Edwanl M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt PidAlshers
Edward M. Sweatt Editor
Susan Usher News Editor
Terr. Pope and Dor! Curganus StaJfWrii ers
l>oug HiHter Sports Editor
Peggy Earwood 0(Jice Manager
Carolyn H. Sweatt Advertising Director
Tlmberley Adams and Cecelia Core ..Advertising Representatives
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William Manning Pressman
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PAGE 4- A. THURSDAY. MARCH 12. 1992
Leave Spaces For Those
Who Truly Need Them
Parking spates set aside for use by ihe handicapped arc typically
those nearest entrances, for reasons clear it) most of us.
Not only is it the law. it's also common sense and common courtesy.
These arc the people in our society who have the greatest difficulty gel
So why is this scenario all too
familiar: A car slides into the va
cant s|iv>t ill fiOi'ii of inC blue Sign.
A perfectly able-bodied driver
steps out and walks or even strides
into the building nearby.
Why do so many able people
abuse handicapped parking zones?
You've seen them do it. You
may have done it yourself, mum
Wing cxcuscs all the while: The only other open space is inconveniently
loeated a few more feet away lhan the tempting vacancy in front of the
blue sign. Or maybe it's raining, or cold, or you left your coat at home.
"I'll just be a minute or two," you might say to yourself in an attempt
to justify the decision.
Or maybe you just didn't care.
Sheer laziness, disrespect, indifference, ignorance, arrogance ? the
why doesn't really matter. There's no way to justify abuse of handi
capped parking spots.
To the person the spacc is intended for, or to the law officers whose
duty it is to enforce the state's laws, it doesn'i really matter why you
parked there. It was ihe wrong thing to do.
There's supposed to be at least one handicapped parking space with
in 2(X) feet of the entrance to any building or business with a public park
ing lot, including churches and
public buildings. Lots with 26 to
50 spaces must have two: 51 to 75
spaces arc to have three. Is this
too much to ask? I don't think so.
Starting this month, many lo
cal drivers who violate the law
will be getting reminders that
chide as well as educate.
The Pilot Club of (the) South
Brunswick Islands, with the help
of several other community
groups, will be placing signs on
vehicles parked in violation of the
stale laws governing handicapped parking. The Pilol Club, you recall,
was instrumental in helping organize ACCESS, the Brunswick County
Committee lor People With Disabilities. Its members have played a ma
jor role in trying to increase local consciousness about the needs and
rights of the physically handicapped.
The signs club members are pulling out are numbered, which means
we will probably be hearing in a month or so how many violations have
been spotted. I hope they also keep track of license lag numbers, espe
cially at places like the county complex where violators are as likely to
be people w ho work there as those simply taking care of business.
Each small placard include a picture of the reserved parking signage
anu announces, "You have illegally entered the Handicapped Zone...
luckily you can leave it."
On the other side, the law: State laws restrict parking in the reserved
spaces "to drivers and passengers who are legally blind; handicapped car
owners with a distinguishing license plate; and handicapped dnvers and
passengers with a distinguishing placard or identification card."
That placard, by the way, is supposed to be on the rear view mirror
of the vehicle. Registration showing the placard belongs to thai car has to
be available if a law officer asks.
If you park or leave a vehicle in a handicapped parking spacc that
doesn't have the required identification, the law provides for levying of a
penalty of at least S50 and not more than SI 00.
Once the Pilol Club members are pulling up ihe signs, perhaps local
law officers will become more diligent in enforcing the laws.
If common courtesy lo those less able than most of us isn't enough
incentive to abide by ihe law, perhaps a hide public embarrassment will
If not, making violators pay the price for convenience at the expense
of the handicapped just might do the trick.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
State Should Buy Bird Island
To ihc editor:
I last visilcd Bird Island with my
wife and little boy in the summer of
'91. We weren't disappointed. The
island's bounty of sea and marsh
birds, unique plants, and secretive
marine organisms testified to the
beauty that once covered this whole
region before the advent of tourism.
As we scoured the island, we
came upon a set of tracks that ran
from the high tide mark to the top of
a 12 foot dune and back again to the
sea. The tracks, crescent shaped and
directly across from each other with
smoothed sand in between, belied
the presence of a loggerhead sea tur
tle hoping to deposit her 120 or so
eggs. We were amazed at the
strength it took for her to move her
3(X)-pound body up that dune. We
then continued on.
I never thought last summer's for
ay could be my last to the island be
fore an invasion, albeit a supposedly
small force of beach cottages and
transportation apparatus, breached
the island. But, then again, who
would have predicted the large, lurk
ing condominium at Ocean Isle
In this country, why do we be
licvc that this island belongs to one
woman or her family in do with il
what she or they will? Why don't
we consider the rights of the inhabi
tants who call the island home and
the people for whom Bird Island
holds a special place in their hearts?
