to the Editor
Letters to the
Editor....05.27.2011 3:10 pm
Warriors Vacation Project gets underway
On Saturday, April 23, a local barbecue cookout was held in Buxton, and
the citizens and merchants of the island and the tourists visiting the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area opened their hearts,
wallets, and facilities in appreciation for the sacrifice of our
Wounded Warriors of Camp LeJeune, N.C.
Despite a lean winter season and the current lagging economy, the
patriotic folks of Cape Hatteras are offering some amenities and
recreation to the designated Camp Lejeune Purple Heart recipients and
This event was a huge success, possible only with the generous support
of the following local establishments and residents: Ace Hardware of
Avon, Burrus Red & White Supermarket, Cape Hatteras Anglers
Comfort Inn, Conner’s Supermarket, Daiwa/Scott Rogers, Food Lion,
Frisco Rod and Gun, Graphic Creations by Donna, Nedo Shopping Center,
Red Drum Foodmart, Red Drum Tackle, and Steve Groves and Terry Blevins.
To all who purchased meals or raffle tickets, to the workers and
servers at the barbecue, and to all the loyal residents, merchants, and
tourists of the Cape Hatteras Outer Banks of North Carolina, we say:
Thank you, God bless, and semper fi.
Sgt. Maj. Mac
Marine Corps (retired)
Order of the
Bodie Island Lighthouse needs more funds to
This is sad. The last time I was at the beach we rode by there. The
white stripe is rusty looking, and the windows are all covered with
black plastic. It looks horrible. This is a landmark that should be
taken care of.
His Own Words: An
Ocracoke teacher’s story of his big win on Jeopardy!
Hello Charles. My beau, Chuck, and I watched your performance on
Jeopardy and were so excited to see someone from Ocracoke
We cheered you on and were quite proud!
We hope that we may at least say "hi" to you next time we're in
Ocracoke—although there's no telling when that will be! Continued good
luck to you!
I've wanted to go on Jeopardy since I watched it as a kid. Reading your
account will probably be the closest I'll get, but it feels pretty
close—thanks!!! And good luck in the Tournament of Champions; I'll be
rooting for you!
Hi, Charles...Congrats on your Jeopardy win. We have been vacationing
on Ocracoke for several years, and when we are not there we wish we
were! So we watched the show with much interest and were delighted you
won!! Good for you!
English teacher Charles Temple advances to final Jeopardy!
Great job, Charles! Tar Heels are proud of you. (We loved the tie too,
but thought they were maritime signal flags.) Enjoy your
Congratulations, Mr. Temple. It is gratifying to have a small-town
teacher get recognition like that and good press for the Outer Banks.
I love Ocracoke and hope to come visit again. Congrats to Charles
Park Service will implement seasonal closures on May 15
Don't you just love the "seasonal closure" of areas that have been
closed year 'round for years (i.e., Ramps 1 and 2, Buxton, Frisco, and
Hatteras village beaches)? What do you want to bet they will
"seasonally opened" come next spring?
Hamilton (aka Salvo
Salvo, N.C. /
Point is now closed to pedestrians also
I don't really understand why these birds have to have the whole
island. I've been going to the Point since I was a child. I'm 38 now.
I've seen the shore nesting ground grow and grow larger each year now,
to the point they’ve run human life completely out. Their nesting area
is plenty big enough to sacrifice the little space needed for hard
working tax payers to enjoy their vacations.
Letters to the
Editor....05.12.2011 11:00 am
Lighthouse needs more funds to continue renovation
Isn't it ironic that funds aren't available to maintain this historic
landmark, yet how much money was spent on lawyers and lawsuits to
restrict access to the Hatteras RECREATION Area? Where are the North
Carolina legislators in all of this?
closes to off-road vehicles
How can a "National Seashore Recreation Area" be turned into a National
Wildlife Refuge without it being illegal? Aren't there any attorneys
who can get together to challenge the banning of people on the beach in
favor of some birds? Start a fund, and I'm sure that many will support
the lawsuit. Soon the only people on the Outer Banks will be the rich
folks in their condos who don't care to surf fish or drive to the
beach....or maybe that's the idea?
