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New Letters to the Editor....07.22.2011  3:10 pm

Voters in northern Hatteras villages approve liquor by the drink

We have joined the 21st century.

Harold MacMurren

I have cottages in Buxton and Frisco. It was interesting to read this, with no reference whatsoever to the law and impact on public safety. Does anyone know what the experience is on Hatteras Island?

Henrik Suhr
Great Falls, Va.

(Editor’s Note:  Information on the public safety implications of the new law was discussed in “Shooting the Breeze,” the editor’s blog of July 7 – “The time has come for liquor by the drink on ALL of Hatteras.”  Basically, law enforcement officials said there was no difference in DWIs in areas that allowed mixed drinks.)

UPDATE: Injured child in critical condition after a shark attack on Ocracoke

Yes, sweetie, I hate sharks too! 

Craig Gerland
West Chester, Pa.

Thanks for the fast facts!


Cape Point reopens to vehicles

I am so happy the Point is open. I have been going there since 1983, and I love it. And having the Point open makes traffic on other beaches not so congested. Thank you.

Chesapeake, Va.

State Senate pushing for ferry toll at Hatteras Inlet

My family has been vacationing down at the Outer Banks since I was small, and for the last couple of years we have gone to Hatteras. We so enjoyed the ferry ride over to Ocracoke. It was one of our best experiences. (And for me, as old as I am, it brought back memories of crossing by ferry from the north before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and the Verrazano bridges were built.) We were talking among family and thought we would gladly have paid a fee for the crossing. It could be a small amount, maybe $5 to $10 dollars per car, each way. The locals (as well as delivery trucks, etc.) could have a sticker and fast lane, and not have to pay the toll. It might not bring in much revenue, but it might help off set some of the cost a little, since gas is so high. I can only speak for my family, but I bet other visitors wouldn't mind. Maybe they could give out a ferry fridge magnet or memento or something. Just a thought.

Sharon Spence
Elizabeth City, N.C.

Park Service publishes proposed ORV rule; public comment period is open

The park biologist said this year was just a “good year.”

This lady either has a bizarre sense of humor or reality. Three surviving chicks is a "good year?" Not for all of those who were denied access to that very special place. Not for the sportsmen and families who were denied access to a recreational area that was set aside for that purpose. Not for the businesses and communities that are losing so much at the hands of these enviro-wackos and the NPS gestapo.

"A good year." That sums up just how out of touch with reality one can get when their focus is so narrow that it is blinding.

Al Adam
Salvo/Blue Bell, Pa.

What a waste of beautiful beach—closed for a few birds. They were just as successful with full access before the stupid consent decree. After years of fishing Hatteras Island, I now travel elsewhere. But I always hope to return, if common sense and the real scientific truth are one day applied.

Paul Rudar
Midland, Pa.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has never been disrupted by the regulars because they know the situation and want to keep as much of the beach open as possible.   The people who are disrupting the beach are the people who have never been there and have no idea how to preserve the beach.  Also, all it takes is a couple of environmentalists to walk into these nesting grounds, when a park ranger is driving by, and then the boundary is 1,000 square feet larger.  Then another does the same thing, and within a week the sanctuary increases dramatically. So remember that the locals and regulars are not to blame. It is the people who don't know how to preserve the beach and some extreme environmentalists.

Goochland, Va.

I urge all NCBBA members and any other interested persons to send their comments to Mike Murray, in written form, via U.S. mail, so that he has a pile so high that you can't see him sitting at his desk behind it.  It's now or never!

Bill King
Petersburg, Va.

Park Service is preparing to implement ORV rule

OK, now I am confused. First, they are going to implement rules that haven't been agreed upon yet, have not been approved or commented on, and can't go into effect until November. Really? Second, I’m confused by the “reasonable use fees.”  A $30 per-week minimum? In what world is that reasonable? But yet they don't want to drive people away from the park? Or the Outer Banks? And they don't want to ruin the economy?

I can see a more robust economy now—at the Frisco Rod and Gun shop. Shotguns and bird shot will be hot items. Also hot will be torches and pitchforks at the local Ace Hardware. So what next, $50 to drive across the old rickety bridge in order to pay for the 17-mile-long new one? Sorry folks, this old couple isn't rich and won't be joining all the fun any more, if that is the way it is going to be.

Bert Smith
Richmond, Va.

