February 2012 Letters To The Editor

New Letters to the Editor....02.23.2012  11:05 am

Access groups sue to stop Park Services ORV plan and final rule

This ORV plan is ridiculous.  I firmly believe in preservation of the beach and the wildlife, but this plan is only going to destroy the economies that truly support the beaches.  We have been coming to the Outer Banks for 30 years, two weeks at a time, twice a year, and we love it.  However, with the recent changes of fishing license fees and now this plan, our days there may be numbered.  I have sent letters to the North Carolina representatives stating my concerns as well as to Washington.  Please know that you are not alone in this fight. 

Barbara Boggs
Moneta, Va.

I hope only that all the folks who have commented here on their disgust over the beach fees and restrictions have also written to their representatives in Washington expressing the same sentiments.  I
certainly have, though, the responses I get back generally disgust me as well.

Tom Cain

Are you taking donations to help fight this battle?  If so, please e-mail me as to where I can send it.  These groups are taking away our ability to make a living and enjoy the greatness of the Outer Banks.  May God bless the Outer Banks!

Joan Haley
Southern Shores

(Editor’s Note to Joan and others who have asked:  If you want to help CHAPA with the lawsuit, you can make a donation to cover legal expenses.  The easiest way to make a donation is to click on the OBPA ad at the top of the Beach Access or Shooting the Breeze page.  Then click on membership/donations and make your donation through PayPal.  You can also go directly to the website at or straight to the donation page:   If you prefer, you can send a check to OBPA, P.O. Box 1355, Buxton, NC 27920.  Make the check out to OBPA.)

There were no smiles in sight, but first day of permit sales at Hatteras was uneventful

I don't think that a permit for beach access is bad, although I do feel that the fees are a little steep.  Given the recent history of the Outer Banks though, it appears that this is another step in shutting off
ALL beach access to facilitate nesting plovers at the extreme southern most tip of their range.

My wife and I have personally placed driftwood barricades around sea turtle nesting sites.  This is something we both felt would have been better done by the Park Service personnel on their routine patrols of the beach.

Our family has enjoyed vacationing at OBX for many years and look forward to our annual time spent there.  We are always concerned about the natural hazards to those living there and making a living on the island.  I feel that year-round living there is challenging enough without additional constraints, regulations, and fees imposed by groups or agencies that have no vested interest there.

Ted Eighenbrode
Hedgesville, W. Va.

After 15-plus years of visiting the Outer Banks for our summer vacations, this tops it off.  Fifty dollars a week for limited beach access in addition to already exorbitant taxes on rental properties?  Keep it. It’s time for us to rethink where to best spend our vacation dollars.

Philly Suburbs, Pa.

My Dad first brought me to the Outer Banks in 1962 when I was 7 years old. He took me on my first charter where I caught my first bluefish that I thought pulled like a whale. That charter was with Capt. Jesse Etheridge onboard the Caredwyn. The beaches were beautiful. I thought this is where I would like to live. We came back to Hatteras for years to enjoy the wide open freedom of the area.

Later I married and brought my wife there for our honeymoon. She had never been there and was immediately in love with the area. We had children and took them there. They loved it too. They're now grown and have returned whenever possible. Now it seems their children will not experience the same joy and excitement as with the past generations all because the minority now governs the majority. We are losing our simple freedoms one bit at a time, and if we don't stop it now, we will become complacent with the status quo and except it. And when we accept it future generations w ill suffer. My family will still come to the Outer Banks because if we don't, the minority will have won. It won't be the same, but it's still a bit of paradise.

Tim Daubenspeck
Elkview, W. Va.

If it wasn't for our daughter and grandson living on Hatteras Island, we would go else where in a heartbeat! The people there don't seem to like vacationer anyway!

Cathy Holmes
Vienna, W. Va.

 I moved back to Virginia from Ohio to be closer to the Outer Banks because I love fishing there. I believe I can speak for a lot of others too on this matter. We paid to move your lighthouse with outside contributions. We pay for a fishing license to fish in saltwater – the ocean.  Really? You don’t have to restock the ocean a freshwater lake.

We pay your 40 percent higher gas prices and overall cost of living on the island, and not to mention the ungodly prices to spend any amount of time renting there. Don't you think there is a little bit of price gouging going on here with this ORV permit prices? We are aware that a vast majority of residents don't like non residents there. But at the same time there is not a whole lot of work on the island and our non-resident money does pay the bills. The big picture is that You can price your island into a ghetto-like community, such as Carolina Beach did down in Wilmington years ago. I guess it would have been a good idea to fix all of the broken-down fishing piers before playing the ORV permit card. Don’t you think?     

T. Moxley
Richmond, Va.

I will not be spending my vacation money at Hatteras Island this year. I come down three to four weeks a year to stay at my neighbor’s cottage in Frisco. I go offshore fish two times a year and fish on the beach everyday when I am there. This is crap for the island natives. The turtles are one thing, but the birds that are not in danger in the dunes is a whole other thing. We have already planned three vacations this summer, but they will not be at Hatteras. If I wanted to walk to the beach, I would go to Virginia Beach or Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Mike Monahan
Suffolk, Va.

Yes, somehow I was the first person to get a beach permit on Hatteras Island. Now it's the National Park Service's turn. Within the next few months, we the people better have what was promised or the real lawsuits will fly. That includes realistic buffers on nesting piping plovers and other non-endangered shorebirds. We have nothing against the seasonal enclosures and always have enjoyed our wildlife. However, the non-science buffers here are found nowhere else in other parks with a permit system. It's also unfair and downright stupid to be paying bio-techs with taxpayers’ money to monitor sea turtle nests until early or mid-January with air temperatures in the 30s and water temperatures in the lower 50s that cut off beach access to all. Does someone really think they are going to crawl out into the ocean and survive? Come on! Simply move threatened or late season nests to insure success.

P.S. Please call me if you ever see Audubon, Defenders of Wildlife, or the Southern Environmental Law Center having a beach cleanup, helping the community and island, donating anything after a major devastating hurricane, or see their greedy lawyers not laughing. I won't hold my breath.  

Kevin M Cabe

I am just amazed. I have not heard anything that the governor of this state has done or not done to put a stop to all that has happened on Hatteras. What is this country coming to? Guess the next thing
we pay for is the air we breathe.

James Taylor
Wakeforest, N.C.

What are they going to do on Saturday and Sunday during peak season when several hundred may want to get permits? I hope we will be able to get them online like the fishing license or allow the rental companies to issue them. Sounds like a pain in theyou know what!

Joe McGovern
Severn, Md.

It’s a shame that the feds will make money and all the wonderful local people will lose out. We will still come, but it will never be the same. God bless.

David Henss
Richmond, Va.

I wonder what would happen if no one would buy a permit and all would still drive on the beach?  The rangers would issue you a ticket, which the violator would not pay.  They would then issue a warrant for the violator’s arrest.  Now I live in Pennsylvania, and I don't think North Carolina is going to come up and get me for a few hundred dollars in fines.  If everyone refused to buy their tax stamp, they could not put everyone in jail because there is not enough room for the real criminals.  If they do happen to take you in front of the judge, have them put you in jail.  If everyone went to their jail, they would soon find something else as they could not afford to keep you and feed you.

John Dumbleton
Franklin, Va.

You have to buy them by March 15? I am confused. Can you not purchase an annual permit later in the year? And is lighthouse in Buxton going to remain the only place to get them, even for the Ocracoke beaches?

Richmond, Va.

(Editor’s note:  Visitors can buy the permit whenever they get here and before they go on the beach with an ORV.  Buxton is not the only place to get them, but it’s the only place to buy one on Hatteras.  Permits are also sold at Coquina Beach on Bodie Island at the Ocracoke Visitor Center.)

