March 2011 Letters to the Editor

New Letters to the Editor....03.18.2011  8:15 pm

Beach access and park issues

I am continually disgusted when I read Letters to the Editor here that blame the residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke for the beach closures!  Of course, most people are fighting the closures!  No one on these islands have "allowed" them to be taken over by the bird and turtle people!  In case you haven't noticed, the population is small and the opposition has far more money behind their cause than the local folks.  If you are not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.  Instead of blaming the locals for what SELC and its ilk have done to these islands, why not join the fight alongside the residents?  Write you legislators.  Raise a stink!  That's what I've been trying to do from here.  I'll admit that it is extremely difficult to get my legislators in Texas interested, but they continue to hear from me, and I continue to support the island groups fighting those who want to deny everyone's right to beach access.

Tom Cain
Plano, Tex.

Has anyone else noticed what a cesspool the dredge pond out at the Point has become?   I'm sure the hundreds, maybe thousands, of cormorants that are hanging out in it this spring haven't helped.  I guess it's going to take a big storm to wash over the entire area to clean it up.


Why do people who live in other areas threaten to boycott by vacationing somewhere else?
Why do people who own “rental machine” investments start each letter proclaiming their ownership of a fraction of Hatteras Island?

Not all the island’s “human utensils” for the wealthy worship the “golden coins.” We need it, use it, but don't bow down to it.

Russell Blackwood

Cape Point closes to off-road vehicles

Are you kidding me? Just because they (the birds) are just playing around? Not even nesting yet? 
And we are to arrive on Hatteras Island on the 1st, wouldn't you know?  We moved our trip earlier so we would not have to deal with this crap and, guess what, there you go again.  I wonder if they would close the beach for us if we were being observed in breeding behavior?  Just asking!

Oh, well, I still will be there and I still love the Outer Banks as my ancestors did before me, I just have to shake my head at the insanity of the NPS.

Fortville, Ind.

Damn! They must have seen me out there a couple of days before and rushed to shut 'er down!

Hawk Hawkins
Mechanicsville, Va.

"Piping plover breeding behavior" needs to be documented with substantial proof and the NPS staff who observed this "behavior" needs to be identified and a public record completed for all to see. This is just more NPS BS! Further, I believe NPS staffers and all birdwatchers also need to be restricted from driving on the beaches while restrictions are in effect.

Clark Fortney
Berryville, Va.

It's just one more nail in the coffin that is our local economy. 

Liz Browning Fox

My family and I go to Hatters every year. We look so forward to going, but it seems like the Point is always closed and that is the best place to swimming, shelling and fishing .There are a lot more places the birds could nest. Why not keep the Point open?  I am starting to think that it is not the birds, but you are trying to keep the vacationers away.

Kim Boone
Bristol, Tenn.

As a family, we were at the Point when the final closure occurred. The sense of loss and injustice weighed heavily as we shelled during the last low tide. Something is terribly wrong when we close off to people one of the most beautiful places on this earth for a few scratches in the sand behind a dune, away from the traffic to the Point.

I'm all for preserving our environment. Two of our children have graduated or are currently in post-graduate environmental science studies. I'm also an avid surf fisherman and, for lack of a better term, a "Point Rat," having fished that spot every year since 1974.
I believe there needs to be a balance between protecting the environment and allowing access to the best surf fishing spots on Hatteras Island. I support designating Bodie Island Spit at Oregon Inlet, Cape Point and Hatteras Inlet as "Protected Surf Fishing Area.s"
I suspect the environment will still be there for years to come with no fewer birds despite this tiny compromise. 

Bob Podolak

STINKS!  We'll be down in two weeks for two weeks. We go out to the Point often. Guess we
can't now because it's a long walk. Are we sure they saw “the bird?” They got proof?

B. Seton
Schwenksville, Pa.

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

My husband and I have been regular visitors to Hatteras Island for the past 27 years, usually for two trips a year. This year we have chosen to look for a beach vacation elsewhere due to the driving closures on the beaches.

Now we read that there may be a fee for the ferry also. We have probably spent our last vacation on the island.

We are thankful for the memories, but like so many things, this too has changed.

