April 2011 Letters to the Editor

New Letters to the Editor....04.28.2011  10:30 am

UPDATE: Cape Point is now closed to pedestrians also

I recently purchased a home in Frisco (small mobile home) and plan on renting it cheap to only people we know up here in New York. I grew up in Virginia, and the only place my dad took us for vacation was to Hatteras.  I am renting my home in Frisco very inexpensively so people can go to Hatteras, eat at the fine restaurants, and do some souvenir shopping without breaking their bank. 

I just read about the piper plover and the Point being closed.  My solution would be to move all of the piper plover to Portsmouth Island, where there are few human visitors, and let the fisherman have their fun fishing and catching the flounder and drum.  When I was young and went to the Point, you could not even walk to the Lighthouse because the beach was so big and we use to fish there all the time.  It's sad that a few birds are keeping people away from fishing at such a great spot.  I was down there for three weeks in March fixing up my place, and I listened to your radio station about the beach closures and how the environmentalists have taken the birds side.  Not that I am a bird hater or anything like that, but it seems that this may be hurting the local economy at Hatteras.  I love the island and hope one day to stay permanently in my home in Frisco.  Thank you for your time.

Judy Boyce
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

So four birds have control of miles of beach? Seems to me they were still there when people had acess. This is the most stupid behavior of mankind ever. I love watching shorebirds, but if I lived closer there might be four less.

Paul Rudar
Midland, Pa.

I ran a guiding service on the Outer Banks (Outer Banks Safaris) from ‘68 thru the early ‘80s.Even back then we had problems with the Park Service. Now a dozen birds control fishermen access and severely impact the business folks who try to make a decent living. The government has gone to far, putting bird welfare at the top of the list and the rest of us at the bottom.

Ken Lauer
Johns Island, S.C.

First, let's be honest about the designation! Cape Hatteras was designated a national recreation area by Congress and not a protected wildlife refuge. The confiscation of Cape Hatteras by environmental groups, the courts, and supported by legal defense groups, is so atrocious it makes my head hurt! How can this continue? This whole mess is a case of a little authority taken to the extreme. Hopefully, common sense will prevail -- and soon! People are losing their way of life, livelihood, and, most importantly, the sense that America is a fair and just place to reside!

Clark Fortney
Berryville, Va.

People are losing rights to birds. Anytime people as a whole catch fish, it seems (the Park Service) puts more restricted areas up. During the off season, when no one is here, you reopen it again, just like seasons past. You need to wake up! Making people wade in the ocean to bypass bird nests – two nests. I guess its better to see a person die than the birds. This isn’t really about the birds. It’s about the people.  We, as Americans, have rights.  I hope that the people of North Carolina wake up and boot you all out of office.

Winston Salem, N.C.

 As someone who grew up most summers helping plant the sea oats that help hold those beaches, I find it embarrassing that I have helped elect officials that institute such ignorant policies. We must save the birds, turtles, dolphins, etc. I truly believe this. But whom are we saving them for? I can't even show my kids! My parents taught me about wildlife and how to respect it, as did lots of ranger talks in Buxton. To cut off the beaches including Cape Point to all will help two bird nests! These closures are killing the community and hurting people (not as important as the birds, though I do believe we could safeguard both) and the lawmakers don't seem to care. I look forward in the future to helping vote out these incompetent "conservationists" and to voting in competent individuals who will return our national treasures to the people to whom they belong.

P.S. I helped move the lighthouse by donating considerably to the moving fund. Now I have to pay $9 to climb its stairs? Where has America gone?

M. Nicoletti
Canton, Ohio

It's a real shame the government that is managing our money and trying to manage our wildlife. Really makes you feel concerned -- here we go again with another government mess My family has been vacationing the Outer Banks for over 50 years – great-grandfather, grandfather, father, myself, and now my son’s children. We were also taught from birth to leave the land and wildlife alone to enjoy the wonders the good Lord gave us. We are hunters and fishermen, and we do it with respect. Please keep our land free and treat us with the respect we deserve as Americans.

