Commentary

July 2012 Letters To The Editor

New Letters to the Editor....07.27.2012  2:30 pm

North Carolina family loses ‘dream’ boat in Pamlico Sound accident

You guys are real troopers. I’ve been in boating since '76 (three boats) and have had a few situations but nothing like yours. Nice going; seems like you always had control. Good luck in finding another boat. How about my '93, 37C Silverton? 

Bob J.
Hamilton, N.J.



Day at the Docks will be a four-day event this year

Nice to see that it will be a four-day event this year. My most obvious question would be about the pretty little banner hung by the Civic Center by Cape Hatteras Electric Corp. that is now blown into a twisted-up knot. You would think that since this event was organized "in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene," the brains behind this event would know better than to string up a banner in July for an event in September. Hurricane season -- duhhh. Next question, who will be footing the bill for the CHEC?

Butch Austin
Hatteras


Ohio man drowns off Ocracoke

Thank you for reporting this story. The man from Ohio, Seth Rosen, was my brother! I am heart-broken! My family is in shock!

Amber Rose
Woodstock, N.Y.


 Supporters of bill to overturn ORV rule find a friend on Senate committee

Sen. Manchin is one of the few unbiased, independent thinkers in Congress. He surely has the expertise and knowledge of what is appropriate to protect our natural resources. Thank you to him and the other legislators for standing up for the residents and visitors who love the Cape Hatteras National RECREATION Seashore.

Dot Green
State College, Pa.


Give the beach back to the people.  The government is out of line on this one.  Government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Edward H. Daniell
Portsmouth, Va.




Hatteras Island Real Estate:  Rising sea level

"On a barrier island, change is the only constant."

How true! The fascinating thing about the barrier islands is that they are a manifestation of a dynamic equilibrium between mainland erosion and the greater Atlantic Ocean.

No one can really predict the balance as sea levels rise, rainfall and erosion along the Eastern seaboard changes, and weather patterns may be forced east or west. A simple thing like a new inlet may even move parts of the island shores east for a while.

Love the Outer Banks as much for their transience as for their natural and man-made beauty!

Rich Hollenhorst
Silver Spring, Md.



UPDATE: Ohio mother of two died of strangulation and stab wounds


"Doughtie declined to say if Summerfield had had a history of domestic abuse."

Well, you can bet on it.

This story has grabbed me right in my guts. This poor woman could have been me, a couple years ago, if I hadn't been fortunate enough to have the Dare County police on my side and a phone in my hand when my door got kicked in and my husband came after me. I was lucky enough to run away bleeding and able to call 911. Tami Willis, Dave Saffell, Jack Scarborough and all the others who rushed to my aid did everything right, and now he's in jail for a long, long time. I'm still here, raising my kids in this beautiful place, helped by this fabulous community anytime I ask, and often without asking.

I hope they find this idiot soon, or perhaps he'll see the error of his ways and save us all the trouble. Godspeed to Ms. Lynn and blessings to her family and friends, who surely did not deserve to have to go through this, any more than mine did.

Any women out there who may be in a bad situation, hoping they can fix it, or  thinking it will get better, please take my advice. You CAN'T fix it. It WON'T get better. Get out and stay away! Go see Temple Heggie and the good ladies at Hotline. They told me some things would happen, and I didn't believe them. They were right. A protection order is only a piece of paper. It'll help you in court, but not at the moment when your door gets kicked in and the man you thought was supposed to love and protect you is standing there with a knife in his hands.

Being a single Mom is hard, but it's infinitely easier than living in fear.  I wish I could remember right now the names of everyone who helped me. The cops, the Park Service rangers, the EMT guys and gals, the docs and nurses at OBX hospital's ER, the Coasties who flew me to Norfolk, the DA's office -- allow me a moment to sing your praises. I wouldn't be here without you. Fight the good fight, gentleman and ladies, because it's not over yet. We may have “come a long way, baby,” but the injustices go on out there every day.

Amanda Dancks
Buxton


Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy is Dare Citizen of the Year

Mary Helen deserves more accolades than she will probably receive.  Your commentary did not even cover so many kindnesses, church works, children she cared about. She is just such an involved caring woman who certainly has more energy than many of us to pursue what she believes in.  I am honored to know her.

