page has errors
The date, title, or page description is wrong
This page has harmful content
This page contains sensitive or offensive material
Click "Submit" to request a review of this page.
0 / 75
Edwani M. Sweat t and Camlyn H. Sweatt Publishers
Edward M. Sweatt Editor
Susan Usher News Editor
Terry Pope Staff Writer
Doug Rutter Sports Editor
Maijorie Meglvern Associate Editor
Peggy Earwood Office Manager
Carolyn H. Sweatt Advertising Director
Tlmberley Adams. Cecelia Gore
and Linda Cheers Advertising Representatives
Dorothy Brennan and Brenda Cleramons Moore ..Graphic Artists
William Manning Pressman
Lonnle Sprinkle Assistant Pressman
Tracy Smith Photo Technician
Phoebe Clemmons and Frances Sweatt Circulation
PAGE 4 -A, THURSDAY, MAY 14. 1992
Housing Rehab Effort
Is Long Overdue Here
You may have missed the article on Page 7-A in last week's is
sue of The Brunswick Beacon , "Grant Would Upgrade Homes
Along Busy Hale Swamp Road."
The news was important; it might have made the front page
some other week.
Brunswick County is applying for its first community revital
ization grant under the Community Development Block Grant
program. Several municipalities, including Navassa and
Southport. have received grants in the past. But the county has
Now the county is seeking a $647,(XX) grant to improve hous
ing conditions for residents living along Hale Swamp Road south
You may know Hale Swamp Road by its former name.
Blueberry Farm Road; it's one route for getting to Ocean Isle
Beach from Shallotte. It's a route some people choose not to take,
because they don't want to deal with what they see. something
reminiscent of a Third World nation. Out of sight, out of mind,
If you've ever gone that way, it most likely left a taiubling im
pression, as it did with a consultant working on the county's ap
He said, "It kind of grabs you when you go down that road."
That it does. You have probably asked yourself, "How can peo
ple live in such homes, in such squalor?" That's probably as far
as most people's concern has gone.
But the Brunswick County Public Housing Department didn't
forget the families in those overcrowded, sub-standard houses on
.that road and in other neighborhoods across Brunswick County.
With more than 500 substandard houses in the county, we have to
sum someplace, and Hale Swamp Road is an appropriate begin
County Manager David Clegg was quoted last week as saying
"It's time" for the county to get into community rehabilitation.
It's past time. While we might not want to admit it, such an ef
fort is long overdue. It's a possibility now because it seems the
county may be able to count a $100,000 elevated water tower as
its local match. How to match grants has been a stumbling block
in the past, with the county unwilling to use its cash for that pur
We should all be embarrassed that there are families living in
such conditions in our community. Decent shelter should be
something families in America take for granted. This project will
help fill part of the void; the Brunswick County Chapter of
Habitat For Humanity will fill another, and home repair groups
such as Helping Hands fill yet another.
By nature quick to judge others, we may ask how anyone
would allow themselves to live in such conditions.
We forget-not having experienced it ourselves-that poverty
and despair can paralyze the human spirit, sapping it of will, of
dignity, of the ability to deal with anything more fundamental
than mere survival.
Add to that the traditional escapes of our society such as alco
hol and drug use, and you have a vicious cycle that may include
abuse of family members, illiteracy, unemployment, drug and/ or
alcohol abuse, crime, teen-age pregnancies and unwed moth
ers-most any social ill you can name.
The Public Housing agency is talking about going the next
mile, working with these targeted 18 families through a counsel
ing program to not only provide decent housing, but to teach
them how to maintain and care for their homes, and encourage
them to continue their education.
That's a good beginning. But why not go one step further, and
make it true community/human development project? Why not
involve other agencies in trying to work with this target group of
families? The county social services and health departments,
Brunswick Community College and the literacy council, Hope
Harbor Home and perhaps Southeastern all could play a role in
giving these families an opportunity to regain their dignity and
become more productive individuals.
Women Of America, Take Over!
Granted I'm a highly impression
able son, bui the recent "Clinton for
President" rally made a Hillary
Clinton groupie out of me. With no
preconceived notions, 1 instantly be
came a fan of this sleek, sharp, yet
warm-hearted spokesperson for the
Leaving that rally with a glow of
admiration, 1 was reminded of the
two presidential wives 1 have met in
the line of journalistic duty and the
common thread that unites those ex
As a new education reporter for
the Star-News , it was my enviable
responsibility to accompany the
winner of the regional spelling bee
to Washington, D.C., for national
competition. (Those were the days
when this daily newspaper spon
sored the regional winner)
It was a dazzling, fun-filled week
end for me, apart from my coverage
of the bee, partly bccausc we re
porters got to see so many touristy
sights along with the children.
