biil PiltiiwW ivn^PlT
Edward M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt Publishers
Edwurd M. Sweatt Editor
Susan Usher News Editor
Terry Pope and Dorl Gurganus Staff Writers
Doug Rutter Sports Editor
Peggy Earwood Office Manager
Carolyn H. Sweatt Advertising Director
Tlmberley Adams and Cecelia Gore ..Advertising Representatives
Dorothy Brennan and Brenda Clemtnons Moore. .Graphic Artists
William Manning Pressman
Lonnie Sprinkle Assistant Pressman
Tracy Smith Photo T(x:hnician
Phoebe Clemmons and Frances Sweatt Circulation
PAGE 4 A, THURSDAY. JANUARY 30. 1992
Trash Contract Is
Whale Of A Deal
Some of the rumors and complaints circulating about
Brunswick County's decision to contract out its trash collection
and recycling operations to a private business are ridiculous and
should be put to rest.
Change is always difficult, but is often for the better. That
certainly appears to be the case here, though a handful of dis
gruntled people are suggesting otherwise.
At least one of the accusations circulating is potentially
defamatory in nature, accusing the company that got the contract
of unsavory associations. Asked to provide evidence of such a
relationship, the accusing parties haven't produced any.
Other rumors are simply silly, obviously based on second
hand information and supposition.
Contrary to rumor, the county engineer, who is in charge of
solid waste disposal, doesn't work for the company that got the
contract, never has and doesn't foresee doing so. In his previous
job with Wake County, his responsibilities did include dealing
with the company and negotiate contracts.
Contrary to rumor, the county will continue operating the
Contrary to rumor, dumping from outside the county won't
U, ? 1 ! ,
Contrary to rumor, the number of green boxes was going to
be reduced this coming year whether collection was handled by
the county or an outside company.
Over the next six to 12 months, starting in the more heavily
populated areas from U.S. 17 to the beaches, you can expect the
number to drop from roughly 65 to about 14.
True, there won't be a green box around every comer and
trash disposal may be a little less convenient. But not much, or
unreasonably so. A trash disposal site ? either a green box or
collection/recycling station ? will be located within approxi
mately five miles of everv household. For most people, hauling
trash will be more convenient than going to the grocery store.
Tme. having fewer sites may encourage slightly more illegal
dumping along the sides of roadways and in the woods. But the
county is prepared to desJ with that. !t has a litter off^cc Martha
Hardwick, whose job is handling precisely that son of problem.
Also, in addition to the green boxes, 10 recycling/collection
stations are planned, including upgrades to existing transfer sta
tions and collection sites. These sites will be closed at night.
Under the new arrangement the county will have better con
trol over what is dumped where, a necessity given the strict state
laws dealing with waste.
Rumor has it the county will end up spending a lot more for
trash collection/recycling than it has in the past.
Consider this: In 1991-1992 the county budgeted $878,(XX)
for trash collection, plus nearly $1 million more for landfill op
For trash collection AND recycling, the new company is
charging $561,000 annually, guaranteed until July 1993, then
tied to the Consumer Price Index for the balance of the five-year
contract. After that, the contract is up for renegotiauon.
Others have been concerned about the 12 to 15 county em
ployees who will lose their jobs. All will be offered a job with
Waste Industries, provided they meet conditions that appear
quite reasonable: passing the company's insurance requirements
and its drug screening test.
County government is supposed to deliver services.
Brunswick County residents have complained for years that
they haven't been getting their money's worth in waste manage
ment. Complaints about unsightly, overflowing green box sites
pour in steadily.
County employees were asked a while back to do better;
pass any green box site and you can see the results.
No doubt about it; it was time to try something new, some
Waste Industries says it can do more and do it better than the
county at a lower cost, and still make a profit.
Sounds like a whale of a deal for Brunswick County taxpay
Several years back, when selling
out in search of my family's "roots,"
who knew how much fun ? and how
much work ? lay ahead?
Not me. It seemed a simple
enough task. Interview older rela
tives, look up a few records, jot
down a few headstone inscriptions
and tie up everything, and everyone,
in a neat little package.
It didn't work quite that way,
starting with the lack of a binh ccr
tificate for my mother and death cer
tificate for my paternal grandfather.
And these were the generations thai
were supposed to be "easy" to docu
Looking around the spare room,
clearly Don and I don't share this
space anymore. It belongs to the
Usher, Thames, King, Holden,
Clemmons, Simmons, Cause and
On bookshelves and disks, in
County's Assembly Hall Just Doesn't Work
By day, it serves as a cafclena. By
-;nk? ;? t.n
iii^iu, 11 luiiid iiiui ait (kv-H.iiiui) nan
lor public meetings, election returns
and various county functions.