Private property rights must be
subjugated sometimes to the rights
of the community. If this develop
ment proceeds, a once pristine island
will be tarnished, threatening the
surrounding bird-breeding areas and
fish nurseries. For those who think
wanton development can continue
along the coast without serious envi
ronmental cffccts need only exam
ine the polluted Lockwood Folly
For once, people, let's get our
head out ol the sand and play a role
in what happens to the land around
us. Write to the EPA and the
Division of Coastal Management,
and make plans to attend the April 6
meeting concerning this matter at
Sunset Bcach. Furthermore, tell your
MUlC ic^lCaCriiduVC, DaViu RCumii'iC,
that the state should buy the proper
ty. After all, the state can spend 56
million for a bridge Sunset Beach
residents don't want or need. Surely,
ihc stale can find money in ihcir
budget to buy this treasured land.
When you consider this matter,
please have empathy for that nesting
loggerhead turtle when she returns
one day to find lighted homes and
roads overpowering the dim moon
light, which her young depend on
for finding their way back home to
the sea. And also consider this na
tive American saying, "yc have not
inherited the Earth from our ances
tors, but have borrowed it from our
children." The future generations of
children and nature-to which we be
long-will appreciate it.
(Letters Continue Following Page)
The Beacon welcomes letters to
ihc editor. All letters must be signed
and include the writer's address.
Under no circumstances will un
signed letters be printed. Letters
. .1.1 L Ia ^a|?l a TV. /% ri>
5IIUUIU lit tV-gll-llVr. 1 <IV 17VUVVM. iC
serves the right to edit libelous
comments. Address letters to The
Brunswick Beacon, P. O. Box 2558,
Shallottc, N. C. 28459.
What's In The Community Is In Schools
l"hcro is an aruclc in last week's
Newsweek magazine that fix: uses on
the growing problem of violence on
school campuses anil the increasing
number of weapons that are found in
possession of school students.
The problem is a nightmare for
the New York City schi>ol districts,
and that is where the article begins.
It tells how parents visiting on
campus have been shot in the back
and students stabbed, shot and beat
en by other students and by strang
ers on campus. It's not uncommon
for students to carTy weapons. The
list given by the magazine is just a
sample of the violence at schools,
but it's astounding.
A photograph that accompanies
the article shows a faceless 15-year
old sporting a pistol tucked in the
waistband of his jeans and wearing
two gold rings on one hand.
Teachers and administrators are
no longer safe. Police officers are
needed to patrol. How can that be a
The timing of the magazine was
ironic, for parents concerned about
campus security in Brunswick
County lobbied the school board last
Pope ~ *
4 - .
week for law officers on campus.
Also, a bo ul 40 residents met in
Lcland last week to discuss the need
for a police forcc in northern Bruns
wick County. Crime in the commu
nity hits gotten out of hand with no
local police force in place and with
just deputies patrolling large areas.
Regardless of what kind of image
it gives our county schools, perhaps
now is the time to place officers
there to begin working as a deterrent
to other growing problems. There
arc a lew weapons found along with
a few drug incidents, but nothing
like what is the everyday routine in
inner-city school districts.
The reason is because what's
found on campus is a reflection of
what is found in the community.
Schools do not manufacture and sell
drugs. I know a former high school
principal who would repeat that em
phatically in the face of accusations
from parents and others who fell die
schools were not doing enough to
combat the drug problem on cam
Sch(H)ls do not sell guns to teen
agers. Schools do not serve alcohol
in the cafeteria. Schools do not teach
classes on how to deal drugs anil
how to operate a theft ring.
People should read the article
about the New York City schools
and compare the report with what is
found in Brunswick County's
schools today. The report will prob
ably make some local parents rest a
little easier at nights. While help
may be needed, let's not panic. We
arc a far cry from those inner-city
sch(x>l systems that have police
guards but still can't control the
crime on campus.
But what is brewing within die
Brunswick County community is a
crime wave that will also grow and
grow within our schools, too, if we
don't take action to combat it.
Brunswick County Sheriff s
Dctcctivc Ken Mcsscr painted lor
the audiencc at last week's police
hearing in Lcland a grim, but true,
picturc of the community.
When asked which businesses
had been broken into in the past
year, Mcsser said. "It'd probably be
easier lor me to name the ones that
haven't been broken into instead."
He told of a murder in the parking
lot of a convenience store last year.
The man was repeatedly stabbed.
One woman's reply, "You've got
me scared to go home tonight."
North Brunswick High School
may be getting a police officer sta
tioned on its campus this week.
Putting officers on campus, lor
some, conjures up the image of a
prison. For others, it represents a
move toward a safer environment
that may help improve academic
Why not try it? Maybe the Lcland
area will get its police department.
Maybe die battle against crime in
the community will help the battle
against crimes at school. Bccausc
whatever is in the community is cer
tainly in the schools.
^ W |(|f,
\v\(/ /MM ' 'A Wf/flt(il I
So You're Getting Married, You Say...
It's getting to be wedding season,
that time of year when it seems
everybody is lying the knot.
It's a very special time in most
people's lives, but there's just so
much to do.
