August  2010 Letters to the Editor

New Letters to the Editor....08.24.2010 4:00 pm

Duke Energy changes focus of Coastal Wind Demonstration Project

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The cost to construct and maintain a wind turbine farm offshore is astronomically more expensive than to construct one onshore along the coast, while there are only marginal differences in wind speed. If Duke or any one else is really interested in providing sustainable energy from wind, it will need to be constructed on dry land. Otherwise, the return on investment (ROI) is just not there.

Eddie Fort

Build it now -- sound or ocean. Quit dragging your feet. Every day the wind blows, which is almost every day around here, you’re burning up finite resources. The reason why this costs so much is because of these tedious studies, re-evaluations, etc. If you can recall a scene from the movie, “A Field of Dreams,” they said, "If you build it, they will come." It's pretty much the same scenario. The wind is here. Tap into it. It isn't rocket science.

Adam Herman
Nags Head

Maryland man drowns at Ocracoke beach

I am sorry to hear of the drowning of Mr. Wolf at Ocracoke.  On July 20, 2010 my husband had to be rescued from Ramp 49 in Frisco. He, my son-in-law, and granddaughter all got caught in a rip current. My son-in-law and granddaughter got out fine, but my husband couldn't. Luckily for us, there was a retired New Jersey lifeguard parked next to them on the beach, and he saw my husband was in trouble. He went out with a boogie board and brought him in. We are grateful that God sent him a guardian angel that day. If not for him, my husband would not have made it in and would have drowned.

Virginia Gunn
Prince George, Va.

Ocracats hosts N.C. State vets at clinic to spay and neuter 97 feral cats

I loved reading the article -- 97 feral kitties! What a major undertaking! Your community is truly a special place. Through your kindness and generosity, these little kitties have a chance at a happy and fulfilled life. Congrats to the spay/neuter efforts.

Asheville, N.C.

Outer Banks Angling:  The fishing report for Aug. 12-18

Great report! I look forward to following along in the future. I am looking to purchase my first kayak this fall and really enjoy reading and learning from your post and reports. Keep up the good work.

Mark Seders
Climax, N.C.

Great article. Keep ‘em coming. Thanks.

Mechanicsville, Va.

The old Hatteras in photographs

I really love these old pictures. Thank you very much for sharing them. How I wish I could travel back in time to then. I was such a simpler time, so less complicated than today.

Keith Houchens
Troy, Va.

Great photos. I would love to find out if he has any photos of the Hatteras Weather Station. I had a gentleman come by last year – 2009. He had been an intern here in 1942, and he later sent us some photos. I have them here at the weather station and would love add to the ones we have. Put the word out if anyone has photos, we could put in our album here.

Mike Martin
Outer Banks Visitor Bureau
Old Hatteras Weather Station

I was 5 years old when my parents took my two brothers and me to Hatteras Island for the first of many summer vacations. The first year we went was in 1958. I have so many wonderful memories and have been every year since. We also spend Thanksgiving week there as well. I have a daughter who loves the island and lives in Frisco with her family. Thanks to my parents, we all grew to love the Outer Banks. We always stayed in Buxton, and there wasn't much there then. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Martha Keziah
Lincolnton, N.C.

Wow, you can really see how much the beach has changed over the years.  It's amazing.  Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos with everyone who reads the paper.

Lisa White
Morganton, N.C.

Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures with us. Truly amazing how much it has changed looking at them.

Jackie Sancho
Marysville, Ohio

Where has all the liquor gone? The shelves are empty in Ocracoke ABC store

I am a property owner on Ocracoke and, needless to say, I have never been happy about the way Hyde County taxes us, but bailing out the liquor stores is a little much. I would not like to see the liquor store close, which I see now, from your later article, that it is not the case. I have always supported it and have encouraged my friends from out-of-state to do the same.
My concern, having been in the retail business, is how can a business that has so little revenue afford to pay a chairman (Etheridge) of the ABC board and a supervisor, plus employees to operate each store, a bookkeeper, rent, utilities, and other miscellaneious expenses. A half-million dollar business generating a 39 percent gross profit at its best could just make its expenses. Is there anyone with a business background involved in this at all?