The place where people gather for
public hearings at the Brunswick
County Government Center irritated
yet another crowd of around 2(X) last
Shallottc Point residents had gath
ered there to learn how the county
plans to charge them for installing
water lines to their homes. County
officials repeated, repeated anil re
peated what they had said, but peo
ple still left confused because they
Some in the audience shouted for
others to be quiet. Part of the prob
lem was that many refused to sit still
and to be quiet so everyone could
hear. On the other hand, they may
have grown restless because they
couldn't hear anyway and eventually
"Can 'i you get order?" one shout
ed at Al Morrison, chairman of the
Brunswick County Utility Opera
lions Board. Morrison is no! a
shouter. He has loads of pauence
and a warm, reassuring voice that
gathers a lot of respect.
THIS IS A SPONGE . WHETHER IT'S WET OR DRX,
IT'5 STILL A SPONGE.
THIS IS A WETLAND...
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Why Do We Have To Beg Anyone ForAnythinq?
To the editor:
President Bush has recently re
turned from a trip abroad, including
Japan, for the purpose of presum
ably boosting international trade
agreements. High level begging is
more like the truth.
Why do wc have to beg anyone
for anything, much less Japan? 1
cannot understand why Japan's auto
builders would be dumb enough to
think that the U. S. auto workers arc
building any type of equipment infe
rior to them.
In my opinion wc arc being sold
out by big business and our elected
officials, whom we are supposed to
put our trust in. As our President has
said, "Read my lips." As 1 read Mr.
Bush's lips, I do not like the mes
The best way to stop being the
laughingstock of the world is for the
American people to buy American
made autos, ctc., and let the Jap
anese buy their own.
We do not need to import autos
and other products from anyone else
boxes, files and three-ring note
books, are stored charts, books, let
ters, deeds, certificates, minutes,
church registers, old newspaper no
tices, military records. Usher Family
Newsletters, photographs, computer
printouts, letters and envelopes
awaiting stamps, stacks of unan
swered mail and "to do" lists for ev
All this stutT and still the search
continues. You never quite get done.
Make the mistake of asking a
family student, "What have you
been up to lately?" and you're likely
to regret it, unless you've also be
come ioiki of overgrown cemeteries,
heavy, dust-bound books that bring
on sneeze attacks and faded, illegi
ble handwriting and microfilm
copies that strain the eyeballs.
Doesn't sound like much fun,
One man wanted lo know if any
one was recording the hearing and if
a transcript would be available to the
"I can't hear a damn thing that's
being said,'' he added.
Others just cupped a hand around
one car and leaned forward with a
pained expression on their face. The
voices they were trying to hear were
growing hoarse from shouting. Pub
lic Utilities Director Jerry Webb
strained his throat beyond the call of
If you look at the ceiling inside
the assembly building, you sec a sc
ries of large indentations, like upside
down kiddie swimming pools mold
ed into the roof. In the center of
these are fluorescent lights hidden
behind plastic grates.
nor do wc need to export products.
I personally feel that products
made in the U.S.A. are the best on
Wc won the war over Japan many
years ago and then gave them their
country back, which we should not
I am positive that American tech
nology does not have to take a back
seat to anyone, especially Japan.
Japan has recently insulted the
American people and we need to let
them know just how we I eel and that
wc love America and have more
confidence in our ability than any
other country on the planet earth.
R. E. Hinson
Rt. 1 , Winnabow
To the editor:
It is die goal of the Animal
Welfare League that one day wc can
Tracking down family informa
lion gives you the chancc lo play
Miss Marple and Bob Woodward
with liulc risk. Since your best
sources arc already dead, they're not
iikeiy iu ciani up, run away, gun you
down or retort, "No comment!"
No, they're there, waiting to be
discovered. Make a mistake, miss a
clue and have to backtrack, they're
The real fun isn't in dates or cere
monies. It's finding out that a grand
Around these arc rcccssed light
K::'Kc Thrr^ ,rs KinMirw* Iff*
I /HI U.1 . I HI VV OIUVO kV WiV *?* * *?-> ?? -
made of 90 percent glass. There is a
hallway and large freezer space up
front where the voices from the audi
ence arc directed. Two groups can
actually meet in the hall when a fold
ing divider wall is pulled in place.
Was this placc designed to house
public hearings? If so, some engi
neer or architect should be hanged.
Voices inside this building bounce
around like ping-pong balls and nev
er quite find it to the car canal The
acoustics arc terrible.