So, after my 13-hour drive down during "busy" season, I guess I will wait along with the thousands of other holiday visitors to get my permit.  There seems to be a better way of issuing these permits than what has been described.  I'm beyond being upset about the permitting. I'm now looking for a way to maximize my time at Hatteras and not waste it trying to find a parking spot for the permitting.  I think that NPS needs to investigate using the Internet to get the permitting done -- application, online video to watch, print out your particulars, and then just hand over the paperwork in a "short" line to get your sticker (or have the sticker mailed to you if your target date is several weeks out).

Mark Miller
Union City, Pa.

The government spends our money like they want to, and we just give them more with no accountability!

Mark Parsley
Union Springs, Ala.

I think this is ridiculous. It is just a means to detour business and there should be a boycott.  There is a tournament in April, and I will have to think long and hard about even attending now. 

Donna A Thompson
Richmond, Va.

It is a sad day for the people of Hatteras and all those who love to fish there. RIP, Cape Point and Hatteras Inlet.

Annette Barr
Petersburg, Va.

If this had been done when it was supposed to be in 1972 to 2006, just maybe access to some of these spots would still exist.

Native Son

For us in Maryland, it’s between $90 to $140 to drive on the beach for a year, so I'm still coming. But you wait. This summer when people get coming down, it’s going to get nuts.

Kevin K. Kelley
St.Michaels, Md.

First day of ORV permit sales is slow and quiet on Ocracoke

A general question for those of us who commute to Ocracoke: We have a house on the island, but because of distance, we fly and rent a 4-by-4 to use on the beach. This is a legally registered vehicle for the renter. Will this cause a problem to get a week-long permit?

Tim Pickering
West Plains, Mo.

(Editor’s Note:  The short answer is “no.”  If the company from which you rent allows off-road driving, then you can get a permit.)

I remember when my father and other (non-indigenous) natives of northern Minnesota lost access to the U.S. Quetico Boundary Waters between the United States and Canada with a motorized vessel. People that fished it all their lives first saw the restriction that allowed only non-motorized watercraft. Then, old folks like my dad weren't even allowed to use a motorized portage to carry their canoe over the rough terrain in the national wilderness to get it from lake to lake. No one loved or cared for those waters more than natives and old-timers who lived there and fished it all their lives. Measures like these inconvenience vacationers for a week or two. They change the lives of the real caretakers forever. Why can't we figure out a better way?  I am not native to the Outer Banks but go to Ocracoke every chance I get – five or six times a year. I would gladly pay a little more to offset the loss of access to the locals, to the people whose lives are being changed, because of what the (needed) tourist traffic is doing to the wildlife.

Liz White
Edenton, N.C.

Even the fish are protesting.

Annette Barr
Petersburg, Va.

Park Service issues annual resource, law enforcement reports

I am curious to know why the NPS did not disclose predator management numbers for the 2011 year? I feel this is a subject that needs to be brought to the attention of the general public. Having read the mission statement on the Audubon website, "to preserve and protect wildlife," I am puzzled by their lack of concern for the mammals on Hatteras Island, excluding feral cats, that are trapped and killed by NPS rangers each year. Historic records show that these mammals have lived on Hatteras Island for hundreds of years or more and are far more indigenous to our island than the piping plover. My hope is that all individuals who read the Island Free Press and have concern for wildlife, contact the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park Service and ask about their grisly predator management program.

Marta Martinez

(Editor’s note:  We have asked the Park Service about the predator management report – if and when it will be made public.  We have not received an answer.)

The old Hatteras in photographs

Thank you so very, very much for posting these!  It brings back wonderful memories of my own from the 1970s to now.  Please keep these stories coming!

Durham, N.C.

Pea Island:  An Inlet on the Move. WITH SLIDE SHOW

Great article! Great slide show!  Coming to Avon on Labor Day weekend for a week. Had a house booked for the same time last year but got canceled due to hurricane.  Can't happen twice!  Where can I buy the book, “The Battle for North Carolina's Coast?”

Carol Cunningham
Lima, Ohio

(Editor’s note:  To buy the book, click on the Buxton Village Books ad on the Island Free Press Front Page, right side at the top.  There is information about ordering the book online.)

2011: The photos of the year

I loved looking at the 2011 photos. I have been to a lot of places in photos. I have friends who live in Salvo that we stay with. I enjoy reading this paper. It's very informative about what is happening on the island. Keep up the good work.

Eric Blair
Latrobe, Pa.

Outer Banks Angling: The downside of technology

My sons and wife have been to the Outer Banks many time over the years and always enjoy the time spent there and made a lot of friend. We spent our 49th wedding there this year and had a great time. There are so many good things about the Banks that I can't begin to describe. We understand that the problems with the restriction on the beach, but we can not correct them if we don't voice our opinion. Maybe when the legislators see the impact that this is doing to the area, they will make changes. Let’s hope so.

Allen Spiker
Albright, W.Va.

July 4 fireworks may be returning to Hatteras Island

Fireworks! Why would tourists complain that we don't have fireworks on the Fourth of July? We have fireworks nightly in Salvo and Waves during the season.  In fact, just the other night we heard and watched the displays fire away. Joe Thompson needs to move himself up to Salvo so he can enjoy these spectacular displays on the beach and neighborhoods.  Save yourselves some money and let the tourists bring the fireworks. They do such a great job now and no permits required. Park Service doesn't even seem to mind them launching off the bombs next to a turtle nest. It's just fabulous in Waves and Salvo!  


Wonderful! Thanks to Joe and everyone else. We have sorely missed our fireworks!
Dolores and Neil Swartz

Hatteras Realty owner Stewart Couch dies in Nicaragua

It is a sad loss for the island and for the Couch family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Suzie Scholten

I was going back and forth with Hatteras Realty this offseason fighting over rental money I felt I was due after the whole Irene/ferry mess.  To my surprise, Stewart got involved personally, even giving me his personal e-mail address and cell phone number.  We talked and e-mailed a few times and in the end, he saw to it that this customer was happy.  It was obvious he was quite a character too. 

My condolences to his family and all natives of Hatteras Island.  I'm sure he will be sorely missed.

Chris K.
Outside Philly, Pa.

We were so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Sincerely sad.

Joe and Patti Eatmon
Wingate, N.C.

Love and condolences to Danny and family. 

Mary and Steve March
Elizabeth City, N.C.

Stewart's passing will leave a big, big hole not just in Hatteras and the Realtor association, but in the Outer Banks as well.  He will be sorely missed.

Tim Rardin
Kitty Hawk

So sorry to hear. I was shocked. He was larger than life. I will always remember many Stewie stories and trips to Hatteras.

Susan Wright
Virginia Beach, Va.

John and Danny, I am so sorry to hear about Stewart. Stewart was a great guy. You guys have my deepest sympathy.

Lee Cortese
St. James. City, Fla.

I'm so grateful to have been a part of his life!  He has been a wonderful blessing to many of us and I will miss my friend tremendously!


What a tragedy. John was a great man and an island hero. His passion for the growth and preservation of Hatteras knew no bounds. His absence will be felt. My condolences go to John, Danny, and the rest of Stewart's family.

Rob Alderman
Kill Devil Hills

To The Couch Family and Friends,

On bended knees our family is praying for the Lord to comfort you doing these trying times.

We certainly realize that your sudden loss is not only shocking but painful indeed. If it is anything at all that my family can do to help any of you, than please let us know.

Stewart was very kind, friendly, and supportive towards my family. He will always be remembered by us for always making us feel welcomed.

God bless each of you.

Rob and Judy Beedie and family
And the Global Surf Network Crew

I am so sad to hear of this great loss to the community. My Mom and Dad started taking us on family vacations almost 54 years ago and we stayed in Buxton and they were friends with RayCouch. My Mom has always told me when she thinks of Ray’s children, she remembers them as boys. I didn't know him personally but always admired all the good things he did for Hatteras Island and so many people.

My prayers go out to the family and all of the many friends he has made in his lifetime. I can't imagine the shock his family must feel. Please know he is with God and not alone.

Martha Keziah

So sorry for the family.  Thanks for everything you did for Hatteras Island and North Carolina.

Raleigh, N.C.

