PHOTO BY BIU FAVE*
THIS KESTRAL, or sparrow hawk, is an important link in the food chain.
All Form Links In The Chain
BY BILL FAVER
Most of us know animals need energy and raw ma
terials in order to grow and develop and to carry out
their life processes.
Although these animals gain
vitamins and warmth from sun
light, they cannot capture and use
the light energy from the sun di
? V r v- rcctly. They must get their energy
> _ and raw materials by eating plants
or by eating other animals who
have eaten plants.
Only plant materials can trans
form the sun's energy into a form
useful to consumers-lhc animals
feeding on the plants.
There is a wide range of plant material on land.
Leaves, grasses, roots, bark, sap, flowers, fruits, nuts,
nectar and seeds arc some of the material available to
Along the seashore, the waters contain lichens,
seaweeds and phytoplankton as plant materials.
Also, some of the material from land plants accu
mulates in the water as food for sea creatures.
Plant materials form the basic link in the food
chain. Animals feeding on plant materials, like cows,
rabbits and snails, arc called herbivores. Animals feed
ing mainly on other animals arc carnivores. Omnivorcs
arc the animals that feed on both plant and animal ma
Some examples of herbivores are weevils, caterpil
lars, bees, beetles, rabbits, micc, seed-eating birds and
Some of the carnivores are toads and frogs, spi
ders, caLs and dogs, hawks, owls, gulls, crabs, fish and
Omnivores include some of the warblers and other
birds, shrimp, fan worms, barnacles, sponges, herring
gulls and human beings.
We can think of each plant or animal as a link in
the food chain. When a snail feeds on a thistle we have
a two-link food chain. If a bird cats the snail, wc get a
three-link food chain, and it bccomcs a four-link food
chain if a hawk cats the bird.
Another four-link chain happens when zooplank
ton (animal) cats phytoplankton (plant) and then mack
erel caLs zooplankton and man (or woman) caLs mack
It's easy to visualize food chains for large animals.
Think about the small ones-insects, worms and tiny
sea crittcrs-and sec if you can construct food chains
for them. Such an effort helps us appreciate our sur
roundings and understand some of the effects of pollu
tion and overuse on our resources.
Postal Changes: Petty
Annoyance Or Real Problem ?
To ihc editor:
It is quite evident that our postal
servicc in Shallotte has deteriorated
quite noticeably since the move to
the new post office (at Sunset
Beach). It seems that our erstwhile
postmaster and public servant has no
regard for the foremost needs of our
He has been quoted as saying that
the businesses and the people would
have no curtailment of services.
Perhaps this public paid bureaucrat
should take at good look at this situ
The manner in which all of this
has occurred is appalling. Just to ap
pease the employees of the postal
service is no reason to inconve
nience the public.
Mr. Frank Bringoli, our erstwhile
postmaster and chief public servant
and bureaucrat, has made the fol
lowing comments, as recalled to the
best of my knowledge:
1. The building in Shallotte is
dirty and the people should see it. (A
little soap, water and elbow grease
could solve lii at problem.)
2. The building in Shallotte has
excessive amounts of asbestos. (No
one else has complained about it.)
3. Postmaster did not have ample
4. Letter carriers did not liavc am
5. Shorter hours, lunchlimc clos
ings, early daily closing as well as
early closing on Saturday are the re
sult of budget cuts.
6. If more postal employees were
available servicc would be better.
7. Putting mail up late docs not
occur. (Frankly, this statement bor
ders on the utmost of obvious pre
8. Noises of laughter, joking
around and loud conversations are
heard around the boxes during time
mail should be put up is due to carri
ers, not postal clerks.
There is more to mention, but let
the above suffice for now. Our erst
while (X)stmaster says no services
arc nor will be cut. By his own state
ments, cuts are being made shorter
hours to do business, lewei employ
ees to serve the public on desk and
late mail, to name some of the cuts.
Perhaps now that the jx>sunaster
is in his new quarters, he doesn't
visit Shallotte and see for himscll
wh^t jfv situation truly is.
I think thai contact by phone, let
ter, fax and the like should be made
with postal officials, elected politi
cians and anyone who might be able
to help to remedy our situation.
In closing, the tone of my conver
sation reflected arrogance on the
part of our postmaster, a public ser
vant who should try to help our
W.R. (Bill) Waldron
To the editor:
An organization exists in our
county that deserves a note of
The Brunswick County Animal
Welfare League, through its mem
bership and support, has kept nu
merous unwanted litters of kittens
and puppies from being born by
their assistance of helping to fund
the services of neutering and spay
Their efforts have addressed a
large problem in our county with a
simple solution. Neutering and spay
ing not only cuts down on unwanted
animals and strays, it saves our tax
dollars, as many of these animals
face a certain death at pounds due to
a lack of homes.