William Barboure
Martinsburg, W.Va.

I sold my trailer at Buxton Oaks to good friends. Now, thanks to the Park Service, Judge Boyle, and the SELC, I feel like I've really done them wrong, as it looks like the season is over this year before it even started. We intended to go back with our camper and visit with them for some relaxing times at the beach, but those days are gone and shall never return, just like the many past visitors to the area once known as the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational area. It's for the birds now. Humans, you're welcome to look at pictures.

Bill Stavenger
Chesapeake, Va.

I have been visiting the Outer Banks for many, many years, and part of the attraction was having vehicular access to the beach. I'm sorry to say that my visits have been and will be much less frequent because of the legislative restrictions.

Barbara Scammell Bogush
Timonium, Md.

Another park issue

Why didn't the National Park Service pick up all the trash inside the new enclosed areas north of Buxton as they were putting up the ropes and signs?

Carol Busbey

Charging a toll for Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry under discussion in Raleigh

Darlene Styron, hold their feet to the fire! The idea that islanders have to pay is ridiculous! I'm not crazy about the idea of paying myself, even as a tourist, but that the people who live, commute, deliver to, and do daily, essential business on the island have to pay is plain unfair. (Will North Carolina build a bridge to provide an alternative route for you all? I doubt it.) You pay transportation taxes, do you not? Why do you have to pay again, then? I have written an e-mail to your Mr. Killian voicing my displeasure, and I urge everyone else--especially from the island-- to do the same!

Donnamarie Emmert
Abingdon, Va.

I have been vacationing in the Outer Banks for the past six years. This year we are staying on the island. If the ferry begins charging, I will not be going to Ocracoke in the future. And if any more beaches are closed to off-road access, I will stop vacationing in the Outer Banks. Outer Banks and Ocracoke are my favorite vacation destinations, but people have to draw the line somewhere. And I'm at that point now.  

Gerald Johnson
Hamilton, Ohio

Right, this is what happens when the Republicans are in control. Enacting a line item in this same budget (instead of an administrative decision, effectively shutting off public discussion) to enact tolls on the Ocracoke-Hatteras ferry, among other ferries, is also a partisan (ie Republican) decision. Understand, Republicans don't want to raise taxes, they just want to raise revenue and cut programs, which hurts those who can least afford it. Where is the job creation here? All these enactments lead to job loss. Don't be fooled by Republican rhetoric.

Hatteras, N.C.

We always ride the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry on our visits to the islands and will continue to do so if the fee charged is reasonable.  But, those who live there and depend on the ferry to travel should not have to pay a fee.  How does the cost of maintaining and operating the ferry compare to the cost of maintaining and operating a similar length of road?  How many accidents have happened on the ferry, compared to a similar length of road?  How many police cars and officers are needed to patrol the ferry and what are the savings there?

It is easy for me, from 900 miles away to judge your legislatures, and I may be totally wrong, but thanks for allowing me to express my opinion. 

Loogootee, Ind.

Economics 101: My family, along with our visiting guests, have taken a day trip to Ocracoke every summer for the past 35 years. Part of the fun is the free ferry ride. Shopping, eating, and renting bikes have always been part of the fun once we arrived in Ocracoke. Ocracoke, like the rest of the Outer Banks towns, relies on its tourist-based economy. Adding a $30 round trip ticket to that "free” ride  will certainly affect an economy that is already hurting...Please think this through folks.

Jim Leng

We will visiting at the end of May and have watched gas prices soar. It’s a tax on our vacation, but we will have to pay it. A tax for a free ferry is and will be optional for many tourists that are visiting. Many will not be willing to pay more to visit Ocracoke and will look to explore more of their local areas. We do love Ocracoke. Do not allow it to be taxed for transportation!

Ben Gossard
Perkasie, Pa.