Rest in peace, Stew.

Richard Augustson

Dear Stewart,
My waves shall hit the shore a little harder showing all my grief.
My mist smells stronger and thick for all the tears I shed.
If you listen very closely, you'll hear me rumble "why?"
In your honor my dear friend, I'll find that surfer waiting
For "that" wave and give him that special ride to say
Goodbye my dear and special friend.
With sadness, Your Ocean Friend

Anna Hoye
Pueblo West, Colo.

Stewart Couch was a great man who treated his employees like family. I was lucky to know him for 14 years. My condolences to his family and employees.

Jacob Monty
Houston, Texas

Warmest and deepest regards to Mr. Couch’s family. In my time working at the Monty Law Firm, I have known and spoke with Mr. Couch on several occasions, and each time, he seemed to be very happy and full of life.
Most sincere condolences,
April Herrera
Houston, Texas

Stewart has always been a very good and caring friend. We met as Realtors and became buddies almost instantly. He has welcomed me and others into his home and his resort. We had dinner together recently and he was, as always, his happy, full of knowledge self. We talked about Nicky getting his car and her moving in with me when she came to ECU. Stewart will be missed in our Realtor family and there will always be a void at my and Ted's dinner table.

Connie Corey
Greenville, N.C.

My friend, you will be missed by so many. I'm grateful for the time we shared and the many laughs, most recently in Winston-Salem. Our prayers are with your family. We love you.

Wendell Bullard
Durham, N.C.

Stewart, I will miss you very much. Even though I have not worked at Hatteras Realty for a while, I will truly, truly miss you.

Julie Yeingst

Thoughts and prayers are with the Couch family at this difficult time.
Your Friends from the Comfort Inn North and South OBX

Our thoughts and prays go out to John, Danny, Nicki, and family. Stewart was always good to us and we will miss him a lot.

Barry and Teresa

Multiple break-ins prompt community meeting with sheriff

Since there is exactly one way in and out of Brigand’s Bay, I would suggest a digital video camera at the entrance to get vehicle tags.


Fox on the beach

The problem with balance of nature is when man gets involved.

David Craft
Carthage, N.C.

Body that washed ashore at Pea Island believed to be North Carolina fisherman

To the Rose Family: Captain Kenny and Uncle Kenny were damn fine fisherman -- gentlemen by nature and dynamite men all around. Having the honor to have been a part of the Rose family and knowing them taught me how to be a man. Uncle Kenny and Captain Kenny, along with Mr. Forrester will be missed and loved, as well as respected in death as they were in life. I will miss them dearly as I will no longer have them to tell me grand fishing stories and have my Uncle Kenny to show me how to be a true fisherman. If any a man could teach another to be a man or how to work hard for an honest living or show you there was more to life than just day to day, it was both Captain Kenneth Rose Sr. and Kenneth Rose Jr. Rest in peace, my family. We'll meet again soon.

Kenny Willard
Nephew of Kenneth Rose Jr.
Canoga Park, Calif.

Bodie Island Lighthouse is set to have restoration completed and will be open for climbing

Only eight days left in February to get started on time, NPS. I say,  old boys, haven’t you washed her down enough?

Native Son

I have been visiting the island since I was a little girl some 30 plus years ago, and have always had the hope of climbing Bodie, like I had always done at Hatteras. I can hardly wait to get to the top.  I just hope visitors will respect the property and treat it properly.

Stephanie Bucks
Bainbridge, Pa.

New Letters to the Editor....02.15.2012  10:30 am

ORV permits will cost $120 a year and go on sale Feb. 15

Tides and storms control the shoreline. If a fee is being pushed on us, then we should be able to drive to Cape Point year round. If it were a case of bird extinction, we would be willing to help, but the tactic
being used is very insulting to the American people. Where is our governor standing on this issue?

Sharon Peele Kennedy

I guess that the Outer Banks just lost us as a customer! We'll not return. We are retired on Social Security and have a hard enough time just to pay $400 in gas to tow our travel trailer the round trip and pay for our stay and sure can't justify the extra to drive on the beach, which is the biggest reason we come there.  Sure will miss it but thanks to all the government interventions, w are not surprised by this move.  Bye to our beloved Outer Banks!

Bob Hammer
Conover, N.C.

Well, so much for fishing out there. Heck if I’m paying for a fishing license and an ORV permit. I wish the small business owners luck. They are going to need it.

Stan Glomb
Midlothian, Va.

This is another disgraceful government intrusion. $120 a year for what?  What do we get for it?  And you have to buy it in person?  Do they know that there is an Internet?  I am thoroughly disgusted with the bullying that the Outer Banks has experienced in the last few years.

David Jones
Ramsey, N.J.

I've been going to the Outer Banks fishing for several years now and I will go no more. The Outer Banks has turned into a communist state by the way of the Park Service. The national parks were designed with the public in mind. This is not what’s happening. Just a select group of people will benefit from all of the rules that are being adopted. There are other states that have seashores that I can go to.

Franklin, N.C.

Access groups sue to stop Park Services ORV plan and final rule

We no longer vacation on Hatteras Island after 34 years of doing so based on the restrictions imposed on beach driving. We are not the only family out of our large group that has changed plans. The beach driving was the reason we came to Hatteras, and it is now sadly the reason we do not visit and spend our hard earned dollars there.  

Andrew MacNabb
Yardley, Pa.

Thank you very much for filing this lawsuit. Our family of 18 comes two times a year to fish and we had decided to go to Carolina Beach to fish and not mess with the Outer Banks. We will, however, wait and see what happens before we finalize our plans.

Randall Barger
Faith, N.C.

Please tell me how I can help!I am not a local but live a couple hours away and have been visiting year round for the last 15 years. I love the locals and surf conditions! I would gladly give my last dollar to help this from happening. The residents and habitat are suffering from this law being passed. This would crush me and so many others. What can I do??

Christopher Danielson
Virginia Beach, Va.

(Editor’s Note to Christopher and others who have asked:  If you want to help CHAPA with the lawsuit, you can make a donation to cover legal expenses.  The easiest way to make a donation is to click on the OBPA ad at the top of the Beach Access or Shooting the Breeze page.  Then click on membership/donations and make your donation through PayPal.  You can also go directly to the website at  or straight to the donation page: 

If you prefer, you can send a check to OBPA, P.O. Box 1355, Buxton, NC 27920.  Make the check out to OBPA.)

Most of the lands donated for a national park were given by private individuals who were led to believe that the lands would be used for a park, and not a wildlife sanctuary. I would personally like to see
Judge Boyle's record investigated and find out why he is so against the rights of the people as a whole, kowtowing to special interest groups.

Johnnie Baum

The blocking of beaches to off-road vehicles and to pedestrian traffic makes no sense. If no one can enjoy it, what is the benefit? Our group has already the number of trips we make to the Outer
Banks because of the closing of areas we can fish during the spring and summer. If the areas we fish are further reduced, we will reevaluate whether or not it’s worth coming back at all. That is a lot of money that the businesses on the Outer Banks will lose. That may or may not play into the NPS's reasoning, but I know it plays with the local economy. I hope the lawsuit is successful.

Dave Southall
Charlottesville, Va.

This plan is a joke. Not only can the NPS close the beach access we want to access, but it's $50 for a permit. So I drive nine hours, pay all the gas and tolls, rent a house, pay for a saltwater fishing permit, and now buy an NPS permit for $50 and then the NPS can still close the very beach (or limit the number of ORVs on it). Wow, thanks NPS Now I get to pay $50 to not drive the area I drove down here to fish and surf. Just think I can fly to Florida in two hours and the airfare is cheaper than the gas and tolls to Hatteras. NPS, congratulations you will completely ruin the economy and real estate values on Hatteras Island!

Tom O’Brien
Margate City, N.J.

Good luck. The last thing we need is another fee (tax).

Mark S.
Willow Spring, N.C.

I've lived here all my life and never thought you would have to pay go to the beach. People who pay taxes should get free pass for beach driving. The beach is what keeps us here. What’s happening to Dare County?