Tom Garland
Thaxton, Va.

Hatteras village’s Margaret Peele celebrates Halloween with a 95th birthday party

When my daughter was a child, we vacationed on Cape Hatteras every year. Every year we stayed at the Atlantic View Motel. I cannot find it anywhere. However, I noticed Donna Peele in the slide show. What has happened to the motel? So many fond memories. As Miss Margaret illustrates quite well, Hatteras is a place where fond memories are sure to happen.

Wendy Price
Frederick, Md.

(Editor’s note:  The Atlantic View Motel was turned in condominiums in some years ago.  The condos are located behind the Hatteras Realty office on Highway 12 in the village.  The realty officer was formerly the motel office.)

Conner’s Cape Hatteras Supermarket: A family tradition for 50 years

I wish I had read this story in time to attend the 50th anniversary celebration. I wish my cousins all the best, and thanks for the Conner's Supermarket T-shirt.

Charles G. Conner
Winston-Salem, N.C.

Readers are happy to have found Island Free Press

I am so thankful that a friend of ours. Mary, let us know about The Island Free Press online. It keeps us up on what is going on, on the island while we are not there. Been coming for 16 years. Thanks, Mary! You know who you are!

James Weisenberger
Clarksburg, W.Va.

New Letters to the Editor....08.13.2010 12:30

East Carolina Health considering closing one of its Hatteras medical centers

I have been visiting HI since 1953. my parents purchased property in Buxton in 1955. Louise and I purchased property in Buxton in 2001. My family members have all needed the services the clinics provide.

Recommend the county charge each rental and motel contract a fee/tax to cover the operation of both clinics. With the large number of folks coming to Hatteras Island, the fee/tax would not be too large and would cover the winter costs.

Dave Black
Annapolis, Md.

Dare County needs to get tough on this issue, even if it means dumping HealthEast, which, of course, Mr. Bobby Owens isn't about to let happen. Hatteras needs both of those centers and you can bet the losses are only on paper. And, while we at it, when is Dare County going to start collecting rental fees for the Dialysis Center in Manteo? Are they still claiming losses over there after all these years? If Dare County and its "good ole boys" would stop snubbing Albemarle Hospital and admit we aren't better than the rest of the northeastern region of NC, we would all be better off -- if HealthEast doesn't come around, dump them, and give someone else a chance. Unfortunately, however, Warren Judge and Allen Burrus, prodded by Owens, will just put out the cash, no matter how much it costs, for these much need facilities.

Ray Midgett

Profit? Profit off of our basic right to health care? Another reason why we need free basic health care for every American.


Guest Column:  Breast cancer doesn’t have to be an ugly phrase
Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your open and honest comments regarding breast cancer. I sincerely believe that personal accounts, such as yours, generate awareness and instill hope for patients and their friends and family. I appreciate your support of our endeavors to educate our community and support early detection for optimal treatment outcomes.

Van Smith
The Outer Banks Hospital

Golf carts are the way to go on Ocracoke and are catching on in Hatteras village

Golf carts being permitted and rented in Hatteras village and on Ocracoke is a splendid idea! The roads will not be as congested, the air less polluted, and there will also be a gasoline savings. I can't wait for them to be available in Hatteras, although I'm afraid I'll have to wait until our October, 2011 visit. I certainly have hopes that perhaps there will be a few available for our October, 2010 stay. Hatteras village is quiet and peaceful. Let's keep it that way.

Beth Saylor
Churchville, Va.

Sometimes you better watch what you wish for. Have you been to Ocracoke lately? What a mess. Now there are not three obstacles in the streets there are four -- cars, bikes, pedestrians, and golf carts. The rental money you receive for golf carts in the village isn't going to be worth it in the long run. When Hatteras ferry traffic decides to pass the carts in oncoming traffic, dangerous situations are going to occur. It's disappointing to think the village culture is moving in this direction. You might want to re-think this decision and leave well enough alone. Visit Ocracoke, see for yourself.