Point is now closed to pedestrians also
I sold my trailer at Buxton Oaks to good friends. Now, thanks to the
Park Service, Judge Boyle, and the SELC, I feel like I've really done
them wrong, as it looks like the season is over this year before it
even started. We intended to go back with our camper and
with them for some relaxing times at the beach, but those days are gone
and shall never return, just like the many past visitors to the area
once known as the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational
Area. It's for the birds now. Humans, you're
look at pictures.
Cape Point being closed completely for two pairs of piping plovers and
one pair of oystercatchers, just exhibiting nesting behavior? Well, it
has all been so well said on here so many times before. We have been
coming to Hatteras for 16 years most of the time two times a year, and
love the island more than a second home. It just truly sickens me to
read The Island Free Press all the time to keep up on island news and
to see this issue always in the forefront!
For almost 200 hundred years, isanders and nature have been thriving.
With a little time, effort, and education, 99 percent of visitors can
know exactly what can and should not be done and understand beach and
island etiquette and do the right thing. Why in the world cannot
smarter and cooler heads prevail and allow it to exist how it has for
hundreds of years. Access for all -- beaches, fishing, shelling, etc.
When does Cape Point usually open back up to foot traffic?
been coming in June and it’s been closed. If we come in July or August,
will we have better luck?
note: Cape Point has reopened to foot traffic in early to
mid-July the past few years and to ORVs later in July. The exact dates
depend on when the birds finish nesting.)
a toll on
ECONOMICS 101: My family, along with our visiting guests, have taken a
day trip to Ocracoke every summer for the past 35 years. Part of the
fun is the free ferry ride. Shopping, eating and renting bikes have
always been part of the fun once we have arrived in Ocracoke. Ocracoke,
like the rest of the Outer Banks towns, relies on it's tourist-based
economy. Adding a $30 round trip ticket to that "free" ride will
certainly affect an economy that is already hurting. Please think this
What we have here is a classic case of Be Careful What You Wish
For. Most of you voted Republican last fall. Now
absolute control in Raleigh, and guess what? You're gonna get
ferry tolls! Well, hello, tolls and taxes are essentially the
same things -- except that tolls are targeted taxes that harm certain
people (us) way more than others. Why not charge $100 per
entry toll for people to use this park? And a $20 road toll
drive down Highway 12? There are endless toll/fee
to be exploited!
And, oh, by the way, Republicans are directly responsible for the beach
access problem we are now suffering with. The original ORV
regulations were submitted to Washington during the (Nixon) era, when
"regulation" was literally a dirty word, and any employee who was
stupid enough to submit a regulation to a Republican appointee could
forget his or her career. So about 30 years ago, the draft
were thrown in the trash. And the rest, my friends, is
Please let's set the record straight. Darlene Styron, although
supportive and helpful, was not the reason that the amendment
(prohibiting tolls on the Ocracoke ferry) passed. It was the incredible
work of the authors of the Facebook, Twitter and blog pages. It was the
work of an Ocracoke visitor who happened to be a lobbyist in Raleigh.
It was a citizen's grassroots organization that took the initiative and
knew they couldn't wait for the county. This amendment passed because
of the ability of social networking to get 1,800 people, residents and
loyal visitors alike, to write e-mails, call, Twitter and share
information in an incredible fast moving environment. Ms. Styron was
not a part of that movement at all. She and her committee were days
Scenic Byway gets $1.95 million federal grant
Great news! Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy deserves all the accolades for
this becoming a reality. She is truly a great asset for the Outer
Banks/Hatteras Island. Please when you meet or talk to her, thank her
for all she has done to improve the quality of life here.
I'm looking forward to riding the trail someday. It’s my favorite
vacation destination. Thanks!
Learning to love thy beach neighbor
This is a great article. It is funny and very well written.
Anyone reading it can put themselves in her shoes.
Hi, Joy. I've known your brother for about a dozen years and followed
his link to your article. I really enjoyed it.
and humor must run in your family. I just had one critique
the article. The Bible does not say "Do unto others," but
"Love they neighbor as thy self." Of course, any
rule/saying/law/verse/song/poem/quote that urges us to be more civil to
each other is a good thing.
Good luck in your future endeavors, and may the Amish be with you...