Barbara Morgan
Nags Head


New Letters to the Editor....07.19.2012  10:30 am


Former Realtor now running for Dare Board of Commissioners had broker license revoked

Allen Burrus is the only county commissioner for the Hatteras Island area! If you watch the meetings, you know Allen fights for Hatteras Island every chance he gets. Go, Allen!

Julie
Hatteras


Originally I found this on the Outer Banks Voice. The article ran with two real estate advertisements. Ironically, the owner of one of these companies is a CPA and had his license pulled for the same accounting issues with the trust account. He is popular Dare County resident, on many community boards, and has been president of the Board of Realtors. I suppose people can make mistakes and come back to do better, or the story was run with political motivations. We have dozens of folks in Dare that have lost their broker license and hold postions of responsibility. By the way, I do not know this Kevin Conner -- just commenting.

Jerry
Nags Head


Future of the Frisco Pier is still uncertain


Sell shares of stock, get a board of directors, split profit with shareholders.

Kim Deweese
Clyde, N.C.


UPDATE: Body found in Frisco may be woman missing since July 4

I live here in Ashland, Ohio, and have been following this story in our small town of Ashland. There have been such wonderful, sweet things said to describe this young woman. This is such a tragedy. Please keep the family and our community in your thoughts and prayers.

Linda Crist
Ashland, Ohio


I don't even know this woman, but my heart breaks for her, her family, and especially her children. Just don't understand why these things happen. My prayers go out to her family. 

Mary Hoefler
Waves


May she rest in peace and rise in god's glory.

Alexy
Frisco


I am heartbroken.  I thought they would find her alive.  No words can describe the loss of a mom of two.  I would love to personally be involved in the search for the person who did this!  So very sad.

Colleen Maloney
Woodridge, N.J.


So very sad.  It's a mixed blessing to have a bit of closure, but still heartbreaking for all her loved ones.  I'm very sorry.

Freve Pace
Athens, Ohio, and Buxton


Only a matter of time until he turns up. He is not smart enough to stay hidden for too long.

Kevin Klier
Ashland, Ohio


Sad, very sad!

Allen
Stephens City, Va.


UPDATE: Body found in Frisco is missing Ohio mother

While I'm glad someone found Ms. Jackenheimer, my heart goes out to her family and children. You all are in my prayers.

M. Breeden
Virginia Beach, Va.

Take him to the electric chair and prayers go to the family of the kids who have lost their mother.

Michael  Mink
Mansfield, Ohio


UPDATE: Ohio mother of two died of strangulation and stab wounds

As a long-time vacationer to Hatteras, and as a mother to a 6-year-old, I am incredibly saddened by this story. My prayers go out to Lynn's family and friends during this tragedy.

Abbey Scott
West Chester, Pa.


North Carolina family loses dream boat in Pamlico Sound accident

Very sad! But I can't believe the man in question even thought about moving that boat without the proper insurance.

Dick Dehoff
Hanover, Pa.


Wow.  What a lemon.  Too bad.

Sue
Spout Springs, Va.


This is my boss. I love her. She is amazing -- beyond amazing -- and it saddens me to see their dreams sink like this. I am very happy they are all okay. We love you, Diane! Hurry home!

Brooke Collins
Jacksonville, N.C.


Supporters of bill to overturn ORV rule find a friend on Senate committee

I have surf fished and cared for this beach for 40 years. I belong to an all-women's surf-fishing team and long for the day when we, "the people," will have our beach given back to us. NPS, you should be ashamed!

Pat Calvert
A 70-year-old surf-fisher woman
Newport News, Va.


As a regular annual visitor since 1967 and as a future resident of the great Outer Banks of North Carolina, I applaud Sen. Joe Manchin on his ability to embrace the rights of those who understand what beach access truly means.  Not only those who enjoy access to the shoreline by ORV, but the local economy this access supports is being threatened by over anxious and obnoxious groups that apparently don't understand that beach access and wildlife can survive together.  Instead of trying to over-regulate access to the shoreline, provide better training and understanding of the needs of the wildlife through education to those who choose to utilize their freedom to enjoy the Outer Banks as it has been enjoyed for nearly 100 years.  

Bruce Bouch
Westminster, Md.


I have recently returned from probably my last vacation to the Outer Banks on Hatteras Island. I have been going to the Outer Banks for as long as I can remember. To me, it’s a place of serenity and calm. It’s where I got to know my wife and we went on our first vacations together. It’s one of the first places I learned how to drive. When I was really young, my dad would put me in his lap on the beach to drive in the sand.  We took our children on their first vacations to the Outer Banks and Hatteras Island. It has been a part of my life as well as a part of my families. I have spent numerous trips camping and fishing on the island and had planned on spending future vacations with my kids doing some of those very things.