I'll be honest; I'm talking to the
women out there because I've never
yet met a man who was more than
remotely involved in his own wed
A sexist statement, yes, but it's
Women seem to be the only peo
ple who care about these social
events, so all the planning and nail
biting seems to be done by us.
Does it seem like too much to go
through just for one day?
You bet, but I wouldn't trade my
wedding day memories for anything,
as I suppose most women would
Every wedding is different and re
flects the personality of the newly
weds, but I think I learned a few
things from my own wedding that
may be helpful to soon-to-bc brides.
Here they arc:
1. Elope. Thai's the cheapest,
fastest and least emotional way to do
it. I thought about it many limes
while planning my wedding, and I
haven't the slightest idea why 1 went
ahead with the full, over-blown
2. If you musl have a wedding
ceremony and reception, don't think
for one minute that it will be easy.
Brace yourself for a lot of details,
planning and arguments.
Make lists, lists, lists and more
lists. Write everything down or else
you may regret forgetting that tiny
3. Be prepared to spend some
money. 1 cut corners for mine by
wearing my sister's wedding dress
and headpiece and by having friends
serve as photographer and pianist.
Otherwise, you will spend money
in some way whether you have arti
ficial flowers or real flowers,
whether you have friends and family
make trays of food or hire a profes
4. While trying to save money
where you can, remember that this
day will more than likely, for some
people, be the only time you do this
in your entire life. Settling for a
cheap dress may or may not matter
to you, so you need to think about
that very hard.
If having a memorable, lovely
wedding matters to you, you need to
go ahead and do it. Don't skimp on
artificial flowers if ycu truly prefer
real flowers. Don't have the ceremo
ny in your parents' backyard if you
really want to hold it in a church that
musi be rented.
5. Get someone else to do every
thing for you. If you can afford it.
hire a wedding planner through a de
partment store to arrange everything
for you and to keep up with all the
scheduled events. Many women let
their mothers plan the whole thing
for them and just show up for the
important parts. You may save your
self a lot of tension, tears and sleep
less nights if you just hand the lists
over to someone else.
6. If you dccide, like 1 did, to plan
and organize (he whole, shebang
yourself, you're in for a real treat.
First, bind and gag your mother
(or any other female members of
your family). She will cry and tell
you that you must not love her any
more, but she needs to know that
this wedding should not be a reflec
tion of her personality, but yours.
Find something for her to do (I
assure you there arc plenty of er
rands and phone calls you can pass
on to a trusted family member.), but
tell her that you arc responsible for
how the wedding turns out.
It's true that a mother is entitled
to be involved in her daughter's
wedding. She is, after all, the
woman who nurtured you as a child,
so don't deprive her of helping.
Keep that in mind, but don't let any
one talk you into doing things that
you don't like. Ask for help, but
make the event all your own.
The first step is to dccide exactly
what you want. A big wedding or a
small, intimate wedding? Formal or
casual? Indoors or outdoors? Several
bridesmaids or no attendants at all?
I'll give you the example of my
wedding. I argued with my mother
about the kind of food to have at my
reception. I wanted to have a local
restaurant furnish seafood and bar
becue, but my mother wanted finger
sandwiches and fresh Innt, veg
etable dips and chccsc puffs. Well,
she won out in the end.
Not only was she footing the bill
for the food, but I also listened to
reason and saw that on a hot, muggy
August evening in Georgia, nobody
would enjov themselves eating
heavy, greasy food. She was right.
However, I also decided to have
the reception at a pavilion alongside
a lake with a beach. I planned vol
leyball as one of the events, since
nets were set up already. I included
inserts with the invitations urging
guests to bring a change of clothes
and even a bathing suit.
My mother assured me that no
body would play volleyball or strip
down to shorts at a wedding. She
ended up eating her words, because
just about everybody indeed brought
a change of clothes and many people
enjoyed several games of volleyball.
Many people in my family balked
when I told them the brand of beer 1
was having at the reception. Some
even said that nobody would have
beer at a wedding. My choice was
an inexpensive brand popular with
people in their late twenties/early
thirties and of college age. Many of
the guests were of that section of the
population, so I insisted that they be
made to feel at home.
By the way, 1 also relented and
bought some white wine and expen
sive beer lor those who wanted it.
In the end, everything went beau
tifully, the sunset made a stunning
backdrop and nobody had to sit
around in high heels or a tic all
But then again, that was the way
my husband and I wanted it, and
someone else might want a recep
tion with a classical pianist and ball
The key is to make it your event.
Don't listen to what people will tell
you that you should or shouldn't do.
(That includes not listening to
Everyone will be telling you,
"Oh, you can't do that!"
I heard that phrase a thousand
times, and more often than not I did
On the other hand, keep your
mind open to things that may help
your day go easier. Remember that
traditions are being broken all the
time these days, so don't let stuffy
older relatives tell you that certain
things just aren't done.
I was even in a wedding once as a
bridesmaid and had to wear a black
dress. It was unusual, but still a very
elegant, traditional wedding despite
the untradiuonal color.
Most of all, enjoy yourself.
Because you'll be so happy once
it's all over.