April 2010 Letters to the Editor

New Letters to the Editor....04.21.2010 10:00 am
Beach Access issues

What difference will "informed and effective comments on the DEIS" make? What commitment has the NPS division of the Audubon Society made to listening or even reading the comments on this travesty? I submit that the outcome is already determined.

Steve Coleman
Severna Park, Md.

Reader wants beach access but also bike paths

We want continued beach access (within the reasonable constraints of wildlife habitat) and have fished from the beach on Hatteras Island for over 35 years. This issue, however, as important as it is to the current view of the Outer Banks economy and lifestyle, is equaled in importance as the need to embrace change in the form of paved (bike) paths.

We wanted to voice the opinion that paved (bike) paths on the Outer Banks will positively impact the way people can experience our beloved area and will enhance and help serve to maintain the culture of laid back fishing villages. These are long overdue and we hope your site comes forward in strong support.

These (bike) paths are looking positively to the future and will help maintain the beauty of the past history of the islands, (not to mention the healthy lifestyle that needs to be encouraged). We'd love to see them between the villages and off the main highway. In Colorado the Summit county area of the Rocky Mountains (Breckenridge, Frisco, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Vail) are all interconnected by over 100 miles of bike paths that are 95 percent off the highways. The businesses there would be fast to admit that bikers are a huge source of income for the summer months.

Thanks for the opportunity to express an opinion.

Bob and Tina Podolak
Howard's End homeowners

July 4 fireworks show canceled on Hatteras and Ocracoke

That's really a bummer. Fireworks over the ocean are so beautiful. My family has been lucky enough to see the fireworks in Avon for the past two years. I sure will miss them this year.

Deb Parsons
Mansfield, Ohio

I am not really surprised by this decision. After last year’s explosion on the ferry landing in Ocracoke, the word was quickly spread that they would not have fireworks again, and here it is a year later and that is what happened. I can see the liability the town and village would take, and they just did not want it.

One option that they might want to consider is putting the fireworks on barges and shooting them off on the soundside for safety and better viewing.

Alexy Abdo

My family and I will be in Hatteras for 4th of July week, and I think it’s terrible that there will be no fireworks. We heard in the past that they were great. It’s also my dad’s birthday, and it’s a tradition that we see fireworks for his birthday. I hope he’s not too disappointed.

Townsend, Del.

Government in action in its full splendor: a new law requires testing of fireworks before the final show and some other local law prohibits testing since fireworks are illegal on Hatteras Island. Go figure this one.

Andjelka Rapant

I am seriously considering canceling the trip to Hatteras Island that week. What a shame! How un-American can one place get?

Chesapeake Beach, Md.

Outer Banks Angling:  A day of kayak fishing on Diamond Shoals

Great story! I felt like I was there. Next time, get some video.

Joe Ward
Louisville, Ky.

Great article. A year and a half ago, we spend a couple of months at Frisco with my two kayaks. Enjoyed fishing in the sound but did not have the courage to take the kayaks out into Diamond Shoals. Hope we can find some one to guide us out on our next visit. We have good experience and good sit-on-top fishing kayaks.

Gene Rochester
Seneca, S.C.

(Editor’s note:  You can contact the author and kayak fishing guide Rob Alderman at [email protected].)

Outer Banks Angling: Kayak Wars

Well written article, Rob! It really gets to the heart of what Kayak Wars is all about -- fishing. Thanks for supporting all of our hard work. It’s all about the sport.

Rich Underbrink
San Antonio, Tex.

East Carolina Health considering closing one of its Hatteras medical centers

It doesn't make much sense to close the owned facility in Hatteras and keep the leased facility open in Avon if the issue is saving money.

Martha McCullough

Where is it mandated that any particular facility must be profitable? Where does the proposal fit in the overall fiscal scheme of East Carolina Health?

A.E. Bisantz

Visiting Portsmouth Island is a trip back in time

That was fun to read, and Don's photos, as usual, are great. What a fascinating place.

Joe Ward
Louisville, Ky.

Guest Column:  Anyone for a swim?