I have never seen so many man-made signs and ribbons along the road, along the beaches, and along the dunes. It seems that when you have to walk to access the beach there are no parking signs along the roads.  If ORV ramps are open, there is only limited driving in one direction, only to funnel people to areas of overcrowding.  There are also rampant break-ins. The off-road permits that are being paid for are being stolen by people either not wanting to pay or trying to resell them to tourists due to loss of income. We decided to ride to campground at the lighthouse in Buxton and when we arrived I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the week after July 4 and there were only four campsites being used.  Out of 202, only four! We saw more deer than we did campers at this campground. Maybe this is what they are trying to accomplish but it does not help the local economy that is being crippled by the selfish acts of the private interest groups.

To see the devastation that is being caused by the Park Service and the private interest groups is heartbreaking. It seems their purpose is to rescue the wildlife and scenic beauty from the very people who are going there to enjoy it. When no one comes to enjoy it, what’s next? I fear that this is only being done to drive out the population only to return in 10 to15 years and see hotels and condos that will, in turn, help the people responsible line their pockets at the expense of generations being destroyed. I have not nearly done enough to voice my opinion on this matter, but after this past week, I don’t think that I can remain silent any longer. They have taken away a thriving, down-home, and  family-friendly fishing village and turned it into a sad and desolate place that I can only hope comes to find itself again before it is too far lost.

Jeff Showalter
Mechanicsville, Va.


 Island Living: The trouble with the term ‘environmentalist’

Joy, Such good common sense you make with your comments. Thank You

Jim Clark
Knotts Island, N.C.


New book details a horrific chapter in World War II history that unfolded off the North Carolina coast

I had the opportunity to read this book, “War Zone: World War II Off the North Carolina Coast” by Kevin P. Duffus, while on vacation and I can tell you it is a great read for those of you interested in our local history.

I originally bought it after I found out the story of the naming of our street (Empire Gem). Strongly recommend it!

Eddie Fort
Hatteras


Seashore superintendent Mike Murray announces he will retire July 31

For as long as I can remember, my parents would bring us to the OBX each summer. Now that
I have a family of my own, I am continuing this tradition. In many ways, the OBX feels like a home away from home. We long to come back each year. We love and respect this place for its natural beauty, remoteness and charm.

Over the years, we’ve gone from one-week vacations,to two-week stays. Last year, we made a third trip back, spending Thanksgiving weekend at the OBX. In recent years, we’ve enjoyed riding on the beaches. This has brought new-found enjoyment to a place already near and dear to our hearts.

We knew the rules changed this year, and that for the first time (in our memory), beach access for vehicles would require a permit. On Sunday, July 8, I purchased a one-week beach access permit and proceeded to the Cape Point Campground to attempt to go to the beaches on the south side of the Cape.

(Note: After paying the $50 fee for a week long permit, I was not given any printout indicating which beach access routes were open and which were closed.)

At the back of the campground there is a sand road that leads to the south side beach and this is where we went -- our car (Nissan Pathfinder) and our friends’ vehicle (minivan). The plan was for them to follow us and I would shuttle the two cars full of people out to the beach where we could enjoy the afternoon.

We went directly from the permit office to the back of the campground to the sand path I knew would take us to the south Cape beaches. I noticed there were two signs which said “no beach access” or something to that effect, but these signs were pushed to the side of the dirt path and the cable blocking the path was on the ground.

As far as I could tell, this being my very first experience with the signage, this was an indication that the path was open (with the signs pushed to either side of the road and the cable which could have been used to block the path down on the ground).

As I drove on the path, we passed a possible entrance to the beach that was clearly blocked
(i.e., there was a cable UP blocking the path and the signage markers were right in the middle of the path). We continued our drive looking for an open way to the beach. We passed at least one, maybe two, other such closed paths as we continued on the sand road, which I could tell was now leading us to the north side of the Cape, although the drive was a bit disorienting.

