October  2010 Letters to the Editor

New Letters to the Editor....10.23.2010 3:40 pm

(Editor’s note:  In the Sept. 24 Letters to the Editor, John Griffin of Salvo wrote a letter taking organizations to task for scheduling events on the same day – in this case, Sept. 17 with Day at the Docks and the Chicamacomico Banks VFD chili cook-off and Oct. 2 with the Carey LeSieur Foundation fundraiser and the Kiwanis lobster sale. We received several letters in response.)

The Day at the Docks Organizing Committee understands the frustration caused by multiple events occurring on the same date on this island.  We have experienced that with other activities during every season of the year.  Autumn is particularly hectic because of the nature of life and work on the island and sometimes really good things pop up, despite the best efforts to ensure as clear a date as possible - like school athletics teams moving into the playoffs!  Guess where everyone goes that night!

It is not that "it doesn't matter."  It does, but cannot always be helped.  We wish everyone success with their programs and would never intentionally want to cause them harm.  

Day at the Docks was started to celebrate the "Spirit of Hatteras" when we recovered from Hurricane Isabel in 2003 as an intact community, anchored by the commercial and charter fishermen.  Our watermen were able to continue working and bringing in much-needed income when Hatteras village was in isolation and other sources of income dried up.

Most of the readers are probably aware that the ocean broke through the road leaving Hatteras village literally cut off from the rest of the world.  The evening before the rebuilt road was reopened, the people of Hatteras and Ocracoke came together in the Methodist Church in Hatteras village for music, laughter, fellowship, and an enormous dessert spread!

Thus was a tradition born.

Day at the Docks is an expanded continuation of a major event in the lives of our people, a confirmation of the strength of community. We celebrate on the Saturday closest to the date of Hurricane Isabel, Sept. 18, because it is a meaningful date to Hatteras villagers and to our many friends and visitors.  

We encourage people to come to Day at the Docks and stay for the entire day and remain for the Blessing of the Fleet but understand that many will have to dip in and out in order to do other things.  That is why this year we posted the schedule prior to the event in this paper and in the local print press, on Facebook, and on the Day at the Docks website.  We will do the same next year.

This year Day at the Docks took place on the anniversary date, Sept. 18.  Next year's date is September 17, 2011.  We hope that won't coincide with any other events or create friction. and we would love to welcome everyone to Hatteras village's working waterfront for another celebration of the indomitable Spirit of Hatteras and the living traditions of our watermen.

Lynne Foster for the DATD Organizing Committee

As a Kiwanian, I can say our lobster sale has long been a tradition for our club and has always fallen on the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend. We do this to take advantage of  the cooler weather because we are boiling lobsters outside and because it is one of the busier weekends in our fall season, which sales rely on

I'm sure that is the same reason that HICF does their Fun Run that same weekend. We do want everyone to take part in both as they both support a great cause. So feel free to go to the run and call a Kiwanian to reserve your lobster for a later pick-up. We're flexible and want everyone to enjoy themselves and support as many causes as they can, because they are all equally important!

Cassie Gray

Thanks to all from the Kiwanis Club

The Kiwanis Club of Hatteras Island thanks the community for supporting the annual Lobster Sale fundraiser event.  More than 500 lobsters were sold for $15 each, producing a profit of close to $3,500.  Proceeds from the sale support Kiwanis school programs and scholarships for Cape Hatteras Secondary School.  The Kiwanis Club thanks Village Grocery for taking delivery and storing the live 1.3-pound lobsters overnight.  The word coming back to Kiwanis Club members is that these were the freshest and best lobsters yet.

Robert Boyer and Vicky G. Barris
Kiwanis Club of Hatteras Island

Thank you. Hatteras Island community

The Carey LeSieur Foundation, along with the Brigands Bay Homeowners Association, and homeowners Anita and Brud Bills would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s “Bucket Party” the best yet.  It was such a great day and a beautiful event.