I am reminded that out in Oregon, high school students are required to show certain skills before graduation. One of which is the ability to tread water and swim 100 meters. Oregon has one of the lowest youth drowning records in the U.S. Living on an island, it seems that not being given this skill is just short of criminal.

Chuck Allison
Avalon, N.J.

Ocracoke Real Estate:  Why a fire tax is needed on the island

While I agree a "fire tax" is the best way to fund a new facility and that it is very much needed, I do have concern relative to the size of the project ($2.4 million). Given public funds (a fire tax) hopefully will pay for the project and recognizing there are many needs on the island (street drainage for one) that public dollars could fund, it is imperative that prudence prevail as to the magnitude of the project. My thinking is that a basic functional facility should be built with planning for additions as the needs of the community grow. Our community is made up of many individuals who are on a limited fixed income. Additional taxes of any kind are difficult for low income families to pay. We need to be very mindful to only tax for what is needed and "not to duplicate" facilities by way of a $2.4 million Fire Department building that we already have (example the Community Center). It is evident from the problems our nation, state and county governments are having relative to funding sources (budget cuts) that we as a community should be very mindful as to building only what is needed irrespective of what can be funded. At least that is my view. Again I wholeheartedly support the project and the "method of funding."

Wayne Clark

Business briefs on Community Page

I would never have known about the new business, Ruth's Simple Stitch, if it were not for Island Free Press. Dry cleaning and alterations is a definite need here. Thank you, Island Free Press. I will be there tomorrow!

Shaun Gerhard

Judge Boyle’s conference on the consent decree

 My dad has a place near waves. James Lea, thanks for the report here. I read it all. It was very good.

Ed Eichinger

Serendipity has a new home
This was awesome! You are fortunate to have your beach home. Ours was totally destroyed during Hurricane Ike – nowhere to be seen or found and only the pilings and a slab left.  It was on Crystal Beach in Pt. Bolivar, Tex. It's heart wrenching! This home is beautiful. I am so happy for you. Could we come visit sometime?

Jeannie Schmidt
Beaumont, Tex.

Thanks for keeping those of us who wish to be there updated on all the fascinating happenings on the OBX. Keep up the good work!

Gary Stopa
Sterling, Va.

New book weaves Ocracoke history into ghostly tales

I was born in Frisco on Hatteras Island in 1930. My mother was the daughter of Charles H. Fulcher and Delora (Austin) Fulcher of Hatteras. My grandfather was an assistant light house keeper from 1906, the year my mother was the first born at the keeper’s inn. He served until 1920. Our boogie man was called “Trycod.” He was supposed to be an old fisherman in foul weather southwester hat and high hip boots. There was an old wooden bridge called Poyner’s Bridge down near the soundside leading to the Little Grove Methodist Church. It was said that you could always hear a small baby crying. I even thought I heard it to.

Frisco, when I was young, was called Trent Woods. We would all get together on weekends and tell of all of the weary things that happened in upper Trent and lower Trent, just a way of being together. Those times have left me with some fond memories -- just like the ones on Ocracoke stories. I just wanted to let you know we all have our past memories of some very happy days.

Paul Sharp ( Fulcher, Austin Clan and many more)
Chesapeake, Va.

New Letters to the Editor....04.02.2010 11:30 am

Report on Judge Boyle’s status conference on the consent decree

Judge Boyle should be removed from this case. He or anyone who puts a bird not native to North Carolina before humans has to off his rocker. This man knows nothing but what the bird watchers tell him. If he had any sense at all, he would go there and observe for himself. What a shame this country has gone to the birds. The birds will get along just fine without his help.

Randall Barger
Faith, N.C.

How much more ridiculous can this "process" become?  It is beyond evident it is one sided and tainted.  I am appalled that my tax dollars are supplementing Judge Boyle's paycheck! Can we have some semblance of realistic scientific data?  Where is our TCP input? Where is the honesty? I guess a “court of law” is not what I was brought up and taught to believe it was.  It’s disgraceful.

Thank you, for the hard and fair work of Island Free Press.

Ali Kerekes
Kill Devil Hills

Park Service’s DEIS for off-road vehicle management is now public

The National Park Service has once again overstepped its bounds.  My family has been coming to the Hatteras area for many years for fishing and vacationing.  The restrictions the NPS continues to put in and the varying dates, times, and locations of the restrictions have become too much of a hassle. 