I was born in Virginia in 1942 and my Dad started taking me to Cape Hatteras fishing in the early 1950s.  I bought property on the Outer Banks when my children were very young and showed them the same wonders and freedom I enjoyed when I was a child.  Our entire family has always shown respect  and followed the rules put in place to protect the wildlife of our beautiful Outer Banks beaches and the National Park Recreational Seashore.  We are blessed with a special and unique natural seashore on the North Carolina coast, which was set aside for the enjoyment, recreation and access of all people. 

The lawsuit from the national organizations to save our wildlife seems to have overlooked that President Nixon wanted an approved ORV plan for the Cape Hatters National Seashore. I also want to protect our wildlife.  I also want to support the commerce of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore area. NPS has done a great job in the past, and I know that with the appropriate leadership the NPS can serve the state and its citizens proudly.  Thank you, with my deep concern.

Michael F. Jeffers
Hayes, Va.  

BEACH FEES: This is the slippery slope everyone should be warned about.  Upwards of $150 per vehicle?  Soon that won't cover their cost and it will go up again and again.  While ORVs are paying, individuals can walk out on the beach, birdwatch, sailboard, etc. for free? Is this the way fairness is applied?  Reading that list of "cost basis," it is clear the ORV permits will pay not only for all the services provided now as part of the regular budget, but also for new parking lots, more rangers, and less beach.  Beach fees are never related to beach costs.  Come to New Jersey and see for yourself.  Our towns and state parks are out of control. Fees rise each year, but nothing gets any better. The plover population just got sidelined. Once the golden goose starts laying those eggs, the naturalist will be working full time to find ways to make them lay more. 

Jack Herbert
Milltown, N.J./Hatteras

Oh good.  Another document we can read and comment on, which will have zero effect.  Our comments are automatically deemed hostile and thrown out, especially if they're not in perfect grammatical form. There will be absolutely no impact on the plan that will be implemented. It will be done without any regard for why the national seashore and recreation area were established in the first place—for "We the People".

Bill Stavenger
Chesapeake, Va.

Comments: TO: Mike Murray, Superintendent National Park Service
FROM: Bill King  NCBBA# 1467
Petersburg, Virginia  23805
RE: RIN – 1024-AD85
SUBJECT: Rules for Proper Management of Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park

Mr. Superintendent,

I have been a member of the NCBBA for well over 30 years, and visiting the island for some 45 years.  As a retired law enforcement officer, who was active for over 30 years, I will say that, in my time there, my observations of the conduct of the majority of folks that visit, vacation, utilize and love the open beaches of Cape Hatteras is that of respect for the real estate as well as the well-being of mother nature’s inhabitants.

Hundreds of families such as mine have raised children on these open beaches.  I personally know that a great deal of the people that come to enjoy all that Hatteras has to offer are in public safety, i.e. police, fire and EMS professionals.  When we observe something wrong or improper, we absolutely call the proper authority – whether it be Dare County deputies or you and your staff, or the state troopers.

The good common sense management of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park by you and the previous superintendents has been more than adequate for the many years of which I speak.  This park was given to me and the rest of the citizens of this country a long time ago:

When we look up and down the ocean fronts of America, we find that everywhere they are passing behind the fences of private ownership. The people can no longer get to the ocean. When we have reached the point that a nation of 125 million people cannot set foot upon the thousands of miles of beaches that border the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, except by permission of those who monopolize the ocean front, then I say it is the prerogative and the duty of the Federal and State Governments to step in and acquire, not a swimming beach here and there, but solid blocks of ocean front hundreds of miles in length. Call this ocean front a national park, or a national seashore, or a state park or anything you please—I say that the people have a right to a fair share of it. (Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, 1938)

I suggest you and the existing authority stop, read this passage—10 times, if necessary—and, using the same common sense, logic, and thought process applied some 73 years ago, realize that its meaning is still just as sound and powerful today as it was then, and that any defined management plan should be designed, created and promulgated using as few restrictions and prohibitions as can reasonability be adopted.  It seems all too quickly forgotten, maybe purposefully, that no man-made, written plan will curtail natural predators as they relate to birds, turtles, and eggs. Nor will it curtail the uncontrollable wrath and full brunt of a category 5 Atlantic hurricane.   

Yes, a plan has to be established, but one can be fashioned so as to NOT take yet another right and privilege away from the American people, the true owners of this precious gift.  Common sense was once a general approach to most problems and decisions.  I suggest we return to the past for help and guidance with this one.