Finally, the path we were on ended with a cable across the road and two “do not enter” sign markers in the middle of the path. Immediately through this blockage was a paved road. We made a poor decision here, but not a malicious one. We thought that rather than drive all the way back to find this paved road, which led to access area 44, we would drop the cable, move the signs blocking the road, drive the truck onto the pavement then return the closed road to its original state (i.e. cable up, signs back to the middle of the path). We did this then proceeded to the beach. Upon entering the beach and clearing the dunes, we could see that we were, in fact, on the north side of the Cape and that we were in an area with no vehicles. We stayed in the already existing tire markings and turned around. We were on the beach but minutes, just long enough to safely turn the vehicle around and return following the same tracks that were already there.

We left the beach at the same spot we entered, access area 44, and followed the paved road.
We passed the dirt path that we entered, continuing on the paved road, hoping to find our way to the allowable beach access area. This paved road ended just as the sand road did, in a clearly marked roadblock (i.e. cable UP across the road with signs in the middle further blocking the
passage).

Once again, we dropped the cable, moved the signs, drove the Pathfinder into the intersection, returned the cable to its upright position then reset the signs.

We continued on this new paved road which eventually led us to beach access point 43. This was clearly open access to the beach. I drove out on the beach, dropping off my wife, my two kids and a family friend, then returned to get my friend and his family waiting in the other car.

I returned following all the open paved roads. Upon reaching my friend, he told me that the police were looking for me so I stayed with him until they arrived (approximately five to 10 minutes later).

The officer told me that I violated the beach access areas and asked why I did that. I explained that we were trying to get to the south beach area of the Cape and that this was the only area I knew to access that spot and that it looked open. He asked if I saw the signs indicating that the path was closed. I said “yes,” but that they were pushed to either side of the road and that the cable was already down, so I assumed that this indicated the path was open. He asked if I dropped the cable and I said “no,” that it was “already down”. I then proceeded to explain to him exactly what happened, just as I have done here.

I apologized sincerely and asked him to consider that we had no intention of violating the accessible areas of the beach, but that the marking on this entrance were not at all clear.

We waited approximately 20 to 30 minutes before being asked to exit the vehicle and sit on the bumper. I was given a $150 fine for violating the terms of the permit, my permit was taken from
Me, and I was told that I would not be allowed to get another permit until next year.

Throughout the ordeal, I spoke most respectfully to the officers and assured them of my sincerest apologies.

What I find most troubling though is that my wife cannot drive on the beach now either, not unless she uses a different car. That makes no sense to me. Even if someone committed a serious felony with their car (like drunken driving), their spouse is not punished by losing privileges to drive that car. Frankly, given the circumstances, I don’t believe even my privileges should have been revoked beyond the term of the permit. It seems these officers acted as judge, jury and executioner here and not just to me, but to my wife as well.

My hope in writing this letter is as follows:

1. Make you aware of the facts of this case.

2. Appeal for a reprieve to this sentence, a beach access death sentence not just for me, but for my wife as well.

3. Suggest that all beach access areas be clearly marked (i.e. the cables should be UP and the sign markers should be in the middle of the path, not pushed to the sides of the road).

4. Suggest that paperwork be handed to drivers immediately following the seven-minute video, which would show a map of the Cape Hatteras beach access areas and give instructions (both in the video and on the paperwork) as to what to look for to determine if a path is accessible or not (i.e. cable up and markers in the path).

I sincerely hope that something can be done about this case. We have another beach trip planned for the last week of August this year with a different family that we’ve introduced to the Outer Banks. The treatment we’ve received in this case is very disheartening. Unless we are permitted to drive on the beaches, we will not be coming back for Thanksgiving weekend this year.

If ordeals such as ours are not corrected, then people’s experiences at the Outer Banks will be tainted as ours was this year. We hope that does not happen. We hope that common sense will prevail here and that this unfortunate incident can be put behind us and that beach access improvements can be made.

We want so much to continue to come to the Outer Banks. Please help make the OBX experience as positive as it use to be.

Thanks for your consideration and help.

Ty Roach
Germantown, Md.



Grateful to those who entertained wounded warriors

I’m happy to report Hatteras Island opened her arms once again this week for two wounded warriors and their wives.  They had a great time and where thankful to everyone that made their visit so nice. The week was packed with fishing, sightseeing, flying, and eating. They were still talking about the unreal dinner they had at The Inn on Pamlico Sound and the seafood dinner at Dirty Dick’s as they departed. Thanks, guys! They also had a wonderful time at the Froggy Dog for open-mic night hanging out with the local crowd. Anyway, thank you to everyone who helped make their visit so special. You know who you are, and we thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity. We will have another family in August if anyone would like to help. These young men almost gave their life for what you believe in. Bless them.

