2010 Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor....03.24.2010
Park Service DEIS for off-road
vehicle management is now public
My first impression is not good! Permanent closing of areas
have had historical access just does not seem right.
roads with parking areas just do not work for many users. The
beach access at night will be a real negative with summer tourists who
enjoy the family campfire on the beach and serious surf
fisherman. My feeling is that there should be "direct beach
access offsets" (additional access, additions) for every restriction as
to what has been a customary and historical access. In
any restrictions that restrict historical use should be limited to
"proven areas of environmental concern." The soundside access
should be greatly improved to offset any additional restrictions on the
oceanside beyond "historical use." It may be time for
and rental cottage owners to investigate a class action lawsuit against
the NPS as the proposed restrictions relate to "loss of
business." It is evident that the Feds react when the
environmentalist threaten. It appears it is time for free access
advocates to do likewise.
If the morons in the government worried more about unborn babies
[abortion] than some stupid birds or turtle eggs the world would be a
better place! I remember when the U.S. was a good, free country. Unlike
most of you, I actually defended this country at one time.
As a long time vacationer to Hatteras Island, I have come there for the
relative quiet and solitude of being on the beach. Last year I
purchased a home to retire to when the time comes. I do not rent out my
home because I have seen the damage that occurs when people are turned
loose with an attitude of "I'm paying for it, I'll do what I want." I
think this attitude runs over into the ORV issue also. The locals
rarely do anything but drive to check fishing or to clean up the beach
after a storm. Most of the fishermen, whether locals or vacationers,
have always used proper actions when driving and parking to fish for a
I have on several occasions observed idiots driving wildly all over the
beach and dunes throwing beer bottles out of their ORV for the sake of
"fun." On all these occasions, I have placed a call to the Park Service
and the Dare County Sheriff's Department. I have yet to see any
response from either, but I can understand why. By the time they
arrive, the idiots are long gone.
I don't think that issuing a permit to drive on the beach will deter
any behavior like this. I hope the revenue generated from sales of
permits will be used to hire more Park Service employees so that when a
call is placed, someone can respond and try to stop the driver. As we
know, it only takes one idiot to ruin a good thing for everyone. I also
think that would be a good job for the Audobon Society to look into
also -- having people to watch nesting areas to make sure violations
are not occurring and to be able to get help to enforce the closure.
They could help educate the public as to why the areas are closed and
what the public can do to help.
I hate to see the beach access closed for everyone because of the
actions of a few. I understand that Mother Nature should be allowed her
chance too and agree with closing access around nesting areas. I think
that with proper planning and working together with all parties
involved, a reasonable compromise can be reached. It sounds
the Park Service plan has a lot of merit for the well being of
everyone. I sincerely hope a happy median can be reached.
I enjoyed reading the Island Free Press archives dated Sept. 3, 2008,
titled “The Creation and Establishment of Cape Hatteras National
Seashore (CHNS)/The Great Depression through Mission 66.”
Throughout the 200-plus pages, this report talks about the public law
that created the CHNS and it makes reference on multiple occasions to
the public law and how it was intended "to allow commercial fishermen
beach access .... prescribed by the (same) law creating the seashore."
It makes one wonder if all of the events going on today prohibiting
beach access are actually legal. To my knowledge, this public law has
not been repealed.
To all of you folks that live on Hatteras and try and make a living
there, I'm not to sure if I'll be making a trip back to your island. I
have been visiting there for years on end, spending lots of money on
rooms, food, bait, etc. It just makes me sad to see what has happened
to all of you and to others who enjoy your island. It is yet another
form of freedom being taking away from us here in North Carolina and
from those who visit -- all because of a bird. Maybe I'll make one last
visit before all of you have to leave your homes. Keep up the good
fight. I know I have.
The Park Service’s Alternative F kills the economy on Hatteras
and Ocracoke islands. It is the most despicable miscarriage of justice
I have ever seen in my life. Plan F shows absolutely no compromise with
Dare County officials, and nowhere have I read that it is based on
substantial scientific evidence. It is simply a plan for government
control at the expense of the people who pay their salaries.