Rita Nickles
Dalton, Ohio

Are you kidding? We, the people, already own the ferry system. Don’t we pay for it with tax dollars? It’s funny our state representatives spend our money recklessly and then expect us to pick up the slack. How disgraceful is that?

Roger Lambert
Concord, N.C.

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

It seems that everything possible is being done to keep all of us from enjoying Ocracoke Island.  I have been vacationing there for years and already am prohibited from enjoying my favorite spot, which is the South Point.  If we are prohibited from ever driving on the beach there, I will find a new vacation spot.  Now a doubling in fees for the ferry to get there from my direction and a new fee to take the ferry from Hatteras over? The State of North Carolina needs to get a grip!

Pat Breeden
Wilmington, N.C.

If the state recoups $10.4 million in increased tolls, that money cannot be spent on the Outer Banks. And it will result in a loss of estimated $775,000 in sales tax revenue. I believe there will be a loss of jobs in hotels and restaurants, fishing, and all through the economy.  Ten million dollars buys a lot of gifts, fishing trips, gasoline, and meals.

Commuter passes on the OBX are NOT the same thing as a commuter pass on the mainland.  Residents of Ocracoke live here and work here.  We do not commute to another town daily to go to work. I know of only one person who commutes.  She goes to Hatteras to provide a vital public service two or three days a week. My family uses the commuter pass to Swan Quarter  maybe 15 times a year. This is for doctor visits or business trips for supplies and groceries.

I do not believe that it is legal for North Carolina to require citizens to be forced to pay a toll simply to use the state's highway system, which we have already paid for with our income tax and highway gasoline tax money.

Rufus Keel

We visit OBX two to three times a year (and have for 20 years) and would love to live there. Every time we're there, however, we take the ferry to Ocracoke, and we wonder why there is not a charge.  Why not have a charge for those from out-of-state, likeourselves -- maybe at $5 per ride?  If the plates are North Carolina plates, taxes are being paid which assist the ferries, and those vehicles should be "no fee."  When plates (such as ours) are out-of-state, it doesn't seem practical that we enjoy what the North Carolinians are paying in taxes.  Charge all out-of-state perhaps $5. If people can afford to visit OBX, they can afford this! Let this be fair to the taxpayers of North Carolina!

Beth Saylor
Staunton, Va.

Every vacation to Hatteras, we always spend a day on Ocracoke at the beach, and we eat at a restaurant, have ice cream, and shop a bit.  The idea that the ferry is free does play into our decision to spend one of our vacation days there.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

How can a $105,000 economic impact study not address the impact on Ocracoke businesses?  And how can an important question like, "Is it legal within existing law?" not have been a part of the DOT's planning to date?  These seem like two very important questions that they are not addressing. 


There is no reason that this discussion has to be a simple yes or no to tolls.  I do agree that $10 one way is a little much for a tourist destination that is a positive contributor to the state budget already, and lacks serious business sense.  But some level of toll that generates some off-setting revenue for operational costs may end up being a necessity if the present schedule is to be maintained.  The amount I would suggest as appropriate from the perspective of not discouraging tourism is more modest -- $3 or $5 with decals issued to Hyde and Dare county residents exempting them from the tolls.  In addition, delivery companies could pay a reasonable monthly toll that would offset the cost of their vehicle transportation, say 25 percent of the standard trip cost.  Local opposition would be reduced, state coffers would get something rather than nothing from tourists. But given that the toll one-way was less than a gallon of gas or milk for that matter, it would not be viewed as excessive.

There is, of course, the camel's nose under the tent argument, but that has to be balanced against the desirability of maintaining the convenience of the current off-season schedule, which is the next likely target for cuts.  If the ferries had to operate on an every two-hour basis, the modest tolls I suggest would look a whole lot better. 

Mike Fahey

Islanders get their heads shaved to raise money for cancer research

I think this was great.  I lost my mother only days prior to this event to pancreatic cancer, and there was no better way to honor her memory and all those who have fought cancer, young and old.

The nurses and doctors with whom my mom worked side-by-side with for 15 years at Patient First stepped up and donated over $3,500 to the Frank and Fran's team in her honor.

I know my mom would be very proud of all the Hatteras islanders who participated in this event, as she loved Hatteras with all her heart. As a 27-year RN and director of nursing services, she would have commended each of you for your efforts to help others.