While a fee for service on the ferry run between Hatteras and Ocracoke may seem like a revenue generator based on tourism, one must also consider the impact on the local population. As a visitor and camper on the Outer Banks since 1970, we always took one or two days and spent them on Ocracoke Island, mainly because our funds were limited, and we could spend a little in the village. We probably could not have observed the beauty of Ocracoke if we had to spend additional funds for ferry fees. Sounds petty maybe, but we camped because it was the most economical route for us, and we visited Ocracoke because it was economical as well. Finally, there are residents who use the ferry as part of their everyday lives, commuting back and forth to work. Will they get a pass? Check out the average income of residents and visitors before you start charging for ferry use, which I believe is considered part of Highway 12.

Roy Munson
Cincinnati, Ohio

Focus on Oregon Inlet: Fix for continual shoaling eludes even the governor

Why doesn't Nags Head dredge the sand from Oregon Inlet for their sand replenishment project? Have Nags Head dredge Oregon Inlet for their sand and don't take “can't” for an answer! Read where they are going to also use hopper dredges also. Get ‘er done!

Mike Martin

Hopper dredges are ships with large hoppers, or containment areas, inside. Fitted with powerful pumps, the dredges suck dredged material from the channel bottom through long intake pipes, called drag arms, and store it in the hoppers. The water portion of the slurry is drained from the material and is discharged from the vessel during operations. When the hoppers are full, dredging stops and the ship travels to an in-water disposal site, such as near shore Nags Head. The dredge spoils are quickly discharged through the bottom of the ship.

The vessel(s) scheduled to begin the $31 million South Nags Head beach replenishment could obtain their sand from Oregon Inlet, thus killing two birds with one stone. That is provided that  the sand is of the proper size and density. (Virginia Beach learned this lesson the hard way about 20 years ago.) If the Oregon Inlet sand is unsuitable, too far or whatever, then a parallel operation, moving at a rapid pace, would be to contract a vessel like the trailing suction hopper dredge Congo River (look it up). The entire Oregon Inlet could be cleaned out in a matter of weeks through the use of a 5,000- to 10,000- cubic meter vessel.

This trailing suction hopper dredger is equipped with two trailing pipes, bottom doors, and pump-ashore installation.

A trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) trails its suction pipe when working and loads the dredge spoil into one or more hoppers in the vessel. When the hoppers are full, the TSHD sails to a disposal area and either dumps the material through doors in the hull or pumps the material out of the hoppers. Some dredges also self-offload using drag buckets and conveyors.

A commercial hopper dredge could discharge its dredge spoils as close to the beach as possible, say at North Nags Head. And then let Mother Nature do the rest. The prevailing tides would carry the new sediment southward and inshore -- a supplement to the South Nags Head beach restoration project. An added bonus would be a dramatic increase in zooplankton and fish populations, making South Nags Head the top surf fishing destination on the Outer Banks. Ditto for outer bar for world-class surfing.

But for sure the USACE and their little side discharge dredge Merritt is nothing but a joke. Another waste of your hard earned federal tax dollars. Just another federal jobs program. Don’t send a toy to do a man’s job! Ditto for the hopper dredge Currituck with its tiny 300 cubic meter payload. The Currituck is more expensive per day than commercial trailing pipe hopper dredges, such as the Congo River. The Congo River has a 40,000 cubic meter payload! Such a vessel could completely clean out Oregon Inlet in a few weeks. And would not have to return for years. Much less expensive than those make-work federal dredge projects and less expensive than building long, quickly foiled granite rip-rap jetties. 

George Meredith, M.D.
Virginia Beach, Va.

I always hear whining for smaller government and here we are begging the federal government to pay for an inlet that should be paid by us. When I was in D.C., I saw the cameras that take pictures of cars and send them a bill for a ticket. Why not create a toll system for pleasure boats with the local charter boats and commercial fisherman exempt? Problem solved. All you folks want smaller government -- well you got to start in your own backyard.