Unbelievable! I hope they are proud of themselves for totally
disregarding the rights of their fellow men and women.
Closing off Hatteras Inlet year round, and requiring driving permits
will lower the tourist volume and hurt the local economy.
Whatever happened to democracy? We need our seashore back and also our
country. Our leaders and decision makers need to remember they work for
us. When 90 percent of people want something, the other 10 percent
should not have their way. I'm sure there are a lot of payoffs behind
this because if it wasn't, good old common sense would prevail.
on Judge Boyle’s conference on consent decree
Derb Carter and the eco-lawyers have understood from the time that
Judge Boyle suggested a total closure that a ruling like that would be
too extreme and hurtful, that such an extreme and injudicious act would
create a major public outcry and it would be quickly overturned in a
higher federal court or by congressional or executive action.
This is why Carter and the eco-lawyers came up with the CD in the first
place -- to prevent a total, albeit brief, closure by Boyle. And now
this is why Derb did not want any part of Boyle's suggestion that
"hostile" parties could be removed from the CD. Carter ran away from
that suggestion as quickly as he could.
The eco-lawyers understand that if this mess ever gets out of Boyle's
courtroom and in front of an impartial federal judge before the final
plan is in place, their whole consent decree and "house of cards" will
fall apart in a hurry. And the ecos know that if the consent decree
survives, its success will become the basis for a very restrictive ORV
plan in the future.
popular areas closed to ORVs under consent decree
I look forward every year to driving my jeep on the beach and fishing
on vacation. I am careful not to harm the habitats. If the government
takes this away from me, it will be proof to me that the government is
not for the people.
Service has released its proposals for 2010 pre-nesting closures
Thank you, Pat B., for putting the Toyota bit in your
don't think enough people who vacation here realize just how much money
Toyota has given the The National Audubon Society. I saw one local
business put a sign on their door – “All Toyotas park in
solicits scientists to support closure
Once again, it seems a vocal minority with an agenda is trying to
overpower the will of the majority. If this campaign is successful, we
all may as well just subscribe to National Geographic Magazine, because
that will be as close as the average person will ever get to the
national seashore experience in the future.
Straub, rational beach bum
Ocracoke needs help with cat
I really love that Ocracokers are so attentive and aware of the needs
of the feral cats. Whenever we visit, I'm reminded of this via the
bowls of food and water I see at public places like the post office and
the variety store. We'll be visiting soon Where can I make a
Sound wind-turbine project
With North Carolina unemployment at more than 11 percent, I'd like to
see a firm commitment made on North Carolina jobs. ABC News
recently reported (link below) that the so-called stimulus bill
(American Recovery & Reinvestment Act) funded $2 billion for
industry and 80 percent of that went to overseas
Let’s put the turbines in the Duke Energy CEO’s
neighborhood. No wonder western North Carolina and Nantucket, Mass.,
wouldn’t allow these monstrous eyesores. We take one of the most
beautiful places on Earth where people go to get away from
industrialization and enjoy beautiful beaches and waters and nature,
and ndustrialize it. If Raleigh needs energy, put something there. This
has nothing to do with Frisco or Hatteras or Dare County. This has
everything to do with Duke planning for its future corporate
profitability. Not here. Not ever. That’s my stance.
My father has a place in near Waves. I think this issue is different
than the ORV question. ORVs would present a constant wear and tear on
the local foliage and fauna. We need the estuary scientists to weigh in
on this and tell us the truth. The wind turbines could be placed far
enough out in the sound where people couldn't hear them. Once in place,
they would not be much different than a bridge column. If it was
financially divided amongst local cooperatives, then the proceeds would
help pay for many of the expenses and eventually create a surplus of
power making the Outer Banks very wealthy -- if managed correctly.