I miss you mom.

Rob Alderman

Ocracoke News Roundup:  Noise ordinance, fireworks, ABC store

I can't believe that the ABC store in Ocracoke cannot be profitable! Also, why not ask for "fireworks" donations at all the ferry docks? Bet everyone will contribute.

Dot Green
Port Matilda, Pa.

Winter on Ocracoke:  A visual feast

Those photographs are Amazing! Can I purchase the photograph of the Ocracoke Lighthouse? That is one of the most amazing photographs I have ever seen of the lighthouse! (My in-laws own the house across the street from the lighthouse.

Hazel Zinn-Day
Woodville, Va.

(Editor’s Note:  Photographer George Brown replies, “I'm not set up here to make prints.   So I'd have to ask that this person be in touch with me directly ([email protected]) ... and sometime in May, when we are back in Taos, I'll see if I can make a print for her.   One question I would have would be about size.)

Tunnell-Carter engagement is announced

Congratulations :)

David and Kelly Brooks
Swan Quarter, N.C

New Letters to the Editor....03.18.2011  9:30 am

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

North Carolina is simply going to put Ocracoke in the hurt locker with this. I would venture to say that the day tripper tourists who would normally go easily spend more than $10 a trip in Hyde County for meals, fishing, etc. The toll would probably drop the people who go over there by a good 5 percent. That money spent on the island stays on the island and enriches everyone who lives there. The toll money would simply vanish into the North Carolina general fund and never be put back into the local economy at all.

Just say no, folks.


Between your beach closures and proposed ferry fees, why don't you just hang a sign or advertise tourists or visitors not welcome here? You have allowed your treasured seashore to be turned into a wildlife refuge where only birds are welcome, other animals trapped or shot and killed, and humans not allowed. Shame on you! It is a crime against humanity what has been allowed to take place on Ocracoke and Hatteras islands. Shame on you again for not fighting for your treasured seashore that people have enjoyed for decades! The once thriving islands have turned into ghost towns due to the lack of visitors. You have additionally alienated the physically challenged from areas of your beaches, as well as older folks. Shame on you again! I wonder what tax base the birds will create because shortly that is all that will remain! The ferry fee issue is just the tip of the iceberg for you folks, and you deserve every problem you have allowed to happen. Shame on you. Thinking of what you have allowed to transpire makes me sick to my stomach! We will be taking our treasured, hard-earned vacation budget and spending it in a more tourist friendly atmosphere!

Mark Lamphie
Fredericksburg, Va.

Are you kidding me? This is absolutely absurd to charge locals for the ferry. They are already taxed to death, pay outrageous amounts on groceries, as well as gasoline. Taxes are already being talked about being raised next year. How much more torture will Hyde County and the state of North Carolina impend on these locals?

Michele Bryan Tucker
Albemarle, N.C.

We are all having a bad year. People who were not laid off in the last years have been laid off this winter.

You can blame some of that on beach closures. Ocracoke is unique and we islanders pay enough with property taxes. And what about the older O'cockers who already are stretched to their financial limits, with medical bills, taxes, medications, and now this? It is not right to toll locals.  We live here and have for generations. It just seems like we are being punished for living here. My husband and I plan to die here and should have that right. Ya'll are forcing us out and it is not right or constitutional. O'cockers should be grandfathered in just like they do in other places.But all people are looking at is dollar signs.  This should definitly be thought about before a decsion is made.


Too much, too fast. Who came up with this brainstorm? Do they not see what has happened here due to beach closures? Our economies are fragile as it is.

Where will the money from the tolls go?

Our islands need to stick together or the feds and state will regulate, fee, and license us out of business and homes.

Sharon Peele Kennedy

This is robbery.  Let the state of North Carolina cut some government waste instead of continuing to rob hard working folks of their money. How can they justify jumping from free to $10? You've already hurt the folks of Ocracoke with the insane beach closings. Look inward to cut the budget, not outward to the population.