Wes Lassiter

Hagan takes issue with New York Times editorial on Magnuson-Stevens

Finally, my senator is helping to keep fishing alive. I’ve been watching all my life how fishermen have suffered from so many regulations. If Americans would rely on each other, then the U.S. wouldn’t have to import everything. I come from a generation of fishermen, and its’ a sad time in our dying country. I say this because the U.S. depends on foreign imports, cutting our own throats. I support the U.S. people, and would love to see the U.S. stop importing and get rid of NAFTA. If our leaders don’t open their eyes now, then the children of tomorrow will live with no hope. Thank you for listening to the people.

Raymond Austin

Hatteras charter boat crewman injured in Oregon Inlet accident

Sorry to hear about the accident and glad the mate is now home.  This is another example of why the Army Corps of Engineers need to either fix or close Oregon Inlet before we encounter more serious injuries.

Moyock, N.C.

Island Cooking: Enjoy your tuna catch all year by canning it

Great to see Lynne Foster’s article on canning tuna. When I was a kid visiting Hatteras, a treat I always looked forward to was Aunt Hazel’s tuna salad made from fresh canned tuna. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

Charlie Willis
Virginia Beach, Va.

Storm damage prompts lawmakers to temporarily lift plastic bag ban

I do not think this is a good idea. Sorry about the Food Lion loss, but I think they would have insurance for this and would be able to replace the bags from their many stores in the state that have no ban on plastic. Once they do this, I think they will have their foot in the door to stop the ban. They never liked it. and have the big money behind them..

Pat Conley

The old Hatteras in photographs

It was a delight to see these old memories! They were great! The Outer Banks is the love of my heart-- even if I live less than an hour from St. Augustine Beach. It's just not the same. There has always been a magical spark in the air on the Banks -- something difficult to define, except to say I have never found it on any other beach.

My family began visiting the Banks in the ‘60s after I had read a story about it in the sixth grade, "The Runaway Family." I am from Akron, Ohio, right near Cuyahoga Falls and Medina. I liked it on the Banks back then- when you could barely get to Duck and Corolla -- before these "lovely" three-story monster houses with everything under the sun from elevators to theaters!

I get away from it by heading on down to Pea Island and spending a lot of time just roaming about.

Thanks for publishing those memory shots!

Pamela Gabel
Middleburg, Fla.

The very best guide to charter fishing on the islands

Jordan. I'm sorry. I had to laugh. Even though, as your mother, I should be concerned anytime you are sick, the visual you gave me cracked me up. The voice of experience, huh?

Great article about one of my most favorite things to do in the whole wide world.

Renee Tomberlin
Burnsville, N.C.

A one-year report on the resurrected Ocracats program

That is a great program.  The island of Nantucket has the same idea but not near the support your island does. Keep up the good work.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

New Letters to the Editor....04.14.2011  4:05 pm

Cape Hatteras Wounded Warriors Vacation Project gets underway

I'm a frequent visitor to Hatteras island, a Vietnam, purple-heart veteran and I hope to have a boat in Hatteras this month and next to fish.  I would like to be part of this effort to support wounded warriors on vacation. 

David Filion
Virginia Beach, Va.

I am disabled and live on less then $1,000 a month, so I have no money to give. I wish I did.  At any rate, I think the idea is wonderful, and you must be two very special fellas.  Good luck with the project.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Cape Point closes to off-road vehicles

Government is out of control.  It’s better to ruin an economy than have three less birds on the beach.  Unbelievable!  It’s time to take this country back from the disconnected politicians.  There have never been better conservationists than sportsmen themselves.  Pretty soon, they'll be telling us what underwear we can use to cover our over-regulated butts.

Jared Boles
Charleston, S.C.

Bodie Island Lighthouse needs more funds to continue renovation

Why hasn't someone (or group) started a private fund raising effort to complete this project, as was done decades ago with  the Statue of Liberty? I would certainly contribute to this effort. The government should not be expected to pay for every darn thing that people ask for.