We have to do something, and, regardless of your view, fossil fuel in
the atmosphere will eventually raise the ocean and the Banks will be
submerged anyway, so I'm for it now instead of later when it's too
Island Real Estate: What is happening in the market for
A point you didn't mention was the decrease in existing home sales and
prices. Why would anyone buy a lot and build a home when one could be
purchased for less and save the expense of time and effort. Hatteras is
in the 1/2 off sale bin! You make money by buying when people aren't,
and you lose money by buying when everyone is. Great analytical data
awarded to resurface Highway 12 between Salvo and Avon
It would be nice to pave bicycle paths within this project
People A Mexican immigrants long journey to a new life on
Thank you, Pat Garber, for the wonderful article on Margarita and her
family. As always, I am humbled by the hardships many Mexican
immigrants endure as they travel to America in search of a better life
for themselves and their families. As an American, I am honored to have
these people as part of our communities.
Pa., and Ocracoke
Bodie Island spit owned by the Park Service or not
Very curious indeed! Great job on digging into the matter! Thank you
for an interesting article.
Lighthouse is getting a facelift
Thanks for the update. Refurb is long overdue, of course, but
glad to see it finally happening. Cannot wait to climb!
New Letters to the Editor....03.05.2010
Tuna Mama is on the mend
note: Last month on the Community Page, we published a plea
contributions to help Tuna Mama, the friendly feral cat who hung out
last summer at Austin Seafood Market in Rodanthe and was relocated to
Laughing Gull Road after the market closed. The cat hung out
vacant house, which caught fire and burned. Tuna Mama was
injured and was being treated at Roanoke Animal Clinic. But
care was costly. Last week, we received a follow-up letter.)
There was a tremendous outpouring of compassion and cash thanks to your
help! Tuna Mama’s stay at the clinic is not complete, but
at this rate it looks like we will have the bill covered!
think she should be able to come home by Saturday to complete her
recovery. She has a safe home to go to now in the same
neighborhood as the fire.
I can't thank you enough for getting the word out and great thanks to
all who donated. Any excess funds collected will go to
Island Friends of Felines to help in their efforts to reduce our feral
and recreation fishermen unite at D.C. rally
The division between the commercial and the recreational fishermen must
end. Both groups have common goals -- to catch fish and keep
stocks sustainable and available for all people. The
fishing profession is on the brink of extinction. Regulations
so prohibitive that earning a living becomes a daily battle.
average age of fishing professional is 50 years old. Young
are not entering the profession. Watching parents struggle to survive
is not much motivation or incentive to enter a
If the fisheries management bureaucracy successfully eradicates the
commercial fishing industry, what is next? Will the
regulate themselves out of jobs? I think not. Who
the next target? The North Carolina of Marine Fisheries patrol, which
regularly haunts fish houses to inspect catches, will instead be posted
at beach ramps to check coolers and measure fish. They will
the charter fleet at the dock to check kill boxes. The only
manageable fisheries left will be the “recreational”
sector. The regulatory energy will have nowhere else to go.
North Carolina saltwater recreational fishing license is only the first
The exploitation of the coastal environment is killing the nursery
grounds of so many fish species. Bulked-headed estuaries,
to accommodate construction of condominiums, vacation homes, and
sport-boat marinas, destroy fish breeding grounds. Many
areas rely on septic fields to process waste. It is
imagine what is happening to the water quality in maximum density usage
areas from waste. Yet, as fish stocks decline, fingers
continually point at commercial fisheries. It is unfathomable
that the degradation of the coastal environment is continually
overlooked, or more likely ignored, as a crucial factor of stock
Why would a fisherman, dependent on species proliferation senselessly
deplete stocks necessary for survival? These professionals
harvested the sea for years. For most, it is a life’s work,
for many it is a heritage. They are not a band of marauding
pirates ravaging the sea but merely hard working men and women trying
to earn a living in a profession no longer in vogue. It is in
best interest of commercial fishermen to abide by the rules and
regulations set forth by Marine Fisheries.