Joy, I loved your article and it is so true. Brings back lots of beach
memories, I'm sure, for all of us. You do have a wonderful view of life
and always have been such a special person, like no one I've ever met.
So glad to have met you as a child and seen you grow into a wise and
very well read young lady. I too remember a really different beach
meeting of a grown woman and a sweet little girl on the beach, and a
cheery "hello" and a "Joy" hat that brought two strangers together for
a lifetime. That was you and me and so glad that we didn't just pass
each other by. Your friendship has always meant the world to me, and I
hope to be at your wedding, on the beach, in North Carolina. Love you
and thanks for bringing us such an important message in life.
Joy - An entertaining and very well written article! Thanks
I totally love the article. I, along with my son, his family and
mother-in-law only get to visit once a year, but I feel so at home and
there have been days when I have felt the same way (people invading my
privacy). One day I hope to move to OBX.
Joy, while I appreciate your thoughts about not letting a neighbor
"rain on your parade," please take a moment to learn facts and write in
a respectful manner. You probably didn't see Amish -- they travel only
by horse and foot and are concentrated in the Midwest, so it was likely
the people you saw were of the Mennonite faith. The Amish do not use
electric so computers/internet absolutely does not occur. Quakers and
Amish are two distinct faiths and the "ankles are lovely" comment is so
disrespectful. Their choice of clothing is an expression of their
faith. It's not a faith I follow. However, I do respect their right to
dress as they feel called. If someone was wearing a cross as a
necklace, would you make a comment about that? In future posts- if
there are any - please stop the rambling to learn about the topic and
write in a respectful manner.
Thanks for writing this. I've really needed this type of reminder
lately -- applicable to situations at home, at work, and on vacation. I
too am a recovering neighbor hater.
Temple will compete in first Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament
I am a graduate of Ocracoke School, so proud that a teacher is
representing the sSchool. Go, Charles!
Great to hear that Hyde County has the caliber of teacher that is able
to compete on a national level . Best of luck!
We are all so excited for Charles. It doesn't matter if he
answers another question - - we are so proud!
potluck introduces Saltwater Connection team to Avon
Several folks from other communities were at the Avon meeting and spoke
mostly about the NPS access issue that has caused economic distress on
John Couch represented the Outer Banks Preservation Association very
well. He encouraged the group to continue organizing and meeting to
accomplish the goals they have set in order build a community
organization, much as Hatteras village has done. He reminded them that
they cannot ignore the influence of the NPS and its effect on their
economy. He pointed out that visitors come here for the beach. When the
best beaches are closed, visitors are not as interested in coming here.
The motels, rental cottages, tackle shops and others and all their
employees suffer. People will not rent cottages that are not beachfront
if the only beach open is in front of the beach cottages and must be
accessed by parking illegally and trespassing through beachfront
property with all their gear to reach the beach. He emphasized that the
NPS and the consent decree are the cause for the economic problems.
It was pointed out, for instance, that the businesses at the Buxton
curve are in serious trouble since the consent decree. Carol Dillon
said that her tax receipt records show a decline every month.
Bob Davis mentioned that the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Fishing
Tournament brings in over 700 visitors every November. He suggested
that the Civic Association might consider having another Avon
tournament, in addition to the NCBBA , formerly Frank and Fran’s, in
order to promote visitation in Avon.
I told them the state needs to do some things to help us. For instance,
the American oystercatcher made a scrape at Cape Point that closed the
area to access recently. A scrape may be a mating, nesting activity.
The NPS and the consent decree require closures for such an activity by
this bird. The oystercatcher is a state listed bird, neither threatened
nor endangered. The state needs to delist this bird. The state could
build oyster reefs on the soundside for oystercatcher foraging. The
state could work with the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge channels
along the sound in back of the island and create dredge spoil islands,
which are prime bird habitat.
Bob Davis stated that dredging in the sound would improve boat access
for fishing. He urged the state to take action to help our islands. We
can't do these things for ourselves.
Remember the consent decree is seen as a temporary agreement to prevent
closing all the beaches. The NPS went along with the DOW, SELC, and
Audubon proposals and have failed to expeditiously develop the required
regulation. The ORV plan which may come out this year will not be
acceptable. There will need to be a court challenge. All sides may
oppose the plan, at which time the consent decree will continue. The
only solution in the foreseeable future lies in intercession of
Storm damage prompts lawmakers to temporarily lift plastic bag ban
What a wonderful change to our island's roadways since the plastic bag
ban. I hate to see it repealed for any reason.