M. Baker
Columbia, N.C.

Wow. I am shocked (but really not surprised) to read of the proposed ferry tolls. In order for my family to come vacation in Hatteras, it requires three years of saving and planning, and even then, we are on a pretty tight budget once we get there. The trip to Ocracoke is always a highlight, and the kids love the ferry ride. The $20 I would have to spend in order to continue that tradition is money that I could have spent at my favorite island businesses. I wish you all luck. If there is any way that those of us tourists can help, please post it.

Oil City, Pa.

I have always thought, for the 22 years I've lived here, that the free ferry was stupid on the state’s part. I have always contended that it should be $5 a trip and full-time Ocracoke residents ride free. To me, it's a no brainer.

Will Brooks
Kill Devil Hills

I'm not an Ocracoke resident, just a long-time admirer and occasional visitor.  The mentality that presumes a statewide budget shortfall should be solved by imposing an excessively disproportionate burden on a small part of the population by virtue of their being locked into their existing commitment to their place of residence doesn't belong in a management position.  I hope the residents of North Carolina have more competent representatives than that.

Robert Griebel

W we have been vacationing on Hatteras Island for a number of years and have always taken one day to ride the ferry to Ocracoke to fish down there, shop, and to have lunch. Your legislators are killing your island because you are correct that I will not pay to ride the ferry, and if there was a highway road, I would go that way.

Maybe they should decrease the pay for your legislators to help with all the costs and if your President wouldn't be giving away all of the money, there would be money to run and replace things that are falling apart like the Bonner Bridge.

Sounds like we need to find another place to vacation. I am sure there will be a lot of vacationers that feel like we do. So keep it up North Carolina legislators and you will have ghost towns on Hatteras Island and Ocracoke.

Am I mad? Yes, I am. If you all keep this up it will probably be the last year we vacation down there. I know we are only one family, but word spreads. Think about it.

Doris Bish
Clarion. Pa.

This is unbelievable. Is North Carolina looking to completely destroy Ocracoke? I wouldn't mind paying for the ferry, but where will the fees go? To fight the morons who are closing beach access? Rather than charge for the ferry, make the state build a road to access the island. It seems illegal to cut people off like that. Isn't there anyone in North Carolina looking out for your interests?

Jo Lyons
State College, Pa.

Well, at least when the Democrats are in office they come right at you with a tax increase, but when the Republicans are in office they spit out of the sides of their mouths and just raise fee after fee after fee.   I'll still go over to see Tradewinds Tackle and fish the Ocracoke beache,s but soon enough those new “fees” just to drive to the holes will chase me out of North Carolina all together.

Thomas Adams
Powell, Ohio

If this law is passed, they should give residents a pass to use instead of paying to use the ferry.

Hamptom Roads, Va.

Instead of charging a ferry fee, let the state legislators accept less pay and perks if they are really interested in helping their state.

Jim Kiser
Chesapeake, Va.

Customers Choice provides HVAC and refrigeration service to several restaurants on Ocracoke.  We have offered our services at a very inexpensive rate, trying to help the local businesses in Ocracoke.  Now with these toll expenses and the delay with no priority passes, we will have to pass on these incurred expenses to our customers. That would be iIn addition to the decline in business that they may suffer with a decreased amount of daily visitors to the island.  I can see where this would be devastating to the local economy.   Many companies who come out of Virginia and Northern Dare County already charge very high rates to come to Ocracoke.  No doubt they will also increase their rates in Ocracoke even more.  This economy is tough enough already.

Richard Carr

 I recently moved to Avon from the Washington metropolitan area.  I work for a company that does work in Ocracoke, and I can see charging a toll to go to Ocracoke would greatly decrease revenue in Ocracoke, especially since Hatteras island now has restaurants that are able to sell liquor by the drink in bars.  If this was a booming economy this toll would not be an issue. But with people counting every penny as they plan their vacation, this toll along with the closing of the beaches on Hatteras Island, you might as well just buy out all the houses and restaurants under eminent domain and close this island for the birds.  You're killing us slowly anyway.

Sharon Torres

Charging the Ocracoke residents a fee to ride any ferry is like penalizing them for living out there.  Really?  Sure, I am all about charging tourists for the ride, but state residents pay enough tax to keep transportation alive in North Carolina!

Vickie King
Durham, N.C.