Kay Smith
Winchester, Va.

Maryland man drowns on Ocracoke beach

I was visiting Ocracoke Sunday Aug. 1 to Sunday Aug. 8. We had left the beach around 4 p.m. to go back to the house. We heard the sirens and hoped that this was not the case that they were responding to. Earlier that morning, a boy was caught in the same situation right in front of us, and we had to run and get his parents. He was trying to swim against the current and was panicking. Luckily, a friend of his who is on his school swim team was there and was pointing to the direction in which he should be swimming, and he was able to get out. None of the rest of them got more than 10 feet out into the surf that day. I didn't go in the water much that day because the currents were extremely strong, and we knew the waves would be higher because of the storm. This is such a sad story. My prayers are with his family.

Salem, Va.

Guest Column: Should the plastic-bag ban be extended to all Outer Banks businesses?

Please ban them here.

Nathan Modlin

(Editor’s note:  The ban includes Ocracoke.  It covers the Outer Banks area of Currituck, Dare, and Hyde counties.)

Remembering Cathy Lynn Burrus

I left Hatteras long ago. I taught Cathy Burrus while I was at Cape Hatteras and have many fond memories.  Prayers to her family.

Louis F. Wengenroth IV
Middletown, NY

Island Living: In defense of a world without Walmart

I love this article and laughed to myself remembering my conversation with my Dad about the Home Depot day trip.  Here in New Jersey, he lives three blocks from the Home Depot. Down there, it is a day trip with his list and stops at K-Mart and the outlets and he gathers everything he needs on his way back down the island to Hatteras village. I could live without the Taco Bell and would love an attempt at living the simple life you do on your island. Enjoy your sunsets!

Milltown, N.J.

It sounds like heaven to me. That is my goal in life, to move to the Outer Banks of NC and relax. I started coming there when I was 3 years old, when it took a few ferry rides to get there. It is a great place to be and hopefully I will be able to meet my goal.

Sandy Oswald
Burlington, Ky.

Ocracats hosts N.C. State vets at clinic to spay and neuter 97 feral cats

It was great to see all the hard work pay off with the large number of cats spayed and neutered. Congratulations and thank you to all of the fellow animal lovers on Ocracoke.

I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Ferris when I lived in North Carolina and was part of a feral cat study. She is an awesome lady.

Keep up the good work and hope to make a fall trip this year.

Patty Hendrick
Bastian, Va.

Outdoor markets bring local food and crafts to Hatteras Island

Farmers markets and art shows outside are attractive and festive, and they benefit visitors and locals as well. Mobile trading!

Monica Jones

Island People:  Todd Phillips is the man who envisions island-wide recycling

This is so impressive. Why has it taken me until now (Aug. 9, 2010) to know about this? We own a rental property here and spend the first two weeks in August, as well as off-season time here. I have always been concerned about recycling on Hatteras, because most visitors don't want to take the time or effort to take their stuff to the Buxton transfer station. This is great!

Martha Tyler
Midlothian, Va.

Enjoying Island Free Press

Glad to have found this publication online to keep up with happenings on the Outer Banks, after spending many summer vacationing there.

Bob Jennings
Blacksburg, Va.

Serendipity:  Relocated, renovated, redecorated, and ready for the rest of its life

I was the one who designed Serendipity for Roger Meekins and oversaw its construction.  I am glad that it has been relocated and refitted.  It has survived many hurricanes and nor'easters.  It was designed and built to last.  I'm proud of my involvement in its history.

Henry Poates, Jr.
Wildwood, Fla.

A couple of years back, I purchased an antique 1880s half-tester bed.  I just watched "Nights in Rodanthe" today and was shocked to see my bed in the blue room.  The detailed carving across the top of mine is much more ornate than the one in the movie, and the footboards are different, but they are virtually identical otherwise.  They were surely made by the same furniture maker.  I've been trying to find out who the furniture maker is and would appreciate any help you could provide.  In your interviews with the Husses, did Debbie Huss talk about her search for the bed from the movie?  She may have found the information I've been searching for.  I would love to have contact with the Husses to discuss this if they would be willing.  Is that something you can help me with?  I would greatly appreciate it.  Thank You! 