Robert Grady
Richmond, Va.

Focus on Oregon Inlet: Fix for continual shoaling eludes even the governor

Why can't we take the beach nourishment money, set up a dredge in Oregon Inlet, and pump the sand in the inlet to the beaches of Nags Head?  Guess it's kind of hard for politicians to use some common sense.

Patrick Caton

11 brave swimmers hit the icy Atlantic in the 2011 Seal Swim

Team Joan and Marsha, from Beach Pharmacy, would like to thank everyone who sponsored us for the "Seal Swim."  With your help, we raised over $1,000 for Locomotion.  You guys are the greatest!

Joan Berg
Marsha Holmes

Cinderella’s Closet event rescheduled for May 3

Thank you Island Free Press for keeping us connected with up to date events and changes that can and do happen. Locomotion is grateful for your support!

Kathy Kiddy

Judgment in favor of CHEC is final; co-op members will share about $10 million

This will be a nice thing for all CHEC members -- basically anyone on the island who pays an electric bill. Of course, those who used more will get more, and there were some who were not members from 2000-2009 but it should help no matter what.


NPS gets extension for final ORV rule at Boyle status conference

Boyle seemed surprised to learn that 9,800 night beach driving permits were issued in 2010 and astounded that no fees were collected for the permits.

"It’s hard to find any negative impacts of the consent decree, the judge observed and Murray agreed.   The subject changed without mention of economic or cultural impacts"

You’re kidding, right?

He basically is giving tacit approval for the Park Service to start charging fees. Mark my words -- it will happen.


The old Hatteras in photographs

Awesome. Thank you for sharing your family photos.  In 1953 my parents first took me to the Outer Banks and I was 8. We stayed with Cap'n Bill Tate's son who owned two cottages on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk. He owned much land in Kitty Hawk. His name was Louis Tate and was born and raised in Kitty Hawk village. We spent each summer with him. For me as a young girl, it was lonely on the beach. Look either direction and seldom another soul, ha.

Louis Tate's father was the postmaster who corresponded with the Wright brothers and believed in them when others were skeptical. The brothers lived with the Tate family for quite sometime while experimenting with their glider, and Mrs. Tate sewed the sateen on one of their gliders or maybe more. I don't recall. Mr. L. Tate would reminisce about the days of sitting on the laps of the brothers along with his siblings and listening to all the adults talking. I only wished I had sat still long enough to listen to more of the stories, but I had to get to the ocean and play!

My husband, David, and I were married at the top of the lighthouse out on the catwalk at sunset by our minister who was afraid of heights! We are the only couple, so we have been told, that were ever married at the top. This was back when the Light still stood at the ocean's edge, which was so beautiful

Sue Davis Holster

The story behind 'Taffy of Torpedo Junction,' and the Buxton girl who was the real-life Taffy

I've been a regular visitor to the Outer Banks since the late ‘70s and consider it my second home.  In March I happened to hear some elderly folk, locals, reminiscing of their youth on one of the local TV stations.  Carol Dillon White was on the dais and her recollections were fascinating.  I ended up sending for the book about Taffy for my grandchildren.  I read it first (loving all things OBX) and enjoyed it.  Even though it is geared for youngsters, I think many adults will enjoy it as well.  It is an insightful glimpse back to an era of uncluttered lifestyles.  I wish I had been there.  A good read.  Thanks for the additional info.

Dan Kraf
Canonsburg, Pa.

UPDATE: Outer Banks are uniting to oppose tolls on Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry

My family and I have been coming to Hatteras for vacation for 20 years and have always been shocked that the ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke was free. We were just saying this past fall that even if there was a toll, we doubted that it would keep people from taking the ferry. As to how much that toll should be, could be debated of course. Perhaps $10 "one way" is a little high. But my guess is, that most people would not stop riding, even if there was a charge. And, of course, there would have to be an efficient way of paying. The waiting time now in the summer (and other times as well) is considerable. There should be a way for people to get tickets in advance (Different locations set up on all along the Outer Banks?), rather than selling tickets at the ferry locations only. That is probably what would keep people away - not the fare!