Many thanks to the members of
the Brunswick County Animal
Welfare L-eague for your efforts,
your concern and your help. You've
taken action and made a difference
and that's what counts. Much con
It Took More
To Save Lives
To the alitor:
With great pride the Greater
Holden Beach Merchants Associa
tion commends the Holden Beach
Water Rescue Squad, Coastline
Rescue, the Holden Beach Policc
and Salty charter boat for the splen
did success of their lifesaving effort
May 3 at Holden Beach. Each par
ticipant performed the role assigned
them excellently, with the result that
lives were saved.
Some critics have labeled the suc
ccss "luck." Well, if the Salty
hadn't been called and diverted be
fore anyone knew cxacdy what was
happening; if the swimmers had not
been kept calm by the police, thus
expediting their transfer to the Salty,
if the rescue squad had not been at
the bcach and at the marina to trans
port people to the hospital and pro
vide first aid; if one of these links
had broken down, lives could have
been lost. Sounds like skill, not luck.
Too often all of us arc guilty of
being critical of our volunteer rescue
and fire persons and certainly about
our island policc.
Well, this incident should make
us pause and realize how lucky we
are to have such a fine group of peo
ple serving our community.
Jim Lowell, President
Greater Holden Bcach
INJURED OR DISABLED?
GLANCY AND ARMSTRONG,
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Kathleen Shannon Glancy, Attorney
Robert L. Armstrong, Attorney
Michael L. Glancy, Disability
1-800-336-0155 ? 762-6091
1 1 4 South Front Street, Wilmington
| WflYLAND VEREEN
An Eye For An
Eye With A Fishing Pole
There arc worse things in life than
getting poked in the eye with a fish
ing pole, but I've found that few
things arc more painful.
1 did that to myself last week and
spent most of a day at the eye doc
"Did someone do you this favor,
or did you happen to manage it on
your own?" the ophthalmologist
asked just before squirting my eye
with a yellow liquid dye.
There's nothing I hate more than
to put liquids in my eyes, in my cars
or up my nose. I'm such a baby
about taking mcdicinc of any kind,
and those that arc absorbed by the
sensory organs in my head throw mc
"I did it to myself," I answered,
knowing what the good doctor
would ask next.
"Well, did you catch any fish?"
No. Actually, I was replacing a
ladder in the storage shed at home
when a comer snagged the tip of a
fishing pole stored away overhead.
When the ladder finally turned
loose, the tip of the pole flew back
and gave mc a stunning whack in
the left eye.
I never even saw it; I never had
time to blink. It happened so quick.
And then that sick feeling that
comes from being scared beyond
funny takes over when you think
you've lost an eye. For a while I was
We're At Your
Shallotte ? Southport
Terry f T
Pope *. ?
afraid to take my hand away, think
ing that the world would be black
when I finally opened it.
The world wasn't dark after all,
but everything was blurry. After
looking in a mirror, I determined the
pole had scraped my eyeball and
eyelid and gave me a strong lick just
below the eyebrow, on that part of
the forehead that overhangs the eye
like a ledge. It was starting to swell
st) I packed it in ice.
That Saturday was a good day for
working in the yard. I had spent
most of the day washing the walls of
the storage shed
When the eye didn't improve
overnight, I took it to one of those
emergency walk-in clinics on Sun
A nurse there had asked the same
"1 got poked in the eye with a rod
and reel," I told her.
She looked at me like 1 was crazy.
a nxl and reel." I nervously re
"Oh, you mean a fishing pole,"
she added. "Did you catch any
1 had lo explain that it happened
at home, that 1 never left the yard,
had never intended to go fishing and
will now probably throw the stupid
pole into the trash.
"We've been swamped with in
juries today," the nurse explained.
"When the weather's nice and peo
ple start working in their yards, acci
dents tend to happen."
A doctor there numbed the eye,
put in some ointment and patched it
When the morning sunlight hit
the eye the next morning, I stag
gered around like Dracula. An oph
thalmologist would know for sure if
there was serious damage.
His final prognosis was that I had
suffered a corneal abrasion with nor
mal healing expected. I would have
blurred vision for a few days and the
eye would be sensitive to bright
light. I'm thankful that it wasn't se
rious, and ?t made me think about
others who arc less fortunate.
Sure enough, he was right. The
eye is feeling better, but if I get up
enough nerve to venture back into
the storage shed again, that fishing
pole is history ? it's gone. An eye
for an eye.
to everyone who supported
and voted for me in the May
Please continue to support
me if the runner-up calls for
a run-off in June!
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