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.
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?
Note: Information on the public safety implications of the
new law was discussed in “Shooting the Breeze,” the editor’s blog of
– “The time has come for liquor by the drink on ALL of
Basically, law enforcement officials said there was no difference in
DWIs in areas that allowed mixed drinks.)
Injured child in critical condition after a shark attack on Ocracoke
Yes, sweetie, I hate sharks too!
Thanks for the fast facts!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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
special and unique natural seashore on the North Carolina coast, which
was set aside for the enjoyment, recreation and access of all
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
BEACH FEES: This is the slippery slope everyone should be warned
about. Upwards of $150 per vehicle? Soon that won't
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
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
are never related to beach costs. Come to New Jersey and see
yourself. Our towns and state parks are out of control. Fees
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
Oh good. Another document we can read and comment on, which
have zero effect. Our comments are automatically deemed
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".
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
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
Hundreds of families such as mine have raised children on these open
beaches. I personally know that a great deal of the people
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Is Julie Youngman (SELC attorney) an engineer? If not, what
her and her fellow environmentalists the authority to tell NCDOT how to
design and build their bridges and highways? Obviously,
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?
temporarily banned on seashore beaches
When is the bonfire ban expected to be lifted?
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.
Letters to the
Editor....07.15.2011 11:40 am
Letters to the
Editor....07.07.2011 10:30 am
groups sue to stop Bonner Bridge Replacement Project
What a shame nothing will be done. There is
always a way!
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
Seventeen miles of two lane bridge for $1.3 billion? It's all about
getting people off Hatteras.
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
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
Well, how many ferry boats can you buy for $300 million dollars?
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
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
accountable for the additional costs. They will think twice
filing suits that delay projects and cost the taxpayers huge amounts of
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.
A 17-mile bridge to cross a half mile of water...how does this make a
lick of sense? If these environmental terrorists want a 17-mile bridge,
no problem. They just pay for it.
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.
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
you do and have done as a new representative of We the
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.
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
it. It will happen no matter what anybody does.
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.
Hamilton (aka Salvo Jimmy)
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?
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.
UPDATE: Hatteras Village Medical Center is spruced up and closer to
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.
Ocracokes Charles Temple wins the first-ever Jeopardy! Teachers
Way to go Charles! We're all proud to know you. Congrats!!
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
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.
are several reasons for this conclusion.
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.
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.
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
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
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
but I am just beside myself. I do understand, even though
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
The environmentalists won't be happy until there is nobody left on the
island except the ghost of the lighthouse keeper!
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
One question: where were the environmentalists in 1963? It
the placement of bridges that screwed up the wildlife, it was the
stupid people on vacation driving like idiots. They didn't
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
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!
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.
outrageous! Please advise anything that any of us (who have
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
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
when they called to identify it. We send a huge thank you to the
Sheriff's Department of Dare County.
A hearty thank you to the members of the Dare County Sheriff's
Department for a job well done. God bless.
Bonfires temporarily banned on
Are you kidding me? Exactly how is sand going to burn? Another example
of idiotic government interference.
Cape Point closes to off-road
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!
Living: Learning to love thy beach neighbor
Absolutely excellent article. Very entertaining and also
thought provoking. Looking forward to your next adventure!
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
we come back to the Outer Banks in September and can take our time to
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.