Merry Ann
Kill Devil Hills

Just a quick thought --  who has been trying to close Outer Banks beaches for many years now?  The Audubon Society!   Why doesn't somebody investigate their donations to important officials?  It would be very interesting to follow the money trail.

Mary J. Workman
Pittsburgh, Pa.


Hawk Hawkins
Mechanicsville, Va.

We think this ruling will hurt the Outer Banks. I and my family and friends will not come back to the beaches and pay this ridiculous price.  We usually come to fish two or three times per year but will not do so now. We spend a lot of money to stay there for a week at a time, so folks you are hurting yourself. 

Linda Buchanan
Denver, N.C.

Thank goodness that someone is willing to do something.  I'm sure that there are thousands of people like myself who are willing to make small monetary pledges to aid in your valiant fight and defense of all of our rights and freedoms. It would truly be a travesty to let our own government bully us take our very own beach away. What will be next?

T.C. Ward
Martinsburg, W. Va.

Anyone in the know -- what can the average Joe do to help?

Mohnton, Pa.

I agree wholeheartedly and support this action, but if it is presented to the same series of judges, I'm afraid the outcome will be the same. The $50 dollar a week is so steep that even without turning this around, they have effectively kept hundreds, if not thousands, of people off the beach.

I'll support anyway I can. My family and I have been visiting for well over 40 years and will miss it.

Pete Gaydosh
Rocky Mount, N.C.

About time. We must get others involved besides one idiot judge, devious bird lawyers, and spineless bureaucrats in the NPS.

John Winnicki

Thankfully, this is coming about, and I will be making another donation to the fund soon. My husband and I enjoy our trips twice a year, and I would hate to be unable to access the beach due to environmentalists who are not interested in the conservation of the area or its animals but are hell bent on protecting only one or two species at the cost of the rest of the animals and human lives. I applaud the effort being used to stop this unfair and biased ruling on ORV access to the beach.

Monroeton, Pa.

I vacation in Avon every year and my in-laws live in Buxton.  I also have many friends and clients who have homes in that area. They are really very, very angry at their representatives and judges for ignoring the will of the people and placing themselves in tyrannical dictatorships.  I appreciate the fight that you are waging against the government and its representatives. It’s yet another in millions of examples of the government and officials who we placed in our trust turning on those they serve, thus placing us into suppression. We won't have it and stand ready to fight. It really comes down to our right to be a free people when so few try to control us.  

Joseph McVey
Richmond, Va.

I support the lawsuit.  It appears that again the government has overstepped its boundary. Like Congress, there seems to be no such thing as compromise. Surely something can be worked out to each side’s satisfaction. All they have to do is try!

Brad Hawkins
Magnolia, N.C.

I did not see any mention of the plaintiffs' seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the implementation of the "plan" until the case gets to trial, if it does.

Lloyd Tinker
Towson, Md.

I certainly hope the groups that are in opposition to the National Park Service prevail and that the people get to enjoy our beaches as they have for generations.  It is a shame that people do not come first.  People have rights and we must stand up for them.  I personally am not a user of driving on the beach and enjoying the recreation offered by it, but I fully support the actions of beach users to drive licensed and insured vehicles as long as they drive responsibly.  It is time that the regulatory agencies make accommodations to accommodate the human race.

On Board
Wilmington, N.C.

Great news!  Can we have a link and/or phone number/address for donations to directly support this lawsuit? Thanks.



Richmond, Va.

Why did you wait until the 11th hour to implement this action?

Native Son

Can I help? Why haven't I been asked to help or asked for a donation from all the realtors that have my name from all the times I have rented vacation homes?

Charles Portaluppi
Alexandria, Va.

This is fantastic news! Thank you to everybody!

Bob Ruhle
Reinholds, Pa.

Let's hope common sense can prevail. Many thanks to the officers and members of CHAPA, et al, for their efforts.

Bud Nelson

Way to go, CHAPA! This is the only language the DOI, NPS, USFWS and the environmental left understands. We're with you all the way! And there are innumerable allies out there who will support you in this.


I really hate to disappoint anyone who really thinks this is about saving wildlife or instituting an ORV plan that will satisfy the environmentalists with their “save the world agendas.”  This is totally about money. The federal government and their lobbyists have found a goldmine in Hatteras.  They are lining their pockets with contributions from filthy rich environmentalists who could care less about human habitation or survival.  The government has now given themselves the green light to double dip, taking contributions from the Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and the like and now impose a fee to anyone who would love to access the shores of Hatteras Island.  It’s a win-win for the feds.  This means money from the moronic tree huggers and money from your average hard working blue-collar family that just wants to vacation on the shores and enjoy time away.  All of this is done at the expense of the local villagers on the island.  With today’s economy and the government spending triple of what it takes in, does anyone really think that the government of this United States really cares about the livelihood of some 4,000 residents of a small barrier island off the coast of North Carolina?  WAKE UP!  To the fat-headed elite in Washington, the locals are nothing but small town country hicks who live in the past and their survival does not matter as long as the feds get their money.  This is just one more way to prove that the blood and sweat from the middle class is being drained.  It also shows that the federal budget distributes money to its own constituents and to those who wait at the mailbox for a check instead of contributing to society.  Again, your small little villages of Hatteras do not matter. 
Sorry, I love Hatteras very much but the truth is the truth.

Danny Blevins
Chesapeake, Va.

Island Free Press, thank you for posting this news so quickly! May freedom and open access prevail.

P. Smith

So thankful for this!  It's such a beautiful place, but with these new rules that are being put into place, I likely would never be back.  And I hate that for the islanders.  It just seems that no one ever really sat down and wondered about the economic impact this would have.

Steve Vaughan
Richmond, Va.

Cheers to CHAPA! While I am not fully optimistic tht CHAPA will succeed, this group has done an excellent job of highlighting the deficiencies surrounding the development of the ORV plan.

Where do I send my support contribution?   

Dan Collins
Akron, Ohio

Thank you, CHAPA. Please understand that we are behind you, and the new rule excludes those of us who work hard for a living, setting that price so high that average people cannot afford to do what we have always been able to do, preventing us from making plans to visit the area at all. We are here for the local community, will do what we can do to continue to support the area and residents, but we will not be subject to this kind of extortion by the NPS. This is NOT what those who contributed the land ever wanted. Please put this craziness to an end immediately.
John Chandler
Richmond, Va.

Yes, Yes and Amen. Thank you friends for being faithful to our cause!!!


It’s about time. We have been railroaded by the Park Service for years. My business is down 30 percent in past few years. And the ORV plan will put even more burden on my family and self. Thank you.

James Corbett

My family and I have been coming to the Outer Banks since I was a kid. We are fishing fools and love the Outer Banks because the fishing is great. In the past few years, we have rescheduled our vacations because beach access to the Point was closed because someone thinks they saw a bird that might want to nest somewhere nearby. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. We average spending $3,000 top $4,000 when we come for a week, and a hefty percentage of these dollars goes to taxes. Now you want to charge me for driving on the beach? I think we will continue to look for a different fishing hole -- one that doesn’t reach around and steal your wallet while you’re fishing. Last year I had to buy a fishing license for the whole family now I have to buy a permit to drive on the beach in addition to all the taxes I pay on my rental, dining out and shopping, which is hundreds of dollars. What's next? I guess I will be charged for every fish I catch.

 You are ruining the most beautiful place on earth because of greed and politics. So we are looking for the second most beautiful place on earth and it will not be in North Carolina.  Such a shame! My wife and I have always wanted to retire at the Outer Banks, but not so much any more. That is a loss to be shared in your economic impact study that has been completely ignored.

Mark Dennis
Greenville, S.C.

Where do I donate?