Certain interest groups successfully created fission between the two
factions to achieve their desired goal, ‘’zero
fishing.” Commercial interests even battle among each
other. It must end now. All fishermen must unite
the petty finger pointing. Working together to fight
of coastal environment, the true culprit of stock depletion, is the
only way to insure fish aplenty for everyone. The
solution is to join forces, and stand united before the Marine
Fisheries and specific interest groups to keep fishing available to
Audubon solicits scientists to
Excuse me, but who are these so called "scientists?"
Are they graduates of the Al Gore Institute or the Munchkin Academy? I
have had a home on Hatteras Island for over 20 years and never met a so
called "scientist" on all my beach walks -- winter and summer. Please,
give us the biographies of the people who think of themselves as "
scientists." Maybe then, I can evaluate their opinions.
How many Nit-wits can sit on the head of a pin? I know of 90.
I am responding to the recent publication of a letter, sent to the
National Park Service, and signed by 90 scientists requesting
restrictions of all beach recreational activity year-round in areas
like Cape Point, Oregon Inlet, South Beach, Hatteras Inlet and all the
favorite places on Ocracoke Island. If I interpret this
right, it would mean no one would ever have the enjoyment of going to
these areas or any other area that might be declared a focal site in
For the National Park to honor the request of the 90 scientists would
turn back the historical heritage of these islands in regard to beach
access. It has always been an accepted fact, even promised at
beginning of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area,
that the historical heritage of free and open beaches would be
honored. If our government were to agree to this
request of 90 persons, it would result in the total destruction of the
economy of Cape Hatteras Island, which would in turn result in higher
unemployment and the curtailing of governmental services to the public.
Remember these 90 people are presenting themselves to the National Park
and the public as being the final voices and top authority as to why
the beaches are to be closed. Looking over the
names of the
90 people in the document who claim to be scientists who know what is
best for we the people and Hatteras Island has led me to questions
I question their credentials and their right to use the names of
private organizations or state or federal government agencies after
It is one thing to express your belief that the beaches should be
closed. It is another to use symbols after your name to leave
false impression you are speaking as representative of an organization
When you look closely the names of the organizations behind the names
of these 90 people you will see that many of them are feeding at the
public trough. They are being paid by our tax
is unethical for them to use a government agency as a platform from
which to promote their views that our beaches should be
We, the public, have every right to question who they are and to
contact each governmental agency represented and demand a retraction by
the employee and to request the agency state its official stance on
Those who signed the document desiring to destroy the recreational
activities and economy of Hatteras Island need to be reminded of the
terms of their contract as workers for the federal government.
Read it for yourself. Ask yourself why they should not be
ETHICAL CONDUCT PROVISIONS
Standards of Ethical Conduct, 5 CFR Part 2635, apply to both regular
and special government employees. Notably, an SGE is covered by the
standards even though he/she doesn't perform official duties on a given
POSITION - You
may not take any action in your official capacity which may result in
or create the appearance of: using public office for private gain (the
term private gain means anyone's private gain including an outside
organization's); losing independence or impartiality; or causing the public to
lose confidence in the integrity of the Government.
OFFICIAL TITLE -
You may use your official title when you are acting in your official
capacity as a representative of the Department. This may be on written
documents, in verbal introduction, or other forms of address.
You may not
official title in your private capacity, such as in a letter to the
editor, a personal letter to a member of Congress, an article or book,
a Directory, or on the letterhead or signature block of a private
- You are
prohibited from endorsing, in an official capacity: the proprietary
products or processes of manufacturers; or the services of commercial
firms for advertising, publicity, or sales purposes. You
may endorse any outside program in your private capacity, provided that
you do not use your official government title or position with the
As for as their credentials, I could not help but notice some of the 90
have fewer credentials than those of us who reside on these islands or
those who come here annually to enjoy the recreational pleasures of the
Outer Banks of North Carolina. My Hatteras Island
Grandmother Gray, who had no degrees to list after her name,
more scientific knowledge about how to manage this island than any of
the 90, self-proclaimed scientists who signed a document to destroy the
joy of visiting or living on Hatteras Island.