I urge all who read this to please fashion your own letter to Mr. Murray, ASAP!

Bill King
Petersburg, Va.

Environmental groups sue to stop Bonner Bridge Replacement Project

I am not surprised that the environmental groups have raised their collective ugly head again to advocate their ridiculous 17-mile bridge project.  Common sense tells us that the long bridge is too expensive, too time-consuming to build, and too dangerous in hazardous weather.

Is Julie Youngman (SELC attorney) an engineer?  If not, what gives her and her fellow environmentalists the authority to tell NCDOT how to design and build their bridges and highways?  Obviously, someone is going to get killed if these stall tactics by the environmental groups are allowed to continue indefinitely.  Isn't there some person with authority that can shut these people up?

Bill Blackwell
Roper, N.C.

Bonfires temporarily banned on seashore beaches

When is the bonfire ban expected to be lifted?

Michael Barnes
Pasadena, Md.

(Editor’s note: There is no date in sight for lifting the ban until eastern North Carolina gets some serious rain to end the severe drought conditions.  None is in the forecast now.)

A classic Hatteras wedding with a surprise guest

What a wonderful wedding memory. Hatteras has been our vacation spot for the past 27 years, and we think it is the closest place to Heaven on earth. Congratulations to the couple.

Rita Nickles
Dalton, Ohio

New Letters to the Editor....07.15.2011  11:40 am

Environmental groups sue to stop Bonner Bridge Replacement Project

What a shame nothing will be done. There is always a way!

Riverhead, N.Y.

Has anyone driven the nearest long bridge lately  -- the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel? It's a beautiful drive. And it has four lanes, safety turnouts, islands, and it's wide enough each way for a chopper to land. And did I say four lanes - if something blocks northbound, you can use the southbound to go north. 

Also, if the wind gets to 35 mph, the bridge closes to trucks and high-profile vehicles.  A little high wind and nothing gets through.

Seventeen miles of two lane bridge for $1.3 billion? It's all about getting people off Hatteras.

Nags Head

I remember when we had to take the ferry across Oregon Inlet years ago because that was the only way to and from Hatteras Island. I miss those days, but I also understand how important the Bonner Bridge became, when completed, to native island residents like Red and Lois Rollinson of Frisco. It was hard to understand their approval of the project at first be because we thought it would devastate the island forever. Not so.  As a kid I remember waiting for a Coast Guard helicopter to transport my injured mom to an inland hospital during the bridgeless years, and thought nothing of it. I also remember a 90-minute, post-bridge-completion trip from Frisco to Elizabeth City by ambulance following a terrible auto accident.

Let's get on with building the replacement before we have to step back in time and the ferry becomes the only option. Talk about angry residents!

Steve Fowee
St. Leonard, Md.

Well, how many ferry boats can you buy for $300 million dollars?

RC White
Virginia Beach, Va.

There should be counter suits brought by the highway departments or stakeholders on the Outer Banks who depend on the bridge. The environmental groups need to be held accountable for the delays they are about to cause.  The project has been studied for 20 years, and a record of decision has been issued for the EIS.  The environmentalists know that they can't stop it, but they can delay it and run the costs up.  If there are delays, they should be held accountable for the additional costs.  They will think twice about filing suits that delay projects and cost the taxpayers huge amounts of money.   

B. Forman
Morehead City, N.C.

After all these years, an 11th-hour lawsuit.  And what has the Southern Environmental Law Center done by means of this lawsuit?

They have endangered public safety, and nothing else.

Shame on them.

John Rentz
Montgomery Village, Md.

A 17-mile bridge to cross a half mile of does this make a lick of sense? If these environmental terrorists want a 17-mile bridge, no problem. They just pay for it.

Billy Griggs
Nags Head

Here we go. As predicted, once the people-haters have a victory in one place, they move on to another. Now they want to cut the Outer Banks off from the rest of the world (to the north) by delaying the building of a new bridge long enough for the old one to be declared unsafe and closed. They will get another bought-and-paid-for judge to rule in their favor and put the administration of the bridge in his hands. Sound familiar? It should. Once the islands are cut off from the north, they will work on getting the ferries from the south discontinued. Once you can only get to the OBX by boat they will demand that the people be removed so the birds and turtles can commune with the islands undisturbed. Am I predicting impossible things? Wait and see. Only a few years ago everyone thought closing the beaches was impossible and that all the people-haters wanted was Pea Island.