As for the folks who live and have to commute back and forth to the Outer Banks, why not exempt them from a fare all together? Why should they pay at all? I think that fares should be charged to the tourists only!

Times are tough, and money is needed to keep this beautiful area accessible to all of us. Why not use some common sense and ask all of us who come to visit to sacrifice a bit? Even those of us who are not wealthy can certainly afford to pay to ride the ferry. Compared to all of the money we already spend on rent, gas, food, and other forms of entertainment, we can certainly pay a little more. Yes? A few dollars more to ride the ferry is a drop in the bucket!

Earlene Edwards
Vienna, Va.

Highway litter
Why didn't the National Park Service pick up all the trash inside the new enclosed areas north of Buxton as they were putting up the ropes and signs?

Carol Busbey

New Letters to the Editor....04.01.2011  12:05 pm

Cape Hatteras Wounded Warriors Vacation Project gets underway

Kevin and John:  What a wonderful project!  Congratulations! I'm so proud of all of you!

Jean Mosher
Columbus, Ohio

This is a great thing for us veterans. We can stand thanks and praise, with thanks back to those who are so discerning. The North Carolina Auto Dealers Association is also thanking WW II vets by flying locals to Washington to view the new and old monuments. The trip is for the day, and it is gratis.

Russ Reynolds
Raleigh, N.C.

Citation owners will continue their fight to claim $1 million Big Rock tournament prize

Rules are rules. If the rule book said each person required a license, the boat owners should have made sure everyone did.  Still a bitter pill to swallow and really a huge fish. I’m afraid they are just generating a lot of legal fees for nothing.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Charging a toll for Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry under discussion in Raleigh

Compromise and make it $1 dollar per car, not $100 dollars a month for a pass. Ocracokers pay too much in taxes, like all of us.

Raymond Austin

My family always comes to Hatteras Island every year for vacation and come to Ocracoke at least one of the days. We are there for a day trip and eat lunch at Howard's Pub. We have discussed this, and if they charge us $10 each way to ride the ferry, we won't be riding the ferry to Ocracoke anymore. They are already discussing raising the tolls on the rode to North Carolina, so that will also hurt our pocketbooks.

Virginia Gunn
Prince George, Va.

Just wondering if charging a toll will also come with making reservations in advance?  Would be nice to drive past those long summer lines with a reservation both ways.
Waiting was a good thing for free.

Lou Wengenroth IV
Middletown, N.Y.

UPDATE: Outer Banks are uniting to oppose tolls on Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry

I would like to support my neighbors on Ocracoke Island and elsewhere on the Outer Banks in opposition to the proposed ferry fees to Ocracoke and the increased ferry fees for the rest of the Outer Banks.  As you know, this area depends on tourism, and additional fees will impact that industry.

David Jones
King George, Va.

Hatteras charter boat crewman injured in Oregon Inlet accident

My family's thoughts and prayers are with the Harrison family.  We discovered their hospitality and friendliness during our Hatteras vacation two year ago, and last year their seafood was all we ate.  After so many visits, we feel we know them, and hope Graham heals quickly. 

Jennifer Olive
Bay Village, Ohio

Hope this young man gets better soon.  He could have been hurt much worse.  On our vacation in October, we will be sure to stop by their Harbor House Market for our seafood needs. Good luck to Graham on his recovery, and he best listen to his Mommy.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Ocracoke News Roundup:  Noise ordinance, fireworks, ABC store

How many people were informally e-mailed about the fireworks? I personally think, out of respect for those who perished and those who suffered and those who remember, we should spend that money on something more worthwhile. How much money is it? Why not re-rent and re-establish the youth center with that money?

Kitty Mitchell

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