In reading this letter, there is not one footnote or specific study to
support or document claims contained in body of this letter. I assume
most of these supporters are well educated in research studies. It's
not evident! In addition, the names on this document are not
signatories -- only names. This letter hardly rises to the level of
Bodie Island Lighthouse is
getting a facelift
It's about time the Bodie Island Light is finally getting some
attention. It's long overdue. Hope to see the progress on this site.
Great job. We need our lighthouses to be kept up.
I liked the photos. I would have liked some photos of before
the restoration was started to compare.
Basnight urges Obama to end
bureaucratic standstill on Bonner Bridge replacement
Thank you, Mr. Basnight, for your views. They are greatly
appreciated. The Outer Banks is truly a national treasure that should
be protected. The safety of the public should be the first priority.
Unfortunately, politics gets involved all too much in this country.
Each state supports its own cause. Example is in Camden, N.J., where
bike path was approved to go through one of the worst neighborhoods in
the country -- 3.1 miles at a cost of $1.3 million. Our priorities are
messed up in this country. Hopefully, President Obama can make a
How can my family and I help with getting the bridge going? We love
going to the Outer Banks (Rodanthe ) every year and do not want to lose
note: For more information on the Bonner Bridge and making
views known, go to the Dare County Web site, Replace the Bridge Now -- http://www.replacethebridgenow.com/)
Hurricanes beat Manteo at home in second round of state playoffs
GO HURRICANES, GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scientists and their equipment
fan out on Cape Point beach to survey coastal processes
Did I miss something? An erosion study at Cape Point and surrounding
beaches, the place that changes everyday and where nobody lives? Oh,
yeah, aren't those same beaches about to get shut down to
everyone? I wonder how much this study cost us taxpayers.
Way to go. What a challenge. Don't let bureaucracy discourage you. My
wife would love to rent your house. Our hat is off to you both.
Enjoyed the article, slide show, and video. We will miss
seeing that house when we visit in May.
I think it is great that they moved Serendipity to try to save it, but
if you have seen where it has been placed, then you would be perplexed.
Serendipity is no safer now than it was before. It is going right on
top of a dune! It may have two or three more years, but the house could
have pulled through where it was. Who has allowed this? Since this year
has been tough on the beaches, take a look as you drive south past the
bridge. Where is the most overwash? The most overwash is at Mirlo Beach
and by the other structures on the beach on Pea Island -- structures
seem to cause more erosion. It’s great they moved it, but to me
it’s a slap in the face. Give them a year, and they will want
county help with renourishment and dune replacement.
Island People: A Mexican
immigrant’s long journey to a new life on Ocracoke
I so enjoyed the article about Margarita. We have a house in Hatteras,
and& I have met a lot of Hispanic workers there. We also attend
Lady of the Seas parish in Buxton, I have volunteered to help
with English. I have a basic knowledge of Spanish and continue to take
classes in Virginia to improve my communication. Margarita, tu estas
Awesome. How can anyone in their right mind deny folks like
Margarita an opportunity to better themselves, raise their families,
and contribute to the communities that they live and work in.
Congratulations, Margarita and family. You have accomplished
Legal gun owners can now carry
firearms into national parks
This is a good and just law that allows people, while on vacation or
traveling, to possess and carry concealed firearms for the purpose of
self protection. It is not a major issue in your part of North
Carolina, but is a major issue on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky
Mountains and Nantahala. Please note that except in extreme
circumstances, the Park Service objects strenuously to anyone shooting
the wildlife, including bears. It is interesting to note that CWP or
CCP owners from Virginia have the reciprocal right to carry concealed
in North Carolina as long as they obey North Carolina regulations.
These regulations are in some ways different from Virginia laws, so
careful reading should precede a trip to North Carolina. Also note that
the bookstore at the Hatteras Lighthouse already has a sign prohibiting
firearms posted and this applies to CCP as well as visible.