Wes Lassiter

I’ve been fishing on the Outer Banks with my dad since I was 5 years old. It kills me to see what these people are doing down there. It’s like they never considered what would happen to the residents who live there and who need the tourism money. It saddens me to see all the closed down shops and restaurants. I hope we are successful in preserving one of the best places to go or fish on the East Coast, not to mention that it’s one of the only places with ORV access. If they took that from me, I would truly be very upset. I look forward to coming down this summer. They will never stop me. Cape Hatteras is my second home, and I would like many more people to experience what I have. Just being there is amazing, and being able to drive on the beach is one of the best parts for me. So good luck, and again I hope we are successful.

Vincent Peters Jr.
Portsmouth, Va.

I hope you can win this in court. I have been vacationing in the village of Hatteras for over 35 years. I am a hard working middle-class person but, the taxes, fees, licenses, and permits have made our yearly trip to the village of Hatteras a thing of the past. We can't afford it any more. Shame on the NPS and the state for overcharging people for daring to spend vacation on the island. We plan to go somewhere else until they lower the costs of an island stay.

Annette Barr
Petersburg, Va.

Thanks to all of you who are fighting for us to keep our beaches. Simply put, this land was given with the understanding that we would always have access to our beaches. I have been going to the beach as long as I can remember, and not one time in my life have I seen any harm to anything on the beach. All I have ever seen is enjoyment with family, friends, and especially the kids.  This whole thing is unreal. Thanks again to all the agencies who are fighting this, and to all the locals who dedicate so much time to helping us keep our beaches. I anybodywants to give me something to do to help, contact me.


Unjust and Unjustified. Shame on them for misleading everyone into thinking it was the birds and turtles they want to preserve when in actuality it is only their vote and their budget they want to protect.

Richard Alan Weber
West Point, Va.

Park Service issues annual resource, law enforcement reports

So...."Pedestrian violations in closures topped ORV violations in closures– 99 to 7."   Why are we regulating ORV use more than pedestrians?  Looks like pedestrians are the bigger risk to nesting areas.

West Virginia

Where is the predator management report?


(Editor’s note:  We have asked NPS about the predator management report and have not had a response yet.)

Pea Island:  An Inlet on the Move

Jackson Browne's prophetic words from 40 years ago:

"Some of them were angry
At the way the earth was abused
By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
And they struggled to protect her from them
Only to be confused
By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour
And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
In the naked dawn only a few survived
And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge."

--“Before the Deluge" on Late For The Sky

Nags Head

Looks like this may be a permanent inlet. Thank you for the pics!

David Craft
Carthage, N.C.

Take all those rocks and dump ‘em in the new inlet and problem solved. For what they will spend trying to keep the bridge from washing awa,y it could be filled in and paved over.

Ernest Doshier

UPDATE: DOT pushes back a decision on the permanent fixes to Highway 12

There was a 20-year plan adopted in 1995 to have a bridge/road from Wanchese to Rodanthe. What happened to that plan?

Emily Landrum
Mableton, Ga.

Hatteras Island Real Estate: 2012 market predictions

The people (developers) on Hatteras Island need to stop building rental houses. You have over developed the island and took from it all the natural charm it once had. You had an East Coast treasure that now looks more like any East Coast beach. I miss the small town, small house, easy way of life. The final straws that broke this hard-working, middle-class back were all the new taxes, fees, licenses, and permits that come with it.

Annette Barr
Petersburg, Va.

Solving a wartime mystery: The search for the SS Chester Sun

I have been reading about the SS Chester Sun by Hal Shelton. There is a dispute as to whether it was sunk in 1942 as claimed or not.  I am typing the diary of my father, who was a merchant marine in the early 1940s, and he mentions the "SS Chester Sun," a tanker that was in the Pacific islands in October of 1943, which is a pretty good trick for a ship that had been sunk off the Outer Banks.

Scott Roberts
Cascade Locks, Ore.

It’s not a case of American vs. foreign workers

An article well written .I have friends who feel the same way as they have problems with our young people not being dedicated to their jobs .I am sure there are some that are, but the European workers
have to be responsible. Are we not teaching our young people responsibility and dedication?

Wylie Williams
Villas, N.J.

New Letters to the Editor....02.08.2012  12:40 am

ORV permits will cost $120 a year and go on sale Feb. 15

Tides and storms control the shoreline. If a fee is being pushed on us, then we should be able to drive to Cape Point year round. If it were a case of bird extinction, we would be willing to help, but the tactic that is being used is very insulting to the American people. Where is our governor standing on this issue?

Sharon Peele Kennedy

The fee sounds very high for the people like me who use the ORV routes I am disabled. What are we going to really see done with the fee?  Thank you.  I have spent time cleaning the beaches as a volunteer with NCBBA.

Rocky Mount, N.C.

This is stupid. It will only hurt the local economy and hurt the vacationers who go there.

Everett, Pa.

You chase off the people who love your beaches! We are in bad economic times, and you manage to bleed us more.

Alex Cabatbat
Gloucester, Va.

My family has been visiting the Outer Banks for several decades. I am truly amazed at how the National Park Service and the organizations that support no ORV within areas have worked to destroy one of our treasures -- beach driving and fishing. I am from Virginia and will now be looking at ways to spend my vacation money in Virginia. Sorry to all of the good folks in Ocracoke, but the special interest groups have run us away.

Michael Oakes
Moseley, Va.

I just decided that the Outer Banks will no longer be the place I spend my $3,000 vacation. The fun has been slipping away for several years with all the fences and Park Service officials. I like to fish, but the fishing has also gone downhill. I had to buy a fishing license to fish in the ocean.  This is the last nail in the coffin for the people that live there and people who loved the freedom if beaching in a vehicle. There are nicer beaches to go to with easier access if you need to walk to the beach and better sand and more shallow water to wade. My last trip was October, 2011 -- and I mean my last trip. For 30 years, I have enjoyed the love of the people and the beach, but it is time to move on. The people have lost.
Thanks for the memories. Another government debacle!

John Reedy
New Kensington, Pa.

One location on Hatteras Island and in a trailer?  Are you kidding me?  When the tourists arrive, how long are the lines going to be in the hot sun to buy a permit and watch this seven-minute video?  They should rethink another location to allow room for these poor people who want nothing more than to get out on the beach and enjoy their vacations!

I have been coming to Hatteras Island for over 40 years now.  I own a home on Hatteras Island and was planning on retiring there.  So, now I have to pay for a permit to drive off road and watch a video to tell me how to drive and park on the beach after 40 years.

I am now rethinking my retirement plans.  Who wants to vacation or live in a place with all these rules?  I feel sorry for all the locals who depend on the tourist season for their incomes. Who will come now?  Who will want to vacation here? Shame on all involved for ruining such a beautiful place to visit, vacation, and live!

Clarksboro, N.J.

The annual permits are good only for the calendar year. Buy one in June, and it feels like $240 per year. Nuts!


Taxation without representation once again. 

Clay Harrill
York, S.C.

They need to change the Constitution from “we the people” to “we the government.”

Clayton Krieger
Shamokin, Pa

Has this permit thing been though out by NPS? Access permits not available online? They are in other parks for nearly everything else!

        Imagine the parking issues where you go to get a permit.

        Imagine the crowds of people beginning Memorial Day Friday trying to get permits.

        Imagine the need for additional security to keep everyone calm.

        Imagine buying a permit in April for May at $120 and it’s only valid until Dec. 31 of this year.

        Imagine the lack of staff to process the permits quickly.

        Imagine the size of the theater where the movie will be shown inside the trailer.

        Imagine the travel trailers and camper trailers at Ramp 2 and at the Lighthouse.

        Imagine arguments and additional security at the locations.

        Imagine the confusion for everyone.

Has NPS imagined anything that would make this more palatable for the visitor or local resident?

Roaring Spring, Pa.

 After 48 years of enjoying the wonderful Hatteras beaches four to five weeks a year by fishing, picking up other people’s trash, swimming with our dog, and taking long drives, we will be looking for other alternatives. It’s a sad situation when you have to pay $120 a year for a permit to drive on the beach and not even be allowed to drive on the beach when you get there. No wonder this country is in such a mess. This will be the first spring in 25 years that we won't be coming back. Will miss the beach but not the politics. It’s hard to enjoy a vacation that makes you angry. Life is too short!