Credit for the Grilling Extravaganza with an assortment of ribs, chicken, and beef brisket goes to the Connor family and T. Bentley Crabtree.  The Conners --Crazy Johnny (son), Johnny (dad) and Rauna (mom) went above and beyond for the cause.  They not only cooked, they worked until the food was gone.
 Dr. Crabtree cooked racks of ribs this year, and I think he sampled every rack to make sure it was done.  Doc also couldn’t keep his fingers out of the homemade Italian sauce with meatballs (my grandmothers’ recipe). 
It was a potluck buffet, so everyone brought a side dish to share.  When one family would call it a day, another group arrived. People were sitting around on lawn chairs or blankets having conversations and then the music began.  The wonderful music performed by Sean Bendula and the second performers, Luis Zambrano and Kristen Evans, added such a beautiful combination of easy listening and uplifting sound. 

The Hatteras Island community is one of a kind. All the villages were represented at the party this year. We believe we had approximately 300 to 350 people attend – again this is an all time high. What a great tribute to Carey LrSieur.
Words cannot express the heartfelt gratitude that I feel for the support of the Hatteras Island Community.  I personally would like to thank the following businesses/people for their help in getting the party ready and for the cleanup that night:
  • My Brigands Bay neighbors who show up year after year to help with setting up and the breaking down of the party. There are too many to mention.
  • Frisco Fire Company, Hatteras Village Fire Company, and Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Church for supplying the tables and other necessities.  Many thanks to Rich Marlin, Dave Kelmer, and Father Bob Brown.
  • Pastor Ken from Cape Hatteras Baptist Church, who gave permission for us to use the marquee to advertise the ‘Bucket Party’ up on Highway 12.
  • Mila Bills (daughter-in-law) who learned how to make my families tomato sauce snf Italian meatballs.
  • Marcy Shoemaker helping make the meatballs and stayed after the party to help clean up.
  • Carroll Midgett and his awesome crew cut the grass, trimmed, and weed wacked the yards.
  • Brigands Bay Homeowners Association for co-sponsoring the event.
  • Dare County for spraying the area for bugs.
  • Conner’s Market for their many donations.

The party raised $2,000 for the Carey LeSieur Foundation Scholarship. 

Thank you everyone and we hope to see even more people at next year’s get together.

Anita Bills

Community supported Locomotion

Locomotion, the Hatteras Island teen organization, recently held a barbecue dinner to raise funds for the organization, and it  was a huge success. Locomotion gives many thanks to Johnny Conner III of Crazy Johnny’s BBQ who donated his time and efforts to prepare the food and help plan the event.  His parents, Johnny and Rauna Conner, of Conner’s Supermarket were also on hand, helping to prepare food and serve customers.

“The Conner family is a huge asset to our community and we feel blessed to be able to work with them,” said Kathy Kiddy, Locomotion’s director.

Locals and visitors alike were drawn in by Capt. Steve and his mermaid bride, Sherry Smith, who enthusiastically advertised the event. The food was awesome and Locomotion looks forward to working with Crazy Johnny’s again in the future.

Kathy Kiddy

Annual Food Drive in progress on Hatteras

I think renters exiting the island should be able to drop off unused food items (non-perishable) at various places (local real estate offices along with keys), which could be used to support the Island Food Pantries.

R. Martiniano
Fulton, N.Y.

(Editor’s note:  Many local real estate management companies do have drop-off points for visitors to leave their non-perishables.)

Beach Access Issues

According to the National Park Service,  predators have negatively impacted the hatching success of both sea turtles and shorebirds at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, preventing the NPS from completing its mission of protecting threatened and endangered species and species of concern. Predator management operations ( killing ) would occur between the months of January and March, when predators are most active, and June and August, to protect new born chicks and turtles, so as not to interfere with the breeding season.

The predators targeted for control ( to be killed) include red fox, gray fox, raccoons, Virginia opossums, coyotes, mink,  river otter, feral cats as these species have been observed depredating or damaging bird and/or turtle nests in previous years. In addition, nutria  and muskrats have been observed damaging nests and native vegetation, including piping plover proposed critical habitat.

Robert Gaidos

Easterns get big surf for competition -- too big

Just wanted to say again that Daniel Pullen’s pics are amazing. He captures the waves, the surfers and all the surroundings just at the right time to create a beautiful picture. For us visitors, you bring Hatteras to us when we're not there. Good job, Dan. Peace and respect.

Kurt Maschmeier
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Extreme shoaling shuts down Hatteras Inlet ferry

So more than 14 days and $300,000 in funding areis spent to dredge. And over the years, paying for gas and ferry maintenance, and so forth.  I wonder how much it would cost to build a bridge?