Kevin McCabe
Hatteras Island Wounded Warrior Program
Buxton



Thanks to IFP

Glad to have a way to get local updates. Thanks!

Sharon Stutzman
Currituck





New Letters to the Editor....07.13.2012  1:00 pm
Former Realtor now running for Dare Board of Commissioners had broker license revoked

Sounds more like Kevin Con-man. Good luck going against Allen Burrus on Hatteras Island, big boy. Allen's forgotten more about Hatteras Island and Dare County politics than you'll ever know.

Billy Griggs
Nags Head


Glad to have the information. Keeps the "slippery dudes" in the public eye, not in the background coasting by.

Native Son
Manteo

 
And Allen Burrus used the county credit card to pay his taxes. So what's the point?

Czarina
Kill Devil Hills

(Editor’s note:  In a well publicized incident about five years ago, Allen Burrus says he made an honest mistake and used the wrong credit card to pay property taxes.  The error was immediately called to his attention, and the next day, he paid his tax bill with a personal check.)


UPDATE: Jones’ bill to set aside ORV plan passes in U.S. House


Every year I spend as much as $4.000 dollars to come to Hatteras with my family for a week of beach fishing and fun, If we can’t get on the ramps with our vehicles this August when we come down there, this will be the last year I come to Hatteras! We have all been talking and have plans for other vacation spots .I would hate to end this tradition that we have, but it is what it is. It’s plain silly to corrupt an island economy over birds. Where do we fall on the food chain?

Daniel Booth
Disputanta, Va.

Well, well, well, I have seen and heard it all now. I have lived in North Carolina my whole life. I started visiting the OBX six to seven years ago and fell in love with it immediately. In July 2012, my whole family, traveling in three vehicles, were excited about enjoying the July 4 and riding on the beach. Much to my disappointment, upon arrival in Avon, I was told that we could not drive out on the beach unless we took the course, which consisted of watching a video, filling out numerous forms, and paying $50. Per vehicle? Really?

Oh my, what has North Carolina come to? I thought the OBX was the most wonderful place to go on vacation, and, don't get me wrong, I will continue to visit, but I refuse to pay you $50 to drive out on the beach for my one-week visit.

I feel so bad for all these locals who have lived there their whole lives and now have been told, you will have to pay $120 a year. What a huge disappointment, and if this was the decision of a judge, shame on you! Locals, remember when voting comes up, remember who has implemented this crazy law.

Susan Lewis
Maiden, N.C.

My wife and I travel to the Outer Banks every year and drive out on the beach just about every time and absolutely love it. We were there for the week of July 4, and I have never seen this beautiful place so quiet. I’ve never seen so many people with 4-wheel drive parked on side of road (note that this can cause major traffic accidents and issues). It just didn’t seem the same down there. There was alot of shops closed down, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum was absolutely dead there. My cousin works there, and if this bill is refused, this can do major damage to the residents and businesses of the island.

We the people who enjoy this island respect its wildlife and surrounds and every one of us is respectful for the fenced closure for birds and turtle.

Jason Holden
Staunton, Va.


Guest Column: Special interest groups are destroying Hatteras Island

You are on spot on, Mal. I give Ocracoke 10 years to become the next Portsmouth Island. Agenda 21. It’s real.

Yurre
Chapel Hill, N.C.



This article is superb and so true.  I have been coming to Hatteras Island for 40 years and have had property here for 30 years and have never seen anything like what is happening to our beautiful island. The Park Service is nothing more than a "Power Center."  Full steam ahead!

Peg Goodeayr
Browntown, Va.


I feel terrible that the island suffers from the same bureaucracy that the cities and other beautiful places suffer. The permanent hand and control of our government is slowly but surely taking away our rights, our land and our freedom and there is no stopping here. The government is an oversized bully that knows no one attack them due to the fear factor they demonstrate. Shame on our politicians, yes, the ones we elect and put in office. They strike deals and become the elite once they have a taste of stardom and power. Vote ‘em all out, but half the people in America aren't paying attention. They are too busy with there head in the sand if it doesn't affect them!

Nery Ragno
Ringoes, N.J.



Security exercise at Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry

Security exercise at Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry? I guess they're afraid of someone blowing up a bird.