David Nunamaker
West Grove, Pa.

I was OK with the North Carolina saltwater fishing license fee. I am happy to support the areas that I visit.  But the limited access and now to pay for that limited access, is a bit much.  I have loved every minute I've spent on Hatteras and Ocracoke.  Each year that week would fortify me to better withstand the remaining 51 weeks.  We were 20 fishermen who came down in late April. We didn't come down last year, and there are no plans for us to come this year.  I'm sad about that, but it’s clear they don't want visiting fishermen driving on the beach.  How else can they explain the $50 weekly versus $2.30 weekly for an annual pass?  If it was designed to keep us away, it’s working.

Joe McGettigan
Broomall, Pa.

Question:  Do you know if the Park Service will accept the Golden Eagle Pass for entry onto the beaches?  The GEP allows free entry for handicapped into all national parks.

Jeanie Wright
Chesapeake, Va.

(Editor’s note:  No the Park Service will not accept the Golden Eagle Pass for driving on the beach.  All must buy a permit.)

It would be nice to buy the permit in advance of the weeks you want to visit, so you don't loose any vacation time waiting in line. This could be done online, even watching the video. Then maybe there will be no line. Sad time for all.

Ed Fitzpatrick
Shepherdstown, W.Va.

50 bucks for a week? Man, that’s steep

Jay Smart
Radford, Va.

Will NPS pay my mortgage on my property when everyone stops coming? They have gone totally crazy.

Dinwiddie, Va.

Are the park rangers going to measure the distance between each vehicle and make sure that they are 20 feet apart? The reason for me asking this queston is -- What if the vehicles are parked 25 to 30 feet apart? Do you make the Park Service aware this or are they going to have people patrolling the beaches?

Doug Spoon
Burlington, N.C.

This is a disgrace and absolutely wrong.  I cannot afford $50 or $120. The cost is outrageous! You might have some twisted sort of legal right to do this but I can tell you that you have no moral right to keep me from enjoying the seashore from my four-wheeler. This used to be a Free America but obviously not anymore. All you know is to lead by force instead of gently guiding individuals into doing the right thing. This is yet another in the millions of examples of a few anti-freedom individuals controlling the desires of many. You have been and continue to destroy the economy of Hatteras Island. Many individuals have told me over the past few years that they vacation elsewhere now and no longer support the economy of the island. I can almost guarantee that 99 percent plus of residents of Hatteras Island are very angry and disagree with this ruling being put upon them and keeping them from driving on the beach in the past. When our leaders no longer listen to us, then it's time to boot them out of positions of trust and decisionmaking.

Joseph W. McVey
Richmond, Va.

For the beach economy that is already struggling, this is not a good decision.

Karen Dyson
Richmond, Va.

People need to realize that Hatteras Island residents have been fighting this whole mess for quite a while. They did not want this to happen! Yes, the $50 fee is totally outrageous, but did any of you support the island in its ongoing battle against the NPS, environmentalists and Audubon Society? My guess is that you did not! My love for Hatteras Island and its folks extends much deeper then just having vehicle beach access. I will continue vacationing on Hatteras Island a couple times a year until the day I die! Hatteras Island offers so much more than just beach driving on the beach! The NPS, environmentalists and Audubon Society are now working on taking over Chincoteague and Assateague Island beaches in Virginia. Expect them to be at your beach community next!

Maryann Hooper
Wenonah, N.J.

Most beaches we go to have plenty of easy beach access, unlike Hatteras where the majority of the beach requires you to drive, park and walk.  Some of your parking areas are close to the beach, while others are not.  Even the ones that are close are not convenient.  You have to drive there, walk and carry everything to the beach, which isn't always an easy task.  Especially if you are the least bit handicapped or have a family with young children.  I could go on about this, but I've said this much to make a point as to why most of us would rather drive on the beach.

Now that people will be charged to drive onto your beach areas, I think many visitors will rethink their vacation plans.  My husband and I and our children and grandchildren have been visiting Hatteras Island only for the past few years.  My brother and his family have been coming there for over 15 years.  The ORV permit fees and ferry fees are causing us to all think about making different plans for our vacations for this year.  My brother contacted me yesterday and suggested we go elsewhere.  We had already been considering that.

After this past fall with all the issues people had trying to get to Hatteras Island after Hurricane Irene, many of them loosing their rental money and etc., and now this, it makes me wonder how welcome visitors and tourist are there.

Considering our current economy and the aggravation and losses visitors endured after Hurricane Irene, I don't feel you picked a very wise time to be adding additional ferry fees and ORV permit fees.

I do feel bad for the Hatteras Island business owners, property rental owners, realtors, etc.  I wish you the best.

Also, maybe I over-looked this information when I read the rules/guidelines.  But I didn't see if people are required to buy different permits for each vehicle they use. For example: In 2011 my husband and I visited there in the summer, then again in the fall. We drove a different vehicle each trip.  So should someone do that now, are they going to be required to buy different permits for each vehicle?

Karen Basham
Kernersville, N.C.

Why couldn't they plan ahead and allow Internet sales of the permits like North Carolina does with fishing licenses or sell them through bait shops or through realtors? I cannot wait to see the lines at the lighthouse office on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in July!

Loyd Tinker
Cockeysville, Md.

What is this money going to be used for?

Peter Wighton
Greenwich, Conn.

(Editor’s note:  The fees will be used to administer the permit program.)

The Park Service and NOAA (no organization at all) might as well get married. They look like they are meant for each other. They are trying to make Hatteras like Portsmouth Island.

Frank Saunders
Chesapeake, Va.

Finally, The straw that broke the camel's back! My family loved to come to Hatteras every year to vacation and fish on what used to be public beaches. Now we can't even walk on them. We're done -- have fun with the plovers.

Bob Lee
Shady Side, Md.

Will it never end -- endless fees, permits, taxes, and government regulations? How much can a man endure? One of the few things that I could afford to do is being priced out of my budget. The price of gas is through the roof and the government adds another tax. The economy is still in recovery, the national debt is not only through the roof, it has gone into orbit, the jobless rate is at an all-time high, and what does the Park Service do?  They add another permit, law, or regulation to discourage the public from trying to enjoy the parks, seashores, and attractions at which they should be trying to encourage attendance.  If my comment is welcome, then my comment is to repeal this permit now and enact legislation to eliminate further permits to reduce or financially restrict the public from visitation to the seashore. I am very sure that I am not alone in my opposition to this matter as more and more burden is placed on the public in another attempt to restrict access to the sea shore.

Donald Jernigan
Kinston, N.C.

Whoever decided as to what the permit fees should be has probably cut their nose off to spite their face.

If the weekly fee was, say, $25 per vehicle, I don't think people would complain as much and they may be willing to purchase one.

We vacationers do help the local economy at the grocery stores, rentals, gas stations, restaurants, and also bait and tackle shops. 

I think you will be discouraging renters from coming there.  If they were to allow the homeowners to purchase a transferable permit to be used, I think that would be acceptable.

Where and how is all of this money you're collecting going to be used?

Donna Fortis
Linwood, N.J.

Thanks Park Service. You just took away a 30-plus-year visitor from his favorite place. I will never be back.

I am extremely sad. I have gotten past mad I think, although that may come back come April and October when it would normally be time to head south for fishing. The sadness includes feelings for all the friends and acquaintances I've made at all the great places from Avon to Ocracoke. What a shame.

Jon Rogers
Saint Albans, W.Va.

2011: The photos of the year

Don, I loved the slide show.  If you decide to sell a copy, I would like one.  Thanks again for the pictures of me and Connie with the governor.  Hope 2012 gives you all the work you need and time for healing on the island.  See you in May when I go down to help Connie some.

Bonnie Palomares
Columbia, N.C.