So, putting it very clearly, one can "carry" a firearm (s), but one
cannot "use" it (them) on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Is that
correct? Just want to know if I have to wear body armor on the beach at
How refreshing to see fair reporting on a topic like this instead of
the usual tiring anti-second amendment rhetoric that we see in most
publications. I am a retired law enforcement officer, and I can tell
you that this law will cause the parks no problems. Indeed they will be
Dr. Dave Cash
Park Service has released its
proposals for 2010 pre-nesting closures
As you can see, these tree huggers have made it nearly impossible for
the animals (humans) who help to fund this silliness to continue
creating the funds to pay these silly animals (tree huggers) to sit in
cars and watch other animals (birds and turtles) who put nothing in the
bank to fund you silly people. Just a thought.
If the do-gooders keep this up, they are going to make a lot of people
irate, and they are going to see more birds killed and eggs
smashed. I have never seen a ORV operator or passenger cause
problems in the 13 years that I have been going to the Point.
the ORV operator is kept from driving on the beach to fish or shell,
that will just about do it for the people coming to Buxton and the rest
of the island.
What does this mean for the vacationers who travel to Hatteras Island
solely for the ORV access?
note: Even during the nesting season, there are
beaches open to ORVs, though they may not be the more popular areas
such as Cape Point or South Point on Ocracoke.)
As a long time visitor to Ocracoke Island, it still somewhat amazes me
that such large portions of the beach are closed down for two chicks on
the South Point. Here in Wilmington where I live, if a turtle nest is
discovered, a 4-by-4 cage is built around the nest. An entire beach is
not shut off. The Audubon Society (with Toyota's help) is going a bit
Oyster reef stimulus project
comes to Hatteras
I am very glad to see this project and appreciate your coverage of
story. Will the reef off Hatteras be marked with buoys? Thank you!
note: We don’t know but will try to find out.)
Hatteras helping Haiti
I wanted to thank The Island Free Press for sharing the stories and,
even more importantly, the videos from Haiti. They were moving beyond
words. While most of us could only helplessly watch the pain and
suffering of Haiti's people from here, it is so encouraging to know
there are such caring and wonderful people that were able to travel
down and begin to make a difference. I have known Dwight Burrus for
many years, both as a frequent flyer in his plane to having him preside
over the renewing of our wedding vows at the lighthouse. Dwight and his
group represent what is so great about the people of Hatteras and
Ocracoke slands. I wish him and his group Godspeed as they work to help
in whatever ways they can to help the people of Haiti heal and recover.
I will continue to follow their mission through your site.
Giving thanks: A photo essay by
I acquired your beautiful slideshow through the good auspices of Arthur
Hammond-Tooke. Congratulations on encapsulating an essence of
and peace in your slice of paradise.
Being born and bred in the interior of South Africa, my first love is
for the untamed mountains, bush, and veld of my native land.
think you guys are mad to live 10 feet (or less) above sea-level!
More Beach Access Issues
I am so saddened and angry about the beach closures. My parents, Adrian
and Mary Hughes, began taking us to Hatteras Island in 1956 when I was
14. My Dad was delighted about the park land because he believed it
would keep the beaches open to surf fishing people with four- wheel
drive vehicles. Our first one was a 1948 Jeep station wagon with
absolutely no frills.
When my Paul and I were married in 1965, I dragged him to Hatteras
Island. It was the last year for the wooden "fall down behind you"
bridge over Currituck Sound. Our children, Chuck and Susan, grew up
making several trips a year and developing not only a love for the
overall nature and recreation of the island but also many long lasting
friendships. Paul and I have not missed a year without at least two
trips "down to Hatteras" but only one in October, 2008 because of all
the beach closures beginning in the spring of that year. In 2009, we
were not able to make one trip which would have been in the fall again
when restrictions were lifted.
Needless to say, in 2010 we will not make a trip until the fall, as
long as the increasingly limiting restrictions are lifted again by
October. I know we are not alone in what the unfathomable government
decisions are doing to us and to all of you. Hatteras Islanders, we
love and miss you all! Hopefully we will at least be able to return