One traditional activity for con
testants was the visit to the White
House for a reception at which the
kids got to meet the First Lady. This
was a highlight, as you might imag
ine, for wide-eyed youngsters, also
for this wide-eyed reporter. In a
great ballroom an enormous table
was spread with zillions of cookies
and wonderful punch to please
youthful appetites; thcii everyone
filed by ihc First Lady fc. a hand
This was the Nixon era and, more
signif'icandy, the Watergate era. It
was 1974 and the worst of the presi
dential revelations had just been laid
before the nation. As a rabid
Democrat. 1 brought little sympathy
with me to Washington for "Tricky
However, when 1 lined up that
day with the spellers to greet Pat
Nixon, I was stricken with compas
sion and dismay. This pencil-thin lit
tle woman held in her drawn face all
the pain of the investigation.
Nevertheless, she stood with dig
nity and grace through the ceremony
of welcoming hundreds of children
with a warm smile. This must have
been one of dozens of activities she
could have justifiably cancelled, but
she didn't. I so admired this gallant
woman, innocently trapped by a
husband's ambition. When it was
my turn to meet her, I choked out
something inane like "God bicss
you," and have held Mrs. Nixon in
my heart eve since.
Two years later I met Rosalynn
Carter just days after iiei husband's
election. Chairman of New Hanover
County's Mental Health Asso
ciation, I was also still a Star-News
reporter. I pcisuadcd the newspaper
to let me cover Ihe national Mental
Health Conference in Philadelphia,
because Mrs. Carter would be there.
Remember how deeply she had been
involved in this cause long before
she gained the limelight?
1 hoped 1 could get an interview
with her, but the conference day
came and I still had not nailed down
an appointment. My plan was to cor
ral her at the event, at least for a few
With dozens of others in the hotel
lobby the opening day of the confer
ence, 1 craned my neck toward the
cntrancc, awaiting the arrival of the
new First Lady-elect. Right on time,
she came thaiugh the doors, but had
we not been familiar with her face,
I'm not sure we would have recog
nized her. The slim little woman
came marching in, unaccompanied
by any entourage. Dressed in a
downright dowdy skirt and cardigan
sweater, she strode purposefully to
the ballroom for her meeting, just
throwing small, shy smiles in our di
Rosalynn Carter was not dabbling
in mental health in order to get me
ilia attention. It was a genuine pas
sion of hers and the report she gave
on the convention floor demonstrat
ed that. I stood in the balcony, sur
veying her and my chances of meet
ing her, spellbound by her ordinari
ness and by the depth of her in
Suddenly I saw her leave the
room below and I scampered out
and down the stairs. There she was.
on her way to the Ladies Room! No
one else was in the hallway. ..now
was my chance!
I stopped Mrs. Carter and intn>
duced myself. She smiled vaguely at
me, then remembered the name and
apologized for the circumstances.
"I'm sorry, but I just won't have
time for an interview," she said gra
ciously, and continued on her mis
sion, perhaps an urgent one.
None of my meetings with First
Ladies and a First Lady-hopeful
were of much significance, but in all
three cases I had the same reaction.
Each of these women had qualities
of substance, integrity and intelli
gence in measures far surpassing
their husbands. Have we been elect
ing the wrong sex for a long time,
now? Feminist notion or not. 1 can't
help wondering, what could this
country be like with such responsi
ble people at the helm?
Hillary, if Bill doesn't make it
this time, why don't YOU try in
NOW THAT THE PRIMARY
XS OVER, X DON'T
KNOW WHAT 1
BUT JANET WOULD
ro me again if
I VOTED FOR
EDNA IS SUCH A REPUBLICAN,
she'll justhate aie jf
How Busy Is Your
'Viewing Screen7 ?
Elsewhere in this edition you'll
find an article by Marjorie Megivern
about a reading program at Wacca
maw Elementary School that en
courages parents and their children
to read, and even better, to read to
gether as well as individually.
This program is a fantastic idea.
One of our employees, CeCe Gore,
and her son Christopher participate.
They give rave reviews.
The importance of reading can't
be overemphasized. And how do
children become readers except
through the encouragement and ex
ample of their parents and other
adult role models?
Studies by a University of
Maryland sociology professor indi
cate that the average adult American
reads just 24 minutes a day. That's
down one-quarter since 1965.
With all the modern technology
available to us, the question is
asked, "Who needs to read?"
The answer hasn't changed.
Writing in the Nov. 18 issue of
Time, Stratford P. Sherman states it
simply: "...everyone who hopes to
be productive or successful."