This short-sighted attempt to raise revenue for the state will do just the opposite. The Outer Banks have been a favorite family vacation site because it has been an affordable vacation.  In the short run, the $20 round trip to Ocracoke will stop a lot of day visitors from coming to the island. That will decrease revenue for Hyde County severely. Hyde County is already one of the poorest counties in the state.

In the long run, visitors who use the Outer Banks as a scenic route to travel north and south will think twice the next time if they have to pay $10 and then again $15 just to get on and off the southern end of the islands. In the long run, this will severely affect Hatteras Island as well.

But aside from the tourists who visit, the locals who live here are not wealthy. They are restaurant workers, hotel workers, shop keepers, fishermen, teachers, and ferry personnel. Can you imagine asking all of those people in Raleigh to pay $1,200 a year just to go to the dentist or go shopping?

No new taxes? Isn't that an outrageous increase in taxes on just a few, not very wealthy citizens?

Kitty Mitchell

Are the federal and state governments trying to completely close down Hatteras and Ocracoke islands?  As an out-of-state homeowner and summer resident, this is what is seems like to me.  Enough is enough! First the beach closures and driving bans on the National RECREATIONAL Seashore -- look at the economic impact of this on the islands.  Now wanting to charge to go across the Hatteras Inlet to go to Ocracoke will definitely cause Ocracoke to lose tourist dollars.  It will be totally unfair to the residents of Ocracoke. The ferry is their lifeline. What are these state legislators thinking?

Roger and Nancy Marsh
Plantation, Fla.

We have been coming to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands since 1991. On those trips we stay on Hatteras, but day trip to Ocracoke at least six times over the two weeks (if not more). On those day trips, we eat at Howard’s Pub, shop at the Village Craftsmen, take a kayak out on Silver Lake, and always have a smoothie at the Ocracoke Coffee Company. We buy endless T-shirts and local artwork and often eat one, two, or even three meals on the island each day we go. We buy ice, magazines, and more at the Ocracoke Community Store. I think you get my point here. Ocracoke is beautiful, and we would never stop coming. However, with the increasing cost to just about everything these days, we would likely cut our day trips at least in half. Now multiply this by the thousands of day trippers and you can easily see the economic impact a toll could have. Certainly worth weighing the pros and cons of a potential toll. Is it not?

Stephen Balena
Montreal, Quebec

I have no issue with paying to use the ferry.  It must cost the state a tremendous amount of money to run those fuel hogs all day and night in the summer. My only request is that they issue a sticker for the residents and allow them to ride for free.  I am a visitor to the island and don't mind paying my share. In addition, the business trucks that use the ferry are larger and heavier, and, therefore, should pay their share too. 

Jenn Stafford
Hopwood, Pa.

We purchased a house Avon about 15 years ago and been going to the Outer Banks for over 20 years. We make it a point to go to Ocracoke each trip down for a dinner and walk the town. At $10 a trip, we would probably end the tradition. I believe it would destroy the economy. Good Luck, Ocracoke residents. You need it!

Allen Bonstead
Cinnaminson, N.J.

I have been going to Ocracoke via all three ferries for the past three years living in North Carolina and before that for 12 years from Texas.  It is costly to vacation in Ocracoke to start and now you want to destroy what little they have?  You will make people think twice and decide it is too costly.  All big purchases need to be done off the island, as well as medical.  I believe that everyone who votes for this should go and live there a few weeks and see what damage you are about to do.  Find a better solution.  Or make it a $1.  Pick on the islands that have everything at their finger tips.  You are turning this pure little island into a "wealthy people's" vacation spot only. Please reconsider, and I only vacation there one week out of the year.

Raleigh, N.C.

As a propane supplier for Ocracoke Island, adding a toll to the primary route would be an added expense that would have to be added to the fuel rate. In return, the property owners and business owners will suffer again.

Coastal Gas
Grandy, N.C.

At first, I didn't think it was a bad idea, if the locals could get some free access. Then I read the rates!  Talk about "highway robbery"!  That's exactly what it is!  I know our state is money hungry, but this is ridiculous enough to almost be laughable!  It would ruin Ocracoke!  What are these people thinking?  No. Not a good idea at all.

April Rimmer

Where and to whom do we write? I will post the information on my bulletin board at work. Many of my co-workers vacation on the Outer Banks. Thanks!