To help, the county invested in a
wireless Ophra Winfrey-style micro
phone system that could be passed
around from hand to hand to the of
ficials up front. Only it doesn't work
The speaker can be in the middle
of a sentence and the unit grows
silent or else gives off a loud thump
that rattles the eardrum and causcs
an already irritable crowd to grit
their teeth. So when the room got
heated last week with the Shallottc
Point crowd, the microphone be
came useless, too.
Because of the budget crunch, the
county cannot even afford to build
have a facility to carc for unwanted
animals. The fact that over 1 ,000 an
imals have to be destroyed at the
pound every year is ridiculous.
We know who is ihe biainc for
this situation (the pel owners), but it
seems they could carc less. They al
low their animals to have litter after
liuer of little ones only to carry them
to the pound to be destroyed.
The Animal Welfare League has a
spay and neuter program to help de
Iray the cost lor those who teel they
can't afford it, but every time one is
spayed or neutered, another animal
has five to ten born. How can we
There are around 40, (XX) homes in
this county. If each family would
donate SI to the Animal Welfare
League we could soon have a build
ing to save some of these animals.
Perhaps we could even get on the
county budget and have laws to pro
I do not approve of high costs to
pet owners who really carc and have
mother graduated from college in
1892 and chose to teach at an or
phanage for years before marrying.
That her grandfather was both a
highly-respected Baptist preacher
and local Democratic party leader
(some things don't change). And
that a great-great-great-grandmother,
a lifelong Methodist, converted to
Catholicism at age 70.
The biggest and best surprise is
the people who are interested in
what you're doing and actually want
to help. People like Gwcn Causey
and Susie Carson, "user- friendly"
walking storehouses. And Dot
Schmidt, good for a fast ieau 10 a
grave that might have taken months
to find otherwise. (It was the right
Nathaniel Potter, Dot!) And Vemie
Pate, in Cumberland County, who
escorted three of us around to
Thames cemeteries and as a bonus
threw in a tour of Cape Fear Baptist
an unfinished warehouse to store
items at the complex. Valuable office
space at the government center is be
ing used as closet or storage spate.
It's not likely that an assembly hall is
at the top of anyone's list of building
needs for the next century.
But one is desperately needed.
About 100 residents attended the
Utility Operation Board's regular
meeting last week, just before the
public hearing, and attempted to
crowd into the conference room in
the planning building. It will hold
about 15 people. They were moved
to the assembly building. The
Brunswick County Commissioners
chambers will hold less than 30 peo
Where there is a crowd at the
government center, there's no other
place to go.
Maybe there is a way to economi
cally renovate the assembly build
ing, to eliminate the swimming
pools on the ceiling and to enclose
the glass walls so people can hear.
It's a shame that people who
make the effort to drive to Bolivia to
get answers and to participate in
county government leave the ccntcr
angry because they cannot hear.
And yes, ihc "other" Susan Usher.
Her first leuer from Cayce, S.C.,
sent chills down my spine, especial
ly when it included a newspaper
clipping of me as a high school se
nior. Twenty years later her search
ends and a friendship begins.
If you haven't figured it out yet,
this hobby requires not only persis
tence, but patience and inquisitive
ness as we!!.
Every answer evokes a new ques
tion. Every day brings a new lesson
in history, geography, sociology, po
litical science, religion, even eco
Every tidbit of information un
earthed leads to another. Before you
know it, you're hooked.
Maybe the Surgeon General
ought to come up with a new label:
Beware ? "Rooting around" can be
ihcir pels vaccinaicd. Il is ihc uncon
cerned owners who carry these ani
mals lo the pound. They should have
10 pay dearly for every animal they
carry to the pound. Maybe then they
would have them spayed or neuter
Mating season is right around the
comer. Animals do not understand
birth control, so people have to have
the common sense to know that their
animals are going to mate and have
1 urge people to have Uieir pets
spayed or neutered to help control
the pet population. Please help the
Animal Welfare League with your
donations so that we may soon have
a haven for animals, and to help the
spay and neuter program.
Donations may be sent lo:
Animals Welfare League, P. O. Box
1965, Shallolte, N.C. 2K459. Land
for a building would be appreciated.
To the editor
Enclosed is a copy of a letter to
the editor that my son wrote after
reading an article in the Wilmington
Star News citing construction and
design flaws in ihe new Welcome
Center on Hwy. 17 bypass.
? ? ? ?
1 am writing about the Welcome
Center at Hwy. 17 and 130 in
Brunswick County I do not like it
The money was wasted. County
money shouldn't be spent like that.
The birds are getting killed and the
glass lets heat in.
At the intcrsecuon they should
put an overpass. The overpass
should be built like the one at
Lcland where Hwys. 17, 74 and 76
Caleb Robinson (Age 8)
(hellers Continue <>n Following P?ge)