Christie Benton
Livingston, La.

Oil drilling off East Coast

I applaud the work that Sen. Kay Hagan has done to promote a renewable energy future. I realize that little steps are better than no steps.
I am, however, very concerned that the East Coast of the U.S. may have been thrown under the bus to get the climate legislation passed as a trade off. For one thing, for those who seem to be consistently opposed to any environmental protection, it won't matter. They will vote against clean air and climate legislation anyhow. Yet, they receive this “gift” of opening up the East Coast for exploitation.
The arguments FOR drilling are:

1. It will make us independent of Mideast oil.
HOWEVER. Not so fast! In an article published by Reuters Financial News on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 (before the Gulf spill), the President announced the opening of the East Coast to exploration. This same article stated that the Minerals Management Service estimated that the U.S. East Coast reserves held about 5.8 billion barrels of oil and 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It also stated that the U.S. imports about 2 billion barrels of oil a year and 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

This means that we are willing to risk catastrophic environmental damage for less than three years of oil and 15 years of natural gas. These figures are for current rates of use. If demand went up, then these time periods would be shorter.
2. It would provide jobs for the East Coast.

HOWEVER. No thanks. We have jobs and we like them. We don't like what we see around areas of heavy oil infrastructure. I don't know how or why this happens, but wherever I have traveled in Louisiana, Mississippi, etc., I see lots of really desperately poor people living in highly polluted areas. I hear of lots of crime and corruption. Again, no thanks. Give us green energy jobs, at least the renewable energy jobs give us a clean place to live.
We already have two major industries on the North Carolina coast (and probably everywhere else from New Jersey to Florida). They are fishing and tourism. Both of these industries require clean water. Without clean water they are dead, done, over. N.C. fishing alone has been between $88 million dollars and $110 million dollars in direct catch, not to mention all of the delivery, restaurants, and related businesses. Tourism provides 30,000 jobs on North Carolina's Outer Banks alone. In Virginia, the 18 cities and counties of the Chesapeake Bay and coast brought in $4.25 billion in tourism revenue in 2007, according to a press release from the Southern Environmental Law Center on June 30, 2010.
3. We won't allow any drilling that isn't safe.
HOWEVER. Really? The Macondo well was an exploratory drilling operation. As we all know now, the oil companies' plans are woefully inadequate. BP appears to have also been remiss on enforcing its own safety procedures. And the guarantee that that won't happen again is... what? How do you legislate against greed and human error?
I applaud the separation of the granting of permits from the organization that also enforces the regulations and collects the fees. That is a good first step.
As far as clean up and risk goes, let's look at the difference between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean, unlike the Gulf, is never calm. Never. Booms would be totally useless.
As far as risk goes, note that off of Cape Hatteras is one of the most hurricane prone areas on the planet. The natural turbulence created by the meeting of the Labrador current and the Gulf Stream create what is known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" for ships lost at sea. The Gulf Stream current would carry destructive poisons to the Azores and North Sea currents so we could share our catastrophes with the Sargasso Sea ( a nursery for almost all Atlantic sea life) and with Europe and Africa.
4. Drilling is a matter of National Defense.
HOWEVER.  Much of the 3 million acre lease area overlaps with areas used by the Navy for training operations based mostly out of the Norfolk Naval Base - the world's largest and an economic mainstay of Hampton Roads. The Department of Defense has consistently opposed oil and gas drilling in Virginia due to concerns of conflicts with its operations; the agency reiterated those concerns earlier this year.
5. Global Warming is a hoax, or it is natural and not man made, so drill Baby Drill!
SO WHAT? Irrelevant. Whether or not global warming is manmade, the risks of East Coast offshore drilling are too high and the benefits are too small.

Kitty Mitchell

2010 Previous Letters to the Editor
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010

March 2010
February  2010

January 2010

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