Mallory Gray

Farewell to the Frisco Pier?

My father, Bob Comstock, was surf fishing the year Frisco Pier was being built.  After a conversation with the builder, he went back home to Virginia and talked to two of his friends about buying the pier.  The three of them purchased the pier and opened it for business.  It was a wonderful place to visit every chance I could.  When my father took ill in 1983, I worked his monthly shift.  Absolutely loved doing it.  Upon my father's death, the pier reverted to remaining owners.  I would have loved to have been able to take my fathers share but it was not possible.  It is heart breaking for me to see the pier in such poor shape.  My father would be absolutely shocked!!  I do hope the current owner does something to bring it back to life.

Margaret Humphreys
Leesburg, Va.

Three Hatteras villages will be voting on mixed drinks on Dec. 7

Hatteras is just perfect the way it is. This is the only place I can come that gets me away from all of the fast pace world. I get a little upset when I see the ferry lines back on Highway 12. It is like sitting in rush hour traffic. My point is, keep the mixed drinks out of paradise.

Jean Sabo
North Huntingdon, Pa.

My wife and I own a home in Frisco and are long time visitors to the Outer Banks. We strongly support being able to buy liquor by the drink. It’s a plus for the economy and only natural.

Scott A. Hajost
Arlington, Va.

Hatteras village shipwreck appears and disappears with the shifting sands

Thanks for this story ! Recently, my family rented a beach house at the end of Flambeau Road and the shipwreck was amazingly (the first word that came to my mind) visible. It was barely visible at the same time of the year in 2007, but this year we took some awesome pictures. Thank you for this story!

Joyce Gabai
Woodbridge, Va.

Bonner Bridge Issues

I believe that Allen Burrus speaks for most of the community when he says that it appears the NPS and USFWS almost want the bridge to collapse.

These government organizations sporadically send representatives to Dare County to listen to our concerns and complaints over the Bonner Bridge and beach access issues, yet none of them hear us.

The constant end message is "We will relay this on to our superiors."

If the superiors really cared, then they themselves would be here.

Of course the environmentalists would want a ferry system, as none of them would have to frequently use or rely on it. No, would the ferry system have any affect on their well being or livelihoods.

These environmentalists have a constant track record of extreme solutions as long as it does not affect them directly.

Where is the breaking point for this community? When does enough--become enough?

Rob Alderman

Odd Mob Bikes to the Light for Great Fun and a Great Cause

What a wonderful slide show. Thanks to photographer Don Bowers for the smiles.

Liz Browning Fox

One of the coolest events/fund raisers I have ever seen and one of the greatest places in the world!!

I would love to attend and participate one day.

I am going to share this with others.

Great idea for entire community! I sure hope it was a success! Based on costumes, and picture, it sure looks like it. Congratulations!!

Wesley Deal
Greenville, N.C.

Helping the island’s wildlife

Major kudos to wildlife rehabilitators Becky and Richard  Marlin! We had a duck tangled up in fishing line behind the Cape Hatteras Motel in Buxton, and they showed up in less than 15 minutes. Thanks for all you do. The duck did get himself untangled. A happy ending. 


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

Thanks for your positive comments. It really helps. We need to figure out a way to get more vet volunteers to Ocracoke. We did the clinic with North Carolina State and had lots of support and donations, but it was still expensive. During the "off" season, we can get more people to donate cottages, etc. We just have to find vets who can neuter/spay ferals in North Carolina. Any ideas?

Gael Hawkins

What a great story! I always park across the road to walk the beach every September and  I stop and admire those beautiful horses! May this be an institution that doesn't give way to "progress."

Dave Cash
Amherst, Va

Beautiful story. Mr. Bob will be missed.

Vikki Heath
Richmond, Va.

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

Serendipity is beautiful! The new owners have really decorated it so nicely and it looks so much like the movie. I am so glad it was moved and renovated and not torn down.  It has so much character. I loved the house from the moment I saw it in the movie. I would love to stay there sometime.

Kelly Eller
Bramwell, W.Va.

(Editor’s Note: The is a copy of a letter to Carolina County magazine, published by North Carolina Electric cooperatives.)