Shelley Tidd
Bowie, Md,

If they impose a fee on the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry, it will devastate the businesses on Ocracoke.  What are they thinking?  We stay on Hatteras Island once or twice each year, and we always take a trip to Ocracoke for a day of shopping.  When I told my husband they were thinking of implementing a fee for the ferry, he replied that we have seen it before -- meaning no more trips to Ocracoke.

Muse, Pa.

A modest increase in the toll to/from Ocracoke to either Swan Quarter or Cedar Island is certainly understandable, as well as a modest increase in the annual commuter pass. However, to charge a toll for the only remaining method of travel off the island is, in essence, holding hostage all residents with financial limitations, of which there are many.

In addition, the primary financial life line for Ocracoke is tourism. Imposing a toll for the Hatteras ferry at a period of time when the entire country is financially insecure and unstable would certainly result in a catastrophe for island businesses.

B. Jemison

Hatteras and Ocracoke gain in 2010 census with the greatest increase in Hispanics

I  know for a fact that there were at least seven people in our building that were not counted in the census. How many others on the island were not counted?

D. Hill

Coast Guard rescues four people off Hatteras

God bless the United States Coast Guard!

Dick Dehoff
Hanover, Pa.

Islanders get their heads shaved to raise money for cancer research

Do you have a photo of Frank Folb after his head was shaved? I know a lot of people that would like to see the photo?

Doug Spoon
Burlington, N.C.

Pictures 16 and 20 in the slide show -- that was worth the $10 dollars you got from me! The money went for a good cause. Good job!


Judge Boyle schedules a status conference on consent decree

Since Judge Boyle and the environmentalist do not object to the NPS not meeting court deadlines, maybe the Park Service could delay the closing of our beaches, according to the deadlines set by the consent decree. There's a great surf-break off of ramp 23 and several good fishi
ng holes. But then, the human beings who love and live for this beautiful "recreational park" and whose taxes pay the salaries of the NPS employees have been given no consideration at all in the past. The consent decree exemplifies a total miscarriage of justice, and Mr. Murray's Plan F is even more despicable! 

Lynn Jordan

New Letters to the Editor....03.12.2011  9:00 am

Commentary: A young Hatteras waterman weighs in on the absurdity of catch shares

Well written, factual rebuttal to the all too frequent smoke and mirror campaign of federal regulators, whose sole purpose is to define a problem that does not exist, and then "fix" it, without any scientific input whatsoever, nor input from those affected.  The winds of change are blowing in the District of Columbia, and one must hope that the wind blows all this and other like nonsense away.

Montrose, Pa.

Thanks, Patrick.  Very well researched and written and you did a great job explaining this to folks like me that may not have understood everything behind this very important issue.  Good luck and hope that those on the other side take the time to fully understand the "hopefully unintended" consequences of their actions.

Jose Simon
Charlotte, N.C.

Here come catch shares: How NOAA and the Environmental Defense Fund plan to destroy North Carolina’s working watermen

Please stop this nonsense!

David Packwood
Snohomish, Wash.

Please look to our recreational future and oppose catch shares!

Gary E. Dawson
Lynnwood, Wash.

I do not want NOAA involved in fisheries decision making processes. It countermands a local approach using local knowledge and consideration for the local economies and people that it will affect. Please allow the local fisheries do their jobs and keep NOAA out of something they have no business in.

Tom Brown
Friday Harbor, Wash.

A lot is being done within our country to fulfill personal agendas without the voice of the people. I hope someone is listening.

Steven C. Stout
Marysville, Mass.

This is totally uncalled for and another example of how government is trying to control every facet of out lives.

The government can't effectively run anything without screwing it up.  Get off the backs of people and leave them alone.  What we need is less big government telling us how to run our lives.  You people can't run anything successfully.  Admit it! Look at what you have done.

Jerry Lawson
Puyallup, Wash.

Judge Boyle schedules a status conference on consent decree

I live in Virginia, and I know how much I would miss it if I could not drive my family and friends down on the beach to fish and enjoy the beach and the fine people who live and work there. In all the years that I have been going down to the Outer Banks, I have yet to see a bird or turtle that has been run over. As for the people who live there, it well be a shame for them to lose all they have over a selfish decision or a decision from somebody that does not live there.