Bert Smith
Richmond, Va.

Freshman Democratic Sen. Stan White reflects on his first legislative session

Dear Mr. White, 

I am a retired federal worker and life-long Democrat whose views align pretty well with your own.  If I can be of service to you down here in Avon, or if you sponsor events on Hatteras Island that I might attend, please let me know.  I greatly appreciate the work that you do and have done as a new representative of We the People.  Godspeed.

Clayton Davis

Park Service publishes proposed ORV rule; public comment period is open

It appears that the access time for ORV routes has been shortened and ORVs will be allowed to drive north of Ramp 23 (in front of the villages) only from Nov. 1 until March 31 – instead of Sept. 15-May 15 as has been the case.

Tom Hicks
Roswell, Ga.

(Editor’s Note:  This is true.)

I can't believe that what happened in Panama City Beach, where I grew up, is now happening on the Outer Banks!  There’s no use fighting it. It will happen no matter what anybody does. 

Merry Hill, N.C.

Don't fall into the trap of not commenting because you don't think it will do any good. If we wind up in court, and only a few comments have been submitted, then we loose because it looks like the vast majority agreed with the plan, due to the lack of comments.

The same is true if you know that someone has already covered your concern, so you think it does not need to be submitted again. Comment numbers will count in court. One complaint about an item holds little weight, but thousands of complaints have better standing.

So comment, comment, comment.

Ted A. Hamilton (aka Salvo Jimmy)
Salvo / Hampton,Va.

I read the Record of Decision, and it is heartbreaking to think that no one will ever walk the Hatteras Inlet spit again. 


Its a shame that the tax payers, can’t enjoy the beaches that they pay for. What’s next, the air we breathe?

Roger Lambert
Concord, N.C.

UPDATE: DOT says it has adequately addressed concerns raised by lawsuit and will continue work as planned

Let them sue. The cost of a suit would certainly be less than the cost of building the long bridge. It's so sad that these groups favor wildlife--though very important--over the innocent lives that travel that stretch of highway every day. Should that bridge fail, the impact on the economy of Hatteras and Ocracoke would be terrible. They are barely hanging on now because of beach closures.

Patricia Kopeck
Bear Creek Twp, Pa.

UPDATE: Hatteras Village Medical Center is spruced up and closer to opening

I rejoice with my friends and family of Hatteras village and congratulate Cheryl Ballance on her vision and persistence in obtaining grants to reopen the Medical Center. I believe the right person will come to serve you. I will join you to pray for God’s help in finding and directing that person to come to Hatteras to live and serve.

Sybil A. Skakle
Chapel Hill, N.C.

UPDATE: Ocracokes Charles Temple wins the first-ever Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament

Way to go Charles!  We're all proud to know you. Congrats!!

Sean Smith
Cumming, Ga.

Hattteras Island Real Estate: Anatomy of a buyer’s market

Tom Hranicka wrote in his column that, "The annualized number of residential sales reached its high point in June of 2005 and bottomed out in March, 2009, representing a decrease of nearly 65 percent."
How does this compare with the national market? It looks like the bottom slide of sales on Hatteras Island was when the Point and Hatteras Inlet beaches were closed in 2005. A couple of years ago, we started seeing more people here, especially in the summer, who weren't fishermen, with few rod racks on the road. Is the traditional and cultural use changing because of the lack of spacious beaches and prime fishing areas?

Barbara Ackley

(Editor’s note: Here is Tom Hranicka’s reply: I read with interest Barbara Ackley’s question concerning the role that beach closures had on the decline in the island’s real estate market that began in 2005. My conclusion is that seasonal closings of the prime fishing areas have probably had some impact on sales, but that the effect was minor and that it would be very difficult to quantify.

There are several reasons for this conclusion.

  • The national real estate market began a similar decline in 2006 that may still not have reached its bottom. Selling prices both locally and across the country dropped about 40 percent from their peak levels. This suggests that broader market forces were at work, separate and distinct from meaningful local concerns.
  • Rental reservations appear to have remained fairly consistent for the past five years with the exception of 2009 when the entire country experienced a severe financial crisis.
  • While there are a variety of explanations for the shift of the Hatteras Island real estate market to a buyers’ market, I believe that overheated demand and unsustainable price levels were the primary causative factors.
  • This view is supported by observers of national markets who hold the opinion that rapid price appreciation fueled by an increasing number of high risk loan practices and products were responsible for creating the tipping point. )

Dockside Hatteras is open for business after fire destroys warehouse

The island would be lost without Dockside. Joe and Meg are the best in helping you with your decorating needs. Hope you will rebuild. Good luck!