Commentary: The good old days of skinny dipping on the seashore are over

I have read several of Mr. Dewey Parr's stories.  I find him very likeable and I usually always agree with him. He seems to care about the residents, visitors, and business owners as well as the wildlife, endangered species, and the beaches. 

As a Hatteras Island visitor/tourist, I feel like he realizes that we (visitors and tourists) help with the local economy. 

I totally disagree with the new regulations and permits for beach driving.  I guess it will provide some new jobs.  I question if they can make enough revenue to cover the cost of buildings to sell the permits from, the necessary equipment for the permits, training, video equipment, vehicles for more employees to use to monitor the beaches, employees to monitor the beaches and man the beach access entrances. And in order for them to enforce the rules, I think they will have to offer bathroom facilities.  I would not be happy to loose my beach access because I had to leave to go use the restroom and upon my return to the beach find out the "limited amount of vehicles" were now on the beach and I couldn't regain entrance.

Plus when you are on vacation, you don't want to have to be concerned about whether you are going to be permitted on the beach or not.  No one wants to spend their vacation time getting up in the middle of the night or early morning hours to go get in line to be sure they will be allowed on the beach.  Of course, this may not be a concern if they continue to try to turn visitors off from coming to Hatteras.

Residents, property rental owners, business owners, etc., I wish you the best. 

Mr. Parr, thank you for this story and the stories you post on your website.  I always enjoy them and also coming to visit The Gray House.  And, by the way, I'm originally a West Virginia girl too, and I've never skinny dipped either.

For you Hatteras Island locals, if you want to visit the mountains, West Virginia is a beautiful  mountain state.  I'm sure you would be made to "feel welcome" there!

Kernersville, N.C.

Outer Banks Angling: The downside of technology

Once again the government has reserved fishing and beach recreation for the rich and disregarded property owners by imposing an unaffordable beach access fee. Is this a way to keep everyone from enjoying the beaches in a national park? I wonder if the fees will used to print signs to stay off all of  Cape Hatteras and close it to all people. As a property owner, I am appalled.

John Riemann
Lancaster, S.C.

Park Service is working with Avon groups on finishing Little Kinnakeet restoration

I am so excited about the project to restore Little Kinnakeet Lifesaving Station. Ever since the first time I saw it, I hoped to see it restored. I've gone out to the three known Gray cemeteries with Dawn Taylor, of the Hatteras Island Genealogy and Preservation Society. The lifesaving station is not just a part of our nation's past, but it is very personal to those of us whose families lived and served on Hatteras Island.

Annie Gray-Clark

UPDATE: DOT pushes back a decision on the permanent fixes to Highway 12

If the Jan. 25 photo is any indication, looks like you have a sick inlet on your hands.  Has anyone done any stability analysis to see if there is a potential for the inlet to close naturally anytime soon?  Regardless, DOT still needs to look at the long-term.

Tom Jarrett, P.E.W
Wilmington, N.C.

This inlet was south-bound from the start, moving at exceptional speed. It almost took out the new power poles before the bridge was finished, Perhaps our temporary bridge should have been a half mile longer.

Native Son

New Letters to the Editor....02.03.2012  11:45 am

ORV permits will cost $120 a year and go on sale Feb. 15

The ORV "user" fee is nothing more than and added tax burden. The present administration in Washington, Congress, the federal court system, and others have turned their backs on the people. They refuse to take a stand and fight for the rights of folks they are sworn to represent.

They do not have the backbone to stand up to special interests groups. Instead of raising taxes (which I am against), they have chosen to raise fees(nothing more than tax). Until people are elected who will change the current way of doing things, we cannot expect anything more.A s the old saying goes "Those given an inch but move by yards should be given the foot” -- in so many words, removed from office.
E. Jasper Williams, Jr.
Granbury, Texas 

I think that the business owners on Ocracoke should charge the Park Service personnel a fee to come in and buy their food, gas, clothes, fishing supplies, etc. If I had a business, I would be the first one to charge the fee.


We usually make two trips in the fall. Rentals are less expensive and there are fewer people. We will continue to come down. Split the cost of the permit, and it's not too bad. I say good riddance to you people who make the choice not to visit Hatteras and Ocracoke. More of the beach to ourselves. 

Mark Wing
Manassas, Va.

This is another way the federal government attempts to squeeze hard-working families for every penny they earn.  OBX beaches are a refuge for us where we can spend time with families and enjoy one another.  Don't we pay enough federal taxes?  I feel really bad for the people of OBX. This will affect their livelihoods, jobs, etc.  I definitely will now travel farther south or go to Virginia Beach.  It's really a shame. I was just wondering if there is a plan to totally close OBX beaches?

Emilio Siazon
Chesapeake, Va.

Let's see how ya'll make it with out our coming over and  spending money. You people need to get a grip on what is going on around you! It's a shame you let the Park Service win this.

Newport, N.C.

We will be vacationing at another place besides OBX. Let see how the folk on the OBX make it.

Newport, N.C.

Well, this is the straw that broke my back.  With the fishing license fee and now this fee, I will come to the Outer Banks one more time.  I will have to look for a new vacation spot.  I am coming this year to say goodbye.  I will miss it, but I can't take the Fed's interfering with everything I do. 

John Dumbleton
Franklin, Pa.

Wow!  You guys really don't want tourists down there.  I'm locked in to this year, but next year will definitely be a different story....

Christy Horton
Mechanicsville, VA.

Grand theft is what this is, especially the temporary one-week permit.  The NPS is out to end human habitation of the Outer Banks.

Jim Robinson
Richmond, Va.

I feel this is going to hurt. Good luck.

David Gunnells
Murfreesboro, N.C.

Just more big government and another tax. One day only the rich will be able to enjoy the Outer Banks. I guess I will start going to Assateague Island.

Kelly Klass
Windsor, Va.

At last we know how much a bird's nest is worth. We've already paid half of our cottage rental for this year, but it is doubtful that we will return in 2013. We can get a Delaware driving permit for the same fee and drive nine fewer hours to enjoy it. So sad.

Linda Zeiber
Sinking Spring, Pa.

I'm really sorry for those folks out there whom have not experienced the great feeling of freedom that comes when you finally get that chance to take that first truck ride out onto the beach with fishing gear on board in search of that special fishing hole along the beach. Oh, boy, my wife and I have enjoyed a great run of good times on the beaches of Hatteras Island. We are lucky to have been coming here during better times before this nonsense of late. I'm finding it really hard to find a way to get past this albatross of a final rule thing. We've lately been renting in Avon and now when we visit two weeks a year (spring and fall), Ramp 34 will be closed which means the nearest ramp is 38 and the beach is very narrow there. It seems to me that we would have to spend more time and money burning gas to get to the accessible beaches. I think I'll skip our spring trip this year -- not sure I could make myself buy a permit on top of two fishing licenses for $70 two times a year. I hope that the locals understand that this is just a decision based on economics. They are hardest hit by this mess. I am saddened our country has fallen to this level of stupidity.  We will always love Hatteras Island.

Hampton, Va.

So how much will it cost a pedestrian to access the CHNSRA? ORV users are being targeted.

Jim and Paula Brown
Baltimore, Md.

Seems a bit steep.  Makes a 25-year return vacationer question if he will be back.

Ottawa, Ontario

 I was wondering if you have thought about doing a survey or have a place for comments, like you did for the hurricane, about having to pay to drive on the beach. I am sure you will have quite a few responses.


(Editor’s note:  I have written several blog on paying to drive on the beach (See”Shooting the Breeze” at the top of the Front Page.  Readers can comment directly on the blog.  They can also send us comments on articles that we print regularly in Letters to the Editor.)

So who is going to lead the charge and be the first one on their block to get a permit? This really, really is terrible.

Susan K. Garrett

Say goodbye to the economy in the towns, but that’s probably the plan. Hit them in the pocket until they leave on their own.

Virginia Beach, Va.

The permits are no surprise, just pathetic. The maps are no surprise, just pathetic. The National Park Service is no surprise, just pathetic.