We love the area but will not return because of the uncertainty of being able to get out on the beach at any one place or particular time.  I feel sorry for those of you who make a living off of vacationers like my family and me.  You all are the ones who really loose out due to the NPS actions.

Good luck to you all.  We will be vacationing on the Crystal Coast from now on!

L.T. Norman
Richmond, Va.

While struggling to develop some new thinking about this, I find myself in need of firing a preliminary shot across the bow. Reviewing the full DEIS takes a while.

We have heard the facts, the pseudo-facts, the perceptions, the prejudices, the lies,  the damn lies and the statistics. Believe what you will -- ruminating them won't change them. One must simply engulf them as one should eat an elephant -- one bite at a time.
Shore birds and turtles are endangered by weather and by predators. They will avoid these if they can, and there is space to which they can retreat. Beach driving has not been shown to be a significant risk to them.
There is no doubt, however, that atop the other travails that bear upon human activities and livelihood on the Outer Banks is the environmentalist-driven effort to eliminate vehicular recreational activity on these beaches. The economic impact of this added suppression of tourism created by the consent decree is significant, ill-justified and simply wrong. For the plaintiffs to criticize us for this opposition is arrogant.
It is necessary that control of these beaches be returned to the people and their NPS jointly.

Fred Westervelt

I spent more than $50 on ink, paper, folders, and expanding wallets to print the DEIS. How does the Park Service expect the average person to go through 800 pages in 60 days and make intelligent comments? I'm not a lawyer getting paid to read this. I work for a living. What does restricting pedestrian access have to do with driving on the beach? This plan is a catch-all to support the enviro-nut agenda of human exclusion.

Bob Leh
Easton, Pa.

The tale of two Banker ponies

Thank you so much! We always enjoy stories of the ponies and the friends who care for them. Hope to get a picture when I arrive on Ocracoke in April 19. It will be the first time I've stayed since our family rented the Rondthaler cottage on Silver Lake in 1961. I always do day visits but this time it will again be a whole week! I will forward your Web site to my great nephews in Valley Forge as they are reading as much as possible about Ocracoke and Hatteras islands and hope to come next year.

Joyce Elizabeth Luff
West Lawn, Pa.

Silent Spring:  Where are all Ocracoke’s frogs and toads?

If anyone sees Pat Garber walking around Hatteras with a shoe box under her arm, it's a pretty safe bet what she is up to.

Ocracoke, NC

Ocracoke needs help with cat population explosion

I have one.  She adopted me last fall when I was camping at the National Park Service campground.  She was about 6 months old, looked kind of like the one in the photo, and is one of the most loveable cats that have ever owned me. She has been spayed and is a permanent indoor cat now.  I encourage anyone who is looking for a unique but loveable pirate cat to get one.

Norm LeBlan
Norfolk, Va.

A thank-you to citizens of Hatteras and Ocracoke

Thank you, citizens of Ocracoke and Hatteras!  You’ve helped to make most of the waters of the Pamlico Sound cleaner than they were 10, or even 20 years ago.  With your support, several things have happened that are having positive impacts on our fragile sound.  We’ve taken phosphates out of our laundry detergents to reduce damaging algae blooms.  We’re starting to trap some of the stormwater runoff from our paved areas so that less oil, gas, and other pollutants wash off our roads and parking lots and into the sound.  We’re leaving planted buffer strips along the sound and estuarine creeks so that nature can do its cleansing thing through natural filtration.     

Perhaps the most meaningful step we’ve taken as ordinary citizens is an understanding that much of what we spread or spray on our own lawn washes off the lawn and ultimately into Pamlico Sound.  So we’re being more careful – spraying and fertilizing less and never before a rain event.

So, on behalf of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, thank you, folks!  For more information on how you can further help our sound and enjoy all it has to offer, visit us at

Bill Hunneke, President
Pamlico-Tar River Foundation
Washington, N.C.

2010 Previous Letters to the Editor
March 2010
February  2010

January 2010

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