Edith McKeen
Rockville, Md.

New Letters to the Editor....07.07.2011  10:30 am

Environmental groups sue to stop Bonner Bridge Replacement Project

Okay, I read the complaint, and the more I read the more frustrated I became.  I am a person of reason, of compromise, and of patience, but I am just beside myself.  I do understand, even though they mentioned the piping plovers numerous times in the document, that it is not about the birds or the environment at all. It is about POWER. It is about CONTROL, and they endanger the lives of each and every person who crosses the Bonner Bridge with each delay they create.  That is incredible power and they are thriving on it. That is a very strong statement, but the fact is, the bridge has to be replaced. The fact is, there will come a time it will fail. We all just pray to God no lives are lost when it does.

I grew up in Ohio, and I remember the Silver Bridge collapse that killed over 40 people. Every time we cross the Ohio River, just down from where that happened, I always wonder about the Bonner Bridge.  

It is unreasonable to build a 17-mile bridge around Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.  Talk about an environmental impact on the refuge and the sound—even though in the report, if I understand it correctly, they stated it would not have an impact. Have they not driven across the Bonner Bridge and seen the number of birds that are hit? Just think what would happen on a 17-mile bridge through the sound, with all the migrating birds coming through. It would be devastating!
And what about the runoff from all the vehicles into the sound -- the fuels, oils, the trash!  Will that not have an environmental impact? Oh wait, they are not worried about that here, just up north, where they want to stop the bridge from Currituck to Corolla because of that reason.
Not related to the environment, can you imagine driving across a 17-mile bridge in a storm? Or what a hurricane or a good nor’easter would do to it?

Unfortunately, as an outsider looking in, it becomes clearer and clearer that the goal here is not really the “environment.” The “environment” is being used as an excuse and guise to devastate all that is wonderful about Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.  I have always considered myself an environmentalist, but these groups are putting the rest of us in a bad light. That is one of the reasons I spend a couple of weeks, here and there, on your beautiful island, and why I hope to someday make it my home, as my ancestors once did.  I could go someplace different, but I love Hatteras Island; I love the people, the history, the beauty, and the nature. Why would any group feel it is perfectly OK to destroy all that is the Outer Banks and put others’ lives at risk just for an agenda that is “not even for the birds”?

They can try to push me away. The more they push the more I will work so that I can spend more time coming down to Hatteras Island.

Sorry, Defenders of Wildlife and all your legal buddies. You lose!

Jacque Gates
Fortville, Ind.

I believe I would countersue the environmental groups for reckless endangerment, since their action can create serious injury or death should the bridge fail. I would also sue the individuals, associates, and donors of these groups in the same suit. If these groups want a 17-mile-long bridge, let them come up with the $700 million for it.

Wesley Carter
Kill Devil Hills

The environmentalists won't be happy until there is nobody left on the island except the ghost of the lighthouse keeper!

Linda Conner
Seaford, Del.

The 17-mile option would be terribly, indeed too costly, and therefore would likely be delayed indefinitely.

NCDOT, et al. have a plan, albeit a mite ad hoc, to deal with Pea Island access.

Is it too much to hope that this injunction request would come before someone other than Judge Boyle.? Someone who might start with a clean slate and a balanced view?


BACK-OFF, Defenders of Wildlife, and start defending some of our native wildlife you and the Audubon fundraisers are having the NPS trap and kill every year!

Liz Browning Fox

If the environmentalists do not like the plans made by the state and favor the 17-mile bridge instead, let them pay the bill.

It’s time to hold the SELC and the DOW accountable for their actions.

Bill Tipton
New London, N.C.

These organizations are stark-raving mad because it isn't being done their way. Until the state and federal governing bodies and honest judicial officials decide enough is enough with these stupid and unnecessary lawsuits, hard working and honest folks will continue to suffer.

If this bridge were in their own backyards, they would be screaming to get it replaced. However, it is out of sight and out of mind. Safety and the possible loss of life mean absolutely nothing to them.