Ron Saunders
Virginia Beach, Va.

This is horrible. We have been coming to the Frisco area for 12 years.   First, it was fishing fee of $10.   Do they restock the ocean?  No. Now we are being ripped off again.  Will they clean the beaches for us each morning?  No. I will find another place to vacation and OBX is out of our affordability.

Esther Cavanaugh
Aliquippa, Pa.

Maybe the owners of the rental properties should be able to buy a yearly permit and include it as a service with the rental home.  It would be lots cheaper and not allow the NPS to gouge the tourists.  We (three-generation family) have been visiting Hatteras for over 10 years together.  It's amazing how things have changed.  Next thing you know, they'll be charging for the ferry also.  Very sad.

Portage, Ind.

We have been coming to the village of Hatteras for over 35 years. We are working class people. It was all we could do to save enough money to stay one week each year. Then they raised the tax rate, came up with more renter’s fees, rental houses cost more, charging for fishing licenses, and now permits to drive on maybe a small part of the beach. I'm sorry to say I can't afford it anymore. That was the straw that broke this hard-working back. I still love you Hatteras but...

Annette Barr
Petersburg, Va.

We should have the Occupy Movement come here. It's obvious that if you’re protesting, you can use a national park for free.

Tom Bibbey

Thank you so much For Being THE source for information and keeping on top of all the news on Hatteras!  I have so many mixed feeling about permit access to the beach.  I love my Hatteras beach and miss my house in Salvo and hope to have one again soon.  The beach here in Maryland has been permit-only for years, and if the money is used for beach renewal and for road in maintenance, I understand.  I am an environment lover. But – I say this with caution -- everything has a middle ground.  Environmentalists should not take over -- nor should beach driving.  There is a middle ground.
I am very unhappy with the way this seashore beach permitting has been handled.  I am disgusted with NPS and the way they have shown themselves. This should have been about what is best.  This whole battle reminds me of a child custody battle in a very bad divorce.  What was best for the beach seemed to be completely lost. It came down to each side wanting all or nothing. And there was a lot lost. It’s a sad year for Hatteras and a way of life

Again, thank you Island Free Press.

Christy Rager
Huntingtown, Md.

I am all about preserving the wildlife and sharing the beach. But if I have to pay to use the beach, that is no longer sharing and the closures should minimal if at all.

Indian Head, Md

Shoaling in Hatteras ferry channel continuing to cause problems

That inlet needs to be dredged and the sand put on the nearby drastically reduced island that used to be used by the birds for resting and nesting.  Those birds now are forced to use north Ocracoke beach.  We are being prohibited from using this prime recreational area for shelling, swimming, and fishing.

This needs to be done now, or yesterday.  The sand needs to be removed from the inlet, not just moved around to shoal back.

Barbara Ackley

Shipwreck salvaging is a time-honored tradition on Hatteras and Ocracoke

I'll bet the NPS would not allow it nowadays.  They say anything on federal lands belongs to them, and as far as I know, all the beaches are considered federal lands now.


Thank you for publishing Danny Couch's story of the history of wrecking on the Outer Banks. I had heard of wrecking from some of my late relatives. I love researching my Outer Banks genealogy, and learning of the heritage of our home. I have yet to meet Danny Couch but I have read many of his stories over the years, even as far back as his writing in the "Sea Chest."

Annie Gray-Clark

Problems continue to plague Hyde County’s two ABC stores, including Ocracoke

Maybe before printing this article, you should have talked to the past two general managers.  We did not do a "sorry-ass job" as Keith Parker-Lowe suggested.  We were unable to do our job effectively because of Keith Parker-Lowe.  Maybe you should have asked him who made the $50,000-plus order in late summer that could not be paid by Hyde ABC.  As far as I am concerned, Keith Parker-Lowe is the problem with Hyde County ABC.  Mr. Parker-Lowe overstepped his boundaries as chair of the ABC Board by making this huge order way before we even knew of a hurricane.  He is trying to blame everything on anyone but himself.  Mr. Parker-Lowe, when you point fingers, just remember you have three pointing back at you.

Karen Elam, Former General Manager

Outer Banks Angling: The downside of technology

Well said, Rob. It's a long fight, one that will most likely be settled in the courts.  Let’s hope cooler heads prevail.

Steve Hiller
Mason, Ohio

Mr. Alderman, like so many who now live here, is suggesting that we islanders, the group he has only recently joined, should continue to try to make the best out of what we have left. Well, we don't have much left when it comes to the beach and to make his dollars he is “selling” all of our secret spots as soon as he learns of them.

I've been watching closely for the last half century and many of the things that we (island folks) have said would never happen, have happened, such as filling in the marsh, houses all jumbled together, more charter boats than slips, restricted beach access, fishing to eat or make a living regulated to the point of near closure. You need to be rich or a piping plover to live here. And practically every visitor who decides to live here tries to save the place from people just like themselves!

I don't know what will fix this latest attempt to take Hatteras Island away from the islanders. But I'm sure that not getting angry is not the way to a solution. Not getting angry has gotten us to here. Don't be nice to people who are not concerned if you live or die in order to save a bird!


Over the years, as you well know and have expressed in this article, Hatteras Island has taken more than its share of negative press.

For 2012 and beyond to survive more losses, Hatteras Island needs now more than ever to share all of the very positive things that help make Hatteras so very special.

A business/citizen type committee needs to be formed that will help share and market a new future plan that will enhance the entire community.

Keep the welcome mat out because visito's will support any positive coastal town and your greatest asset are the people that call Hatteras Island home.

I strongly feel that eventually everyone will be surprised at just how many of your friends, customers, and tourists will return in support of your community from one end to the other.

I hear talk all around of people making plans to visit in 2012.

Be ready for them -- SMILE OFTEN!

Seriously, Rob, great well written article.

Rob Beedie
Norfolk, Va.

Commentary:  The good old days of skinny dipping on the seashore are over

My wife started coming down in 1980. She would walk on the beach wearing nothing but a beer. Haha. She said the beaches were empty back then. Good ole days are gone for good.

James Mccauley
Roanoke, Va.

We are all getting "feeced" by the NPS.  Imagine paying $90-150 to drive to the beach to skinny dip. 

Charles Peele

Bodie Island Lighthouse is set to have restoration completed and will be open for climbing

Put the massive scaffold up, take it down. Now, put it up again. How many more of my tax dollars can the NPS waste out here?


Island Cooking: Crazy Johnny Conner’s beef brisket and other fall recipes

I have been trying to find a recipe on how to fry these cornmeal things that a family in North Carolina used to fry whenever we were in town.  I still can't figure out how they did it.  It was white cornmeal mixed with milk? And whatever else?  It was dropped by spoonfuls into a hot black skillet with some kind of grease in it.  You ate them with dinner. I believe you put some butter on them.  I can't find a recipe for them, and I can't get them right when I have tried to make them.  Any idea what I am talking about?  It wasn't in the Outer Banks, but I was reading your article and thought I would ask you.  I started going to the OBX when I was 3 in 1961. 

Sandy Oswald
Burlington, Ky.

(Editor’s Note:  Island Free Press Food Columnist Lynne Foster replies:


Those “cornmeal things” are one of the South’s favorite traditional foods - hush puppies.  They are best fried in a hot oil in a deep iron skillet - the black skillet you mentioned - or in a deep fryer (especially for large amounts) and always, always served with barbecue and with fried fish.

There are numerous stories about the name, and they all focus on one or another reason to keep the dogs quiet with a toss of hush puppies -- everything from Union soldiers near a Confederate campfire to hunters’ shushing their baying hounds.

One of the captains of The Albatross Fleet, Bryan Mattingly, and his wife, Antoinette, are very fine cooks and they gave me their recipe.  They often cook for crowds of family and friends so you may have to adjust the quantity.


4 cups corn meal
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
3 onions, grated

Mix the dry ingredients. Then add milk, onion and eggs. Drop by teaspoonful into 350 degree cooking oil and cook until brown.)


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