Love Boat in
Frisco is a destination house for a destination wedding
We will be returning to The Love Boat the last week of October,
2011. Our family stayed there two years ago, and we've not
stopped talking about it since then. My son-in-law spent his
first OBX experience there with us and thoroughly enjoyed it.
his request, I booked it for this year and we will again be mesmerized
for a week staying in The Love Boat. Thank you for sharing
perfect place for our family to enjoy each others company.
The reason for contacting you is to correct the misinterpretation of my
comment posted after your article about ferry fees and beach access as
a comment directed towards pro-access folks, which it was not intended
to be! (See Letters of March 18, 2011) My comments were directed the
North Carolina local government, National Park Service, North Carolina
government at the state level, and, to be quite frank,
pro-access! I understand after re-reading my comment how it could have
been misunderstood that was why it was so important for me to correct
I am pro-access, always have been always will be.
have a place in Buxton where we spend more time than at home
Fredericksburg. Also, I am physically challenged, and the current
closures prohibit my access even further and my enjoyment of a resource
that we all should be able to utilize. I am involved
effort to try and regain and keep what little access we have through
many ways and will continue to do so as long as I and my
I would appreciate it you would set the record straight, and, in the
future, if I comment on one of your articles, I will make it crystal
clear where my comment is directed and to whom! I won't ramble on any
further but I will say that I pray someone of reason realizes how
important beach access is for everyone, including the elderly
physically challenged that cannot get to certain areas even if access
is allowed by foot. I also pray someone of reason realizes
unique area the inlets are and how much revenue these areas generate to
the local and eventually state level incomes.
Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight and
for your effort for the fight for the right to access the areas God
intended for us to use during our short stay on this planet!
A treatise on beach access
The National Park was created by Congress for the purpose of
recreation. The towns adjacent to the park and all the business in them
developed alongside the park with a dependence on the tourism it
generates. For multiple generations, the tourists have visited the
island specifically because of the undeveloped beaches in the park and
all the recreational activities it provided. Locals, as well,
it a part of their lifestyle and personal freedom to fish, swim, surf,
tan, cook out, socialize, walk their dogs, relax, etc. in what was
promised to them by Congress to be an open park.
But Judge Boyle, a federal judge with hundreds of reversed decisions
took it upon himself, based on pseudo-environmental propaganda, to
close the park by decree. The judicial branch is not supposed to be
creating or overturning laws. The pretext the judge used was a now
40-year-old Executive Order from President Nixon. It is equally
unconstitutional for the executive branch (especially one from seven
presidents ago) to use an executive order to change a congressional law
as well. But that is what happened.
Furthermore, the executive order was actually about the use of off-road
vehicles in parks in general. It talks about snowmobiles and trails,
none of which exist on the beach in North Carolina. Yet the park is not
only closed to off-road vehicles, it is closed to foot traffic as well.
People cannot even walk on the beach.
Now the image most people have of a typical beach is a narrow strip of
sand, and most people would not want any vehicles in such an area
anyway. This is not the case in North Carolina. Our beach is
than a mile from the closest road. It resembles a desert more
a thin strip of sand. Because it is a park that is closed to
development, people cannot just walk from their hotels to the beach.
This was a public beach open to all people not
development. We had a beach accessible to anyone, not just the rich who
could afford a second home or those paying for beachfront hotels. This
was a place for rich and poor to enjoy nature.
Because of distance to the ocean from the nearest
people opt to drive to the water front in four-wheel drive vehicles. A
lot of the elderly, people with children, the disabled, or people with
things to carry (coolers, chairs etc.) wouldn't be able to make the
walk over hot sand in the summer even if they wanted.
How a judge has been allowed to overturn a congressional law is
beyond me. How he could use an executive order to do so is
beyond me. They have ruined the island economy and an
annual vacation spot for millions, and wrecked the island way
life. I can't take my son to the beach the way my parents took me.
That's a problem.
