wal-Mart in Shallottc.
We'll also be looking to see the
impact of the new Southeastern
Welcome Center on the local econo
my, where a new permanent home
for the N.C. Oyster Festival might
be located, and where the South
Brunswick Islands Committee of
100 will begin an industrial park to
help attract tourism-compatible,
year-round jobs to the area.
Overall, the indicators for our
area look pretty good to me, in part
because we have people out
there ? individually and in organized
efforts ? who arc working to make
things happen, not waiting for light
ning to strike.
Yes, I am optimistic about 1992.
It has the potential of being a very
good year. The rest is up to us.
Wc all must stan somcplacc.
At previous jobs, country music
stars have been discovered while
washing dishes for a living. Aspiring
actors and actresses often wait on ta
bles where the producers and direc
tors gather for lunch, thinking that
maybe one day they will get the
lucky break they need, that someone
will notice them and hand them a
Holding a diverse number of jobs
can fill up the resume. The person
who applies for a move up the lad
der often questions how many of
those previous jobs should they
mention, or which ones can actually
hurt their chances.
It depends on what the employer
is looking for, 1 guess.
To me. a willingness to work dif
ferent kinds of jobs should earn
points, for it means that person is
readily adaptable to situations.
Looking back, 1 guess the jobs
I've taken over the years have few
things in common. There's no pat
tern involved. They've been differ
ent, but 1 think that has been good
for me. 1 wasn't looking to be dis
covered by Hollywood or Wall
Street, just to earn some money.
I've been a school bus driver.
mowed grass, worked half a day at
construction, baked pizzas, deliv
ered car parts, sold party supplies,
delivered and set up tents and chairs,
taught high school and uvotc news
Driving a school bus while a se
nior in high school helped me save a
liulc money for collcgc and also al
lowed me to buy my first 35mm
camera, the largest purchase I had
ever made up to that point in my
life. 1 was nervous paying hundreds
of dollars for that Minolta.
I had a laid-back bus route that
tracked through the Northwest and
Maco communities, so the high
school students were mostly kind.
They let mc know when I got out of
1 mowed grass as a teen-ager, loo.
But then, didn't everybody? It
EDITORIAL CARTOON IDEA SUBMITTED BY PENNY WILLIAMS
doesn't seem that way any more.
Before I left for Chapel Hill, my
best friend talked me into taking a
job at a construction site in Wil
mington, just for the summer. The
previous week I had been playing
basketball and came down wrong on
my arm. Doctors said I had sprained
my wrist. It felt like it was broken,
but the X-rays were negative.
The job was called a "shut-down"
and paid about S5 an hour. They
gave you a hard hat and wished you
luck. Our job was to go in behind a
crew that had worked above on an
elevated cement plant and had cut
loose shccLs of tin, just letting them
fall down to ground level as a man
gled pile of debris.
The tin was piled everywhere and
coated with a dusi that covered us
from head to toe. We had to breathe
the dust in and watch for rusty
edges. Sheets would come tumbling
down on our heads.
After just a couple of hours on the
job, my wrist hurt real badly. I quit.
1 was a better pizza maker. For
two summcis I crafted the pizza pics
and made salad. It look me years be
fore I could order pizza at a restau
rant again, for I grew sick of them.
Several summers I also traveled
around Wilmington, not for plea
sure, but to deliver car parts for an
automotive wholesaler. The job re
quired an ability to fight traffic, to
endure grease and grime, to act like
you knew the difference between a
cotter pin and a carburetor and to
endure the mechanics' joke of the
Other jobs had me in the retail
business, selling everything from
Barbie birthday party favors to Hall
oween costumes. The same compa
ny would send me out to help install
tents at places like the county fair
grounds to elaborate backyard wed
ding sites from Greenville to Myrtle
Teaching high school was a two
year learning experience that I have
explained in a previous column, so I
won't recount those times again.
I've been in and out of journalism
now a couple of limes.
A look inside this issue can an
swer anyone's question about what
this job is like. Stories range from
beaver trapping to board meetings.
Hollywood or Wall Street are not
calling, but that's OK by me.
There's plenty to keep me busy here
in Brunswick County.
Move Fast If You
To the editor:
It's the most wonderful magazine in the world,
and 1 ain't talking about the New Yorker. That
credit now goes to the Forties' Fortune.
This wondrous publication has now enlightened
all Americans on how to avoid paying incom : tax.
It's fairly simple and easy, if you don't move loo
slow, as I did.
All you have to do is rent a hotel room, go quail
hunting, then go to a bar for a couple of beers. You
don't even have to shoot any quail or buy pizza
with your beer. Of coursc all of this has to take
place in Texas and you have to declare Texas as
your home state when filing income taxes.
At least that's the way President Bush did it. He
sure is smart, ain't he?
With, Only Little People Pay Taxes, slicking in
my craw, I decided to lake advantage of this new
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Want To Avoid Pay
I called ihc nearest travel agent to arrange for a
plane ticket (round trip, naturally) to anywhere in
Texas, with a onc-night stay in any motel. The
agent assured me that she would call me right
back with confirmations.
Seven hours and 42 minutes later the agent
called, apologized for taking so long and informed
me that all flights were taken.
Not that it mattered, because every hotel, motel,
boarding house and junked car would be booked
solid until Dcc. 31.
Now 1 know the real reason for Snowbirds go
ing south every year- and it ain't cold weather.
I suspect and predict that with this new-found
knowledge, a mass exodut from all other states to
Texas. All other states, suffering from a lack of
revenue, will have hefty budget deficits, cut social
spending and declare bankruptcy.
North Carolina will probably fire Jimmy Green
ing Income taxes
and eliminate his position of "Benedict-special
advisor to the Governor- Arnold."
But some good will come of this. With Texas
being the only state with any money, it will also
attract all the illegal aliens.
After establishing new borders around Texas,
we could give it back to Mexico and the problem
of Green Cards and illegal immigration would be
But knowing Texans, they'll never bite on this.
They'll pass laws restricting this privilege to the
President only. That way, they know he will visit
at least once a year, and not just go by at 50,(XX)
feet at warp nine, on his way to Rio.
The travel agent? She took my flight and the
last vacancy at the Sleazy X Motel, somewhere in
James A. Moore
Shallottc ( More letters on Page 5- A)