J. Williams
Granbury, Tex.

Let the environmental groups have their bridge, as long as they pay the difference. If it means that much to them, then they need to pay. They have cost us enough already.

Charlotte, N.C.

One question: where were the environmentalists in 1963?  It wasn't the placement of bridges that screwed up the wildlife, it was the stupid people on vacation driving like idiots.  They didn't care about this until so many buildings went up and real estate became so expensive. If they really cared, I guess they would close down all the bridges, highways, etc., because birds lay nests everywhere, not just at the locations they are fighting for.  I love animals, but why don’t these groups find something better to fight for?


The Bonner Bridge needs to be replaced and possibly made wider. What these idiots really want is the total removal of mankind from all areas of the coast, permanently. They are the real problem here!

Steven Beverly
Rocky Mount, N.C.

Is this not the most ridiculous, outrageous lawsuit ever entered onto court dockets? It absolutely has to be some attorneys who think they can make a name for themselves as well as lots of cash.  Totally outrageous!  Please advise anything that any of us (who have some common sense) can do to counter this utterly frivolous suit.
We're some of your constant readers from Virginia, who visit Hatteras two to three times a year, and we love the area. We need that bridge replaced!

Beth Saylor

After rash of break-ins, visitors and residents advised to lock their vehicles

During our vacation, from June 10 to 24, our cars were broken into and our daughter’s new GPS was stolen. Thanks to the efforts of the Dare County Sheriff's Department, it was returned to us one week later.  We thought we would never get it back and were thrilled when they called to identify it. We send a huge thank you to the Sheriff's Department of Dare County.

The Masters Family
Hubbard, Ohio

A hearty thank you to the members of the Dare County Sheriff's Department for a job well done. God bless.

J. Williams
Granbury, Tex.

Bonfires temporarily banned on seashore beaches

Are you kidding me? Exactly how is sand going to burn? Another example of idiotic government interference.

Chesterfield, Va.

Cape Point closes to off-road vehicles

In response to Janet: The birds were there before we were, and there are plenty of miles of beach to go to, even with the closures. Too bad it is all about you!

Beth Glaser
Charlottesville, Va.

Island Living: Learning to love thy beach neighbor

Absolutely excellent article.  Very entertaining and also thought provoking.  Looking forward to your next adventure!

Sharon Crislip
Fredericksburg, Va.

No fireworks for Hatteras or Ocracoke, but there will be July 4 celebrations

No fireworks for the Fourth of July? Again?  Don't you people realize that a Fourth of July "street fair" without fireworks isn't really a Fourth of July at all? This place is becoming lame, fast.  Might as well bulldoze all of the houses and let the birds, turtles, and tree-hugging Democrats have the entire island.


I have been coming to the islands on vacation for 30 years. The tree huggers and the government getting involved are making me look for another place to take my family.  Also, the prices of the houses have risen. All the additional fees are adding to the decline of vacationers coming there. I can fly to Mexico and rent a house for 10 days on the beach for $2,700, including airfare.

Bob Fonville
Yorktown, Va.

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

Thank you Pat! What a wonderful article. My sons found a Fowler's toad at Springer's Point with their kid-sitter. We are spending some time with it, and then we plan to let it go today, back where we found it.  Thank you for this very informative article.  

Paige Bennett

Smoke continues to plague the Outer Banks, but Stumpy Point residents are living on the edge of the fire

This is by far the best article I've read regarding the Stumpy Point fire. I live in the northern piedmont of North Carolina, and we have even had some issues with smoke moving this far inland, due to the direction of the wind. The photos and the interview with the oldest resident, Mr. Hooper, are most insightful and explain so much of what is truly happening with this long-burning fire. I feel awful for all in that area, and we should be most grateful to the men and women who have fought the fire all these weeks. I'm afraid it's going to be a long battle yet to come.

Oxford, N.C.

The new Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head offers summer programs for the whole family

I stopped at Jennette's Pier on the way home from a vacation on Ocracoke on May 26 and took a short walk on it.  I can't wait till we come back to the Outer Banks in September and can take our time to explore it!    

Michael Machajewski
Pittsburgh, Pa.

UPDATE: Hatteras Village Medical Center is spruced up and closer to opening

Thank you Hatteras village and all involved in this project. This is a prime example of a community with perseverance, pulling together to get a very critical service back on its feet. Thanks again for your efforts. God bless.

J. Williams
Granbury, Tex.

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