Henry C. Sapp Jr.
Chesapeake, Va.

Ocracoke youngster recovering after Coast Guard airlift to Norfolk hospital

What a wonderful and "uplifting" story! Thank God the little boy is doing well and this story has a happy ending. Hats off to all the medical staff and Coast Guard personnel who did an outstanding job in what sounds like a challenging weather situation.

Roxboro, N.C.

Nineteen years ago ,the Coast Guard airlifted my son to The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. He was 29 months old at the time. Dare helicopter was down for maintenance and Nightingale was on its way to Ocracoke to pick up a heart attack patient. The wind wasn't a problem that day. They landed at Frisco airport and we met them there. At the last minute, they had to put another patient on the helicopter and neither my husband or me was allowed to go. The Coast Guard took good care of our baby. It was a long ride to Norfolk!

Analee Bibbey

We are so lucky to have alternative EMS available, but hats off to the military when it comes to getting the job done. 

Frank Anthony
Southern Shores

Uriah is a very lucky little boy to live in a place that had such a great team of people and the resources to help him out of a bad spot.  Great Job!

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Thank you for the article and video of the Coast Guard rescue of the 17-month-old child on Feb. 28 from Ocracoke Island. The paramedic on duty at the time was my son, Eric Godbey, and I am very proud that he was able to assist on getting this child the help he would need.

Sue Godbey
Mocksville, N.C.

First mixed drink at Hatteras restaurant served at Capt. Rolo’s

As a simple tourist since 1982, could I tell you that  never made a choice on renting location based on your mixed drink policy (law). I come from a country where businesses don’t renew their liquor licenses because of the poor return on investment (lack of sales, licences, inventories, space, age limits) and switch to brown bagging.

Northern village businesses, if you are looking for an advantage, start advertising your "brown-bag” policy

P.S Could you included in your referendum revoking your policy on no wine purchase on Sundays before noon?

Richard Piche
Montreal, Canada

Ocracoke’s young people are saying goodbye to Teen Night

OK, Sundae, you got me to cry. As a parent of one of these teenagers, I can't thank Susie, Karen, and the OYC enough. Thank you for your time, your ideas, and your care of our kids.

Leslie Lanier

Park Service releases pre-nesting closure information and maps

This is all crime. This bird lives north of us in higher numbers. They are nuts.

Pat Conley

Practice hand grenade causes scare at Cape Hatteras Elementary School

Great job for the school to find this thing. It could have been so much different. Shame on the parents if they knew the student had it at school, unless it was to be for show and tell and everyone knew it was harmless.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

The old Hatteras in photographs

Thank you so much for sharing such special photos! It was a great treat to look at them. My family and I have been coming to Hatteras for only a few years now, but I feel such a connection to the island. I love being there and hope to have many more wonderful memories.

Amy Kelley
Ashland, Ky.

New Letters to the Editor....03.03.2011  9:20 am
Coast Guard rescues four people off Hatteras

On behalf of my family let me publicly praise the work of the Coast Guard. It was the summer of 1994 that the Coast Guard at Cape Hatteras rescued us. At the time we did everything right that our boat courses had taught us. But, as most boaters know, bad things can happen real fast on the water. An answer for help was on the way as I was still asking for help! The sad thing for us was no Coast Guardsman passed out cards with their names to which we could thank them personally some way. So, thank you all who put your lives in harm’s way for us.

Aurora, Ohio

Commentary: A young Hatteras waterman weighs in on the absurdity of catch shares

It's a terribly sad subject, but we are awfully proud of you for the quality of research you have done and the commentary.

What a sad world we live in sometimes!

Renee Tomberlin
Burnsville, N.C.

You missed your calling, young man. Don’t give jellyfish Jane an inch! I’m an owner of a gillnetter in Gloucester, Mass., and we are in big trouble with catch shares. In order to go fishing, we must have skymate, observers, dockside monitors, and cameras on board. Good luck.

William Skrobacz
Gloucester, Mass.

All of NOAA should be run through that special paper shredder and started over with new, honest people

Phil Schenck
Westminster, Calif.