He continues, "Reading is strong
ly connected to many of the most im
portant skills in business-among
them speech and writing, the prima
ry forms of human communication."
How much time do you spend
reading every day? Chances arc
more than the typical American citi
zen; after all, you're reading a news
paper right now.
In contrast, how much time do
you spend watching television?
Television isn't all bad; that's a
good thing since the average child
spends more time indiscriminately
watching television-ihe harried par
ent's babysitter- than they do on
schoolwork or reading.
A survey by the N.C. Division of
Public Instruction of middle-school
students about their television view
ing habits yielded some similarly
Many of their parents do little bet
ter, glued to whatcvcr's on the screen
of the family's other television set.
The scene in many homes these
days, with their multiple television
sets and VCRs, is reminiscent of
that described in Ray Bradbury's
talc of The Pedestrian. It was writ
ten in 1951, just as that most mar
velous and terrifying of all ma
chines, television, started to become
a household word.
The story was written as science
fiction, but sometimes a writer's
imagination has a prophetic quality.
Leonard Mead, the pedestrian is a
man who goes against all the norms
of A.D. 2053: He is unmarried, lives
alone and prefers rambling the
streets and meadows at night to sit
ting in front of the viewing screen
that has become virtually an object
of worship in each household.
When he heads out of an evening,
he is always the only one about. All
others arc enthralled by their view
ing screens, retiring to their living
rooms and dens to see what's on the
tube that particular night.
"Sometimes he would walk for
hours and miles and return only at
midnight to his house. And on his
way he would see the cottages with
their dark windows and it was not
unequal to walking through a grave
yard where only the faintest glim
mers of firefly light appeared in
nickers behind the windows..."
"Hello in there," he whispered to
every house on every side. "What's
up tonight on channel four...channel
seven.. .channcl nine? Where are the
cowboys rushing, and do I see the
United States cavalry over the next
hill to the rescue?"
One evening Mead is slopped by
a robot-activated cop car that wants
to know what he is doing out and
about when he has a perfectly good
house with air conditioning and oth
"And you have a viewing screen
in your house to see with?" the
voice asked as part of its routine
"No," Mead said, telling the voice
that he had walked at night for
The back door of the police car
springs open and the voice directs
Mead, "Gel in."
He peers into the cell-like area, a
little black jail with bars.
"Where arc you taking mc?" he
asks, though I'm certain he knew the
'To the psychiatric ccnter for re
search on regressive tendencies."
Mead and his escort passed one
house on one street a moment later,
one house in an entire city of houses
that were dark. But this one particu
lar house had all of its clcctric lights
brightly lit, every window a loud
yellow illumination, square and
warm in the cool darkness.
It was the last bastion of the
It was Leonard Mead's house, of
"Unless Americans start reading
more," warns Stratford P. Sherman,
"they may someday lose their ability
to imagine much of anything for
ihcmsclvcs-including a world dif
ferent from the one on the screen."
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Let's Stop Fussing Over Petty
To the editor
As a resident of Brunswick County, I have
read with interest the on-going debate over the
new post office at Seaside. I realty don't under
stand the views and attitudes of some people, es
pecially Mr. (Roney) Cheers, towards the new
I live on Ocean Isle Beach, or as Mr. Cheers
said, "that end of the county". What is wrong
with the people, contractors, developers, etc., on
this end of the county? Don't the people of
Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset, Calabash and Seaside
and other parts of "that end of the county" pay
taxes and deserve conveniences just as do the
people in Shallottc? Haven't the people here al
ways supported business in Shallottc as well as
other areas of the county? Is there something
wrong with progress in our county?
On the statement of the post office in
Shalloue being a "landmark," the building, so
I've been told, does not belong to the post office.
It's a leased building. What happens when the
lease runs out and the owner wants another busi
ness there? Or, what happens when a new post
office is built in Shalloue? No more landmark!!
As for the postmaster's office, how many
times has Mr. Cheers visited the postmaster's of
fice in Shallottc before this debate? 1 checked.
He never has. As for the mail handling, doesn't
it seem feasible for them to have an expanded
work area so as to better move the mail? How
many times has anyone in the county had to
meet a mail handler at the post office?
Since I've lived here and decided to make
Brunswick County my home, I've found some
of the most wonderful people in the world! In
my job I've traveled all over the world from
Spain, Germany, South America, Japan,
Singapore, Australia, Israel and all in between. I
always have the same feeling inside-I can't wail
to get back to Ocean Isle Beach and Brunswick
We have a great county and huge potential
here, so why cannot all of as work together and
get involved in the "really important issues and
Let's make Brunswick County an even better
place to live and slop fussing over petty annoy
Occan Isle Beach
(More LK'ITKRS, I'age 5)