I would like to submit a brief letter to the editor of Carolina Country.  First, let me say that I enjoy your publication and have found several useful articles.  My letter follows:

As a resident of Buxton, N.C. on Hatteras Island, I want to congratulate Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative for a job well done.  With continuing infrastructure improvements over the years, we managed to get through Hurricane Earl with barely a blink in the power.  That was it -- just a momentary blink -- at my house.  Not yet having a generator, I had imagined walking down Highway 12 with the coffee grinder in my arms, looking for a place to plug it in.  I was delighted to be able to continue enjoying all the conveniences of home at home.  Thank you for great service!

On another matter, I really wish that we could enter the 21st century here with our outside pole and security lighting.  Every light on a pole I have seen here on Hatteras Island is the old-fashioned, barn-style drop light.  These lights intrude past the areas they are there to light.   They light the neighbors’ living rooms, bedrooms, and porches, are hazardous to hatching sea turtles, and range into the otherwise gloriously dark starlit skies here.  There are several styles of outside pole lights that leak less light out and up while effectively lighting the areas needed, such as a cobra or shoebox fixture with a flat lens.  I wonder if we might start replacing the outdated fixtures with more environmentally friendly ones?

Liz Browning Fox

(Editor’s Note: This is a response from Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative)

Ms. Fox:

Thank you for your compliment on electric service during Hurricane Earl.  It would be nice if we could assure continuous service at all times, but that is not always possible.
With regard to your questions about outdoor lighting, here is some information that may give insight about current and possible future outdoor illumination provided by the Cooperative.

Cape Hatteras Electric offers outdoor lighting as a related business service, as do most electric utilities.  In addition to many obvious business related reasons, CHEC offers this service for several non-traditional reasons.  If lighting service is not available from the utility, individuals wanting lighting will provide it themselves, leading to safety issues and much less attention to the environmental aspects you have identified.

Over at least the last 10n years, CHEC has not aggressively promoted outdoor lighting when approached by consumers about this service.  Additionally, when subdivision developers have insisted on lighting in subdivisions, the Cooperative has offered only one type fixture which is a shaded down-light type.  These can be seen in several subdivisions, notably Wind Over Waves, Hattie Creef, and South Beach subdivisions in Salvo.

The general purpose fixture the Cooperative uses has actually evolved over the years from the bluish white mercury vapor (MV) fixture to the present yellow high pressure sodium (HPS) fixture.  HPS lamps contain far less elemental mercury than the old MV lamps, last longer, and are more energy efficient.  These general purpose fixtures can be darkened on sides that light is not desired, which is frequently done.  Their main advantage, in addition to being cost effective, is that they hold up well in our corrosive salt environment.

Over the last couple of years our material supply cooperative, Tarheel Electric Membership Association, has been developing a light emitting diode (LED) general purpose fixture in partnership with an LED manufacturer.  CHEC has installed 10 of these fixture prototypes under a test on our system for about six months, including one each at the Salvo Fire Department and the Old Lighthouse Beach access parking area at Buxton.  These LED fixtures are not quite ready for full production, but appear to have several advantages over HPS fixtures, including additional energy efficiency, an extremely directional light pattern, and sealed parts for corrosion resistance. 

In 2004, the Cooperative conducted literary research in an effort to determine if a particular lighting color was less visible to sea turtles.  It was determined that only low pressure sodium (LPS) seemed to disturb the habits of sea turtles less than other lighting sources.  LPS lighting has not received wide acceptance as a lighting technology and availability is limited, so this technology has not been employed.

Jim Kinghorn
EVP/General Manager
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative

The Election Season is upon us

(Editor’s note:  The next two letters are copies of letter to state Sen. Marc Basnight, a Democrat who represents Hatteras and Ocracoke.)
Dear Senator Basnight,
Your success in the coming election doesn't look good on Hatteras Island.  Our troubles are blamed on the environmental groups.  Publicity about wind generators and plastic bags don't help.  Our open beaches are our top priorities.  For this reason and the general climate regarding national issues, there definitely is a distinct "throw them all out" mentality. 
The recently plastic bag ban being extended to all businesses is poor timing.  While I support this measure personally, it is very costly and inconvenient for the small business owner.  Our small businesses are the ones most affected by the beach closures.  The recently completed video, "Piping Mad," explains this very well.
Having personally researched the reported science of the closures, I know it to be non-existent.  The letter submitted by Gordon Myers, executive director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, as comment to the National Park Service’s DEIS is most helpful.  You might consider PR releases of this information as the work you have done for us.  No doubt you have worked for us in other ways of which most islanders are unaware.
The Consent Decree requirements for the federal and state listed birds are most onerous.  To continue these practices will destroy the economy of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. Recent examples are the closures of Oregon Inlet, North and South Ocracoke Inlet Spits all summer for state listed birds apparently do not follow NCWRC guidelines.  The State could provide better nesting habitat by depositing freshly dredged sand on Pamlico Sound areas as has been successfully used by the listed birds in the past.
The effects of the recent storms and hurricanes have destroyed many of our threatened sea turtle nests’ which could possibly have been saved with proper relocation to safer areas.  The NCWRC needs to research the better methods of relocation that are used in other Atlantic and Gulf coast areas. This was mentioned in the Myers letter. The loggerhead sea turtle is in the process of being listed as federally endangered.  The endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles were relocated to improvised hatcheries late in the gestation period this year due to threats of the oil spill.
I call this to your attention because I support your incumbency.  Please respond with haste to your electorate.
Most sincerely,
Barbara Ackley

Dear Senator Basnight,

We Democrats are in trouble along the Outer Banks. The island inhabitants are enraged with the recent actions of our governmental agencies.  There is a growing voter backlash against all incumbent Democratic politicians who have been unable or unwilling to support their electorate against the transgressions of these agencies.

The Department of the Interior has run roughshod over the public with delays to the Oregon Inlet Bridge and unwarranted denial of access to the federal beaches.  Yes, these are federal agencies, but there is a lot of control that our state was capable of providing:

A.Bonner Bridge:  The state assembly can generate resolutions and the governor can sign them.  A resolution could declare that the unconscionable delays are nothing more than cleverly devised stall tactics.  The public must be served by a replacement bridge.  After all it is only a replacement not something novel and foreboding that will destroy the world!  Have Governor Perdue declare an emergency for public safety and direct the NCDOT to begin immediate construction with or without DOI paperwork.  Send a detachment of the NC National Guard to the bridge site to control any dissenters before they show up.  This is a message that needs to be delivered to the DOI.

 Beach Access:  The legislation that created this National Seashore provided that it would be a Recreational Area and the beaches would be dedicated to active water sports and other public recreation.  Wildlife was to be protected on the island interiors and the 13 miles of Pea Island Refuge.  NPS made many promises from 1949 to 1952 to the public in order to obtain title to the lands necessary to form the new type of National Park

The NPS has broken those promises (RICO violation) and violated the USC 459 law through their closure actions and draconian proposals set forth in the DEIS.  By these actions the NPS has abrogated their authority to administer Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area – the legal title.

The democratic leadership of NC could prepare resolutions for our U.S. Senators and Congressman to remove Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke lands from federal jurisdiction and to revert them to the control of North Carolina.

C.N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission:  Gordon Myers commentary to the DEIS  was the first sign of moderation towards public access from this commission.  During the Reg-Neg process the NCWRC delegates of Sue Cameron and David Allen offered no such balanced view but were in the environmental forefront with clamor for excess bird protection even to include numerous species of no concern.  Dr. Matthew Godfrey with his long term advocacy of natural nesting has done more to endanger the loggerhead turtle than any other person in North Carolina.
Clearly, there needs to be a house cleaning of personnel within NCWRC.

As you can see, there is much that our state leadership with a Democratic majority could have done to alleviate the suffering of the Outer Banks people and those who choose to come here from all parts of North Carolina and beyond.  We islanders don’t have deep pockets to contribute to PACs nor do we have lawyers on staff to expose the environmental distortions.  We set out jars to collect the loose change against the day when we must defend our rights in court.

Every islander has a vote and if we feel abandoned by the Democratic majority, there is no reason to expect our loyalty at the polls.  You have a problem that needs to be addressed.


Robert B. Davis

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

March 2010
February  2010

January 2010

Please see the Archives Pages for Previous Years

Archives 2009
Archives 2008
Archives 2007


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