As a former fisherman, eliminated by IFQs/catch shares in Alaska in 1995, your comments are right on the money and very well put.  Thank you for your time and effort, and please keep it up. Pounding away at the pushers and followers of this plan is what is essential.  

Rhonda Maker
Kodiak, Alaska

Thank you, Patrick, for so expressively describing the catch share scheme as what it really is: a scam to rob the people of this nation of a wealthy public resource for the sole purpose of giving it to a few "investors."

Armando Estudante
New Bedford, Mass.

Such a good read, even though I am now in a state of rage.  The truth is trying to make its way out into the open but the powers-that-be keep dumping truckloads of cash on top of it.  Good work, Patrick.

Jake Tomberlin
Burnsville, N.C.

Very well stated, Mr. Caton.  NOAA is but one of the federal agencies I refer to as the "anti-human league,"  groups that regulate the entire population out of existence.  Very nice letter. Keep up the fight, as will I.

Bruce Hagwood
Virginia Beach, Va.

First mixed drink at Hatteras restaurant served at Capt. Rolo’s

We will be in Hatteras on vacation in October this year. I guess we will have our little drink at the house before we go out to eat.  In our area, one pays $2.75 for a mixed drink, $2 for a bottle of beer, and 50 cents for a can of Coke.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Hyde County’s new manager is a local who aims to make a difference

Congratulations, Mazie! I am tickled Hyde County has a new manager. Yes, indeed, there are many experienced and dedicated employees working for and with Hyde County. I wish you the best of luck with everything. Hyde County is a wonderful place to live and work!

Harleysville, Pa.

Thanks for the kind article, Connie.  Please allow me this means of sharing my email with your readers so that they can contact me:  [email protected]

Thanks to The Island Free Press for publicizing the activities and issues on Ocracoke.

Mazie Smith
County manager
Hyde County

Insurance commissioner visits Dare, schedules hearing on rate increase for rentals

Thank you for your coverage of this important issue that affects so many vacation properties on the North Carolina coast. I would hope that the year-round residents would be interested in this rate increase, as reduced rental properties greatly affects the local economy that relies so much on the visitors. I sent a letter prior to the Jan. 31 cut-off for comments and hope that our input will help adjust the proposed rate increase. Thank you again.

Gail Ali

Island History: The shipwrecks of Ocracoke Island

Thanks to Pat Garber for this wonderful piece. I love Ocracoke and appreciate any opportunity to be there if only from afar.

Jackson Dunes
Delray Beach, Fla.

Fascinating. Thank you for this!

Suzanne Boswell
Raleigh, N.C.

Park Service releases pre-nesting closure information and maps

‘Tis the season to be.....woody?  I only wish that I had the contract with the Park-disservice for the wood stakes they are going to purchase again to make our national park look pretty for the coming season!  Can't you just see it now, mile after glorious mile of sign after sign.  It's a wonder that the birds are not spooked by the plethora of wooden stakes and ill-advised signage

Larry Cullen

Raid turns up 300 pot plants in Waves and Southern Shores

Good job. These two look like a real pair of winners. Even their pictures are creepy.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Remembering Mr. Bob, an Ocracoke pony

I have always had a great interest in wild ponies. Your Mr. Bob sounds wonderfull.  I have been to your island three times and always stop at your pony pen. I have even requested my family to some day spread my ashes on your beautiful dunes. (I’m not very big.)

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Serendipity arrives at its new home in Rodanthe

Well done. Last October I rented a house on Banzi Landing  right across the road from the house. The rental house had this huge indoor theater with a hundred or more movies, but no “Nights in Rodanthe.” I was really bummed and still have not seen the movie but did read the book.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Sheriff's office checks registered sex offenders, arrests one in Buxton

Good job. These creeps need watching 24/7 to keep the sweet innocent children sweet and innocent.

Karyn Graham
Meadville, Pa.

Visiting Portsmouth Island is a trip back in time

Hatteras claimed a large piece of my heart when I was a child in the early ‘60s.The love beats on in the hearts of the fourth generation to be smitten, my grandchildren. My yearly visit will take place in August.this year. Thanks to this wonderful information, I hope to ferry over to Portsmouth! How exciting!

Kathleen Murtaugh
Newbury, Ohio

2011 Previous Letters to the Editor

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