The environmental groups that pushed for this nonsense have attacked
other areas under the same pretexts. Their so called "cause" is a bird
called the piping plover. It is not endangered and it is not indigenous
to the island. And there isn't any actual scientific evidence to show
that people being in the park has any negative effect on the birds
population. Moreover, it’s not a wildlife preserve it's a park. You
might as well count squirrels in central park and close it down to New
Yorkers when there are not enough.
The presence of people in the park naturally protected the birds from
predators, and that's the last sad thing about the situation. Just like
they have done in Yellowstone and other national parkses, the Park
Service has been playing the game of predator "control" where they
murder all the fox, raccoons, geese, feral cats, opossums, etc. that
dare enter the park. Hundreds of these natural animals have been killed
supposedly to protect literally eight to 10 birds. As a result, the
island economy has been destroyed, people found other places to
vacation, and hundreds of innocent animals have been brutally trapped
The cost is the final sting. The NPS has been paid more to police the
beach than to keep it open. It is the National Park Service, which
violated the executive order, but it's the public being punished. The
NPS was supposed to come up with a plan for off-road vehicles. They
never did, as the residents regulated that on their own. People used
the park every day for over 40 years without a problem. Suddenly, in
2007, there is a problem with how people reach the beach, and so the
Audubon Society (which was founded by a bird-murdering artist), the
Southern Environmental Law Center, and some activist who do not live in
the area affected decided to close our beach over their own personal
special interest. But it was never really about the birds. It's a
pretext to close the park and re-open it only under the conditions that
the NPS can charge people for permits to use it. The environmental
groups sold property for $25 million, just an hour north of the island,
that they had acquired as a bird sanctuary to developers to build
Our local government was bullied into signing the consent decree
because they were afraid that if they did not comply with beach
closures in the summer months, those interest groups would sue to close
them down all year. We can't get enough attention for this issue. The
powerful environmental groups push this like they do global warming --
with a lot of fear and no facts. They frame the issue as if it were a
development vs. preservation issue. It is not. In fact, they are the
ones guilty or commercializing beach fronts. They take a picture of the
busiest day of the year and pass that crowd shot off as if it were the
normal traffic on the beach. They have proclaimed in their newsletters
to their readers that there wasn't any negative economic effect to the
people living on the island. This was before they even bothered to
conduct an economic study. They just declared it. A study really
doesn't need to be done. Businesses open for
are now closed. People are running with the minimal number of
employees. And it is not from the general recession. In the month of
August when the beaches re-open, business returns to normal. But that
they are closed in May, June, and July has a crippling effect.
We need someone who cares about liberty, property, and happiness to
stand up for Americans. This isn't just a North Carolina issue.
Tourists from all over the Northeast, as well as Canada, have been
affected by this police state. It's our NATIONAL Park, and they have
stolen it from us.
I've written details about the history of how the park was formed and
all of the laws. There is also an independent video that was made,
called "Piping Mad," that can be seen free on YouTube, which shows the
devastation the decree has had on the people living there. I personally
had to move because the economy was so bad. I work in Japan (despite
radiation) because I fear a collapse of the dollar, and because my
family could not make it on the island. Cape Hatteras wasn't Cape
Hatteras anymore. My wife and child cannot experience the joys of the
park that I had when I grew up on the island.
The solution is fairly simple. A new bill needs to be written
saying simply this: The Cape Hatteras Recreational National Seashore
was created for the purpose of allowing American people to enjoy the
uncrowned, under-developed beaches for purposes of enjoyment for all
people, including the handicapped, elderly, and children. The Pea
Island refuge was set aside for birds and animals at the same time this
park was created. Closing a beach on an island, even to foot traffic is
unconstitutional and must be reversed immediately. The economic
devastation that this ruling has created is widespread on an island
that has co-existed with nature for hundreds of years. This is the
birthplace of America and it has literally gone to the birds.
One more season of closed beaches will close the businesses that have
hung on by a thread. This is the third year that our beaches have been
closed. The National Park Service closed our beaches this year a month
earlier than last year, and is murdering innocent animals every day
because they see them as a threat to bird eggs. I know the power of the
Audubon Society and the Southern Environmental Law Center They said
loud and clear in their newsletters that they have stopped the
politicians who may consider helping the people of the Outer Banks
regain access to their beaches.