M. Breeden
Virginia Beach, Va.


Independence Day 2012 on Hatteras Island

For the 23rd year we had a great time over the 4th in Avon.  So glad that the fireworks were back.  They were Great.

Jeff McLhinney
Boardman, Ohio



Independence Day on Ocracoke

What a fun day in Ocracoke on Independence Day! I was a first-time visitor to the island, and all the planned activities made for a fun and festive way to spend the day celebrating our country's birthday! It helped having Island Free Press reporter Connie Leinbach as our host for the week!

Corrine
Fleetwood, Pa.


UPDATE: Obama administration weighs in against bills passed in the House, including H.R. 4094

Obama has officially lost my vote.

John, Aker
Charlottesville, Va.


Intensely private Griffith was one of Dare’s own


This was a very nice article.  I appreciated reading about Mr. Green's and Andy Griffith's great friendship.  I happen to be blessed one night at The Lost Colony to have sat with Mr. Griffith and Mr. Green, his partner at The Christmas House.  It was a great night.  I also appreciated Andy Griffith for loving Mangrove, N.C. and the whole Outer Banks.  He was a very special person even if he chose privacy while on the island.  God Bless you, Mr. Green, for being such a close friend not only to Andy but to all the theatrical programs which took place on the Outer Banks.  And to you, Mrs. Cindi Griffith, Andy will be patiently waiting for you on the bench at heaven’s gate.  

Deborah Manning-Martin, RN
Jackson, N.C.


UPDATE: Update on bird and turtle nesting at the seashore


 And this is it? This is why we're compromising our culture, our economy, our lives? At the risk of restating the obvious, this is a mighty mediocre yield for the oppressive regulation and $4 million added annual cost of the "final rule."

In "best science" terms: the cost/benefit ratio is exorbitant!

Fred Westervelt
Ocracoke
 
My family and friends have visited and vacationed on Ocracoke Island for 28 years. My children learned an appreciation for wildlife and the sea. We lived in balance. Now our civil rights are being violated. It is a crime what the environmentalists and National Park Service have done to the island. The environmentalists are two-faced wolves who would deny children access to the wonders of the island.
 
The policy of managing feral cats by neutering them and feeding them is an abomination. What is happening to the plovers? The chicks are being consumed by the cats. Eliminate the cats as they do in populated areas.
 
No cats, plenty of plovers and open beaches.

Mike
Richmond, Va.


New Letters to the Editor....07.06.2012  4:00 pm

Supporters of bill to overturn ORV rule find a friend on Senate committee

Thanks to our representatives who are trying so hard to give the park back to the people. Shame on those who are letting the special interest groups run all over them -- and us).I saw a lot of lies from the Southern Environmental Law Center, especially the one about "this will inhibit public input." The public input so far has been totally ignored anyway. Our park personnel are, for the most part, good people with a bad leadership. Change that and maybe Audubon and Friends will be looked into more closely by the federal government. Take away their tax exempt status and see what happens.

Johnnie Baum
Buxton

Paying a $120 toll to drive on a public road would be just plain wrong. What's even worse is this: Say you do pay the toll and after paying the toll, you are told that you can only drive on 15 of the 65 miles of road because it's designated as a wildlife/animal or people crossing.

I'm sure that this would cause you to avoid that road in the future.

If this is what the current legislation is purposed to do, it's working.

The few ruling over the many is all wrong in my opinion. It's come to the point that I don't know what to expect when I visit to fish and vacation there. I guess it's a matter of the few who get together use the $120 toll fees to buy control over a public beach. Even better they get to change the rules anytime they want.

Their (the few) birds and turtles have become much more important to them then the human race. Looks to me like it's hurray for critters and to hell with people.

I hope this bill to overturn these current rules passes the Senate soon, so things can get back to normal in Hatteras and Ocracoke – the sooner, the better.

William S. Behrens
Norfolk, Va.


It's really wonderful that folks outside of OBX are finally getting the word.  The only problem I see is that Judge Boyle still has his slimy fingers in the pie, planning to keep hold of the access situation out here in spite of what Congress does.  Anyone have any idea how to get him off the case?

Dagobx
Buxton


I grew up in the Virginia Beach area, and I can remember going to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands in my youth and after service in the USAF. My family and I have been there so many times I can't count it.

I have photos of my grandfather, my dad, and I at the Wright Brothers Memorial when I was very young. By the way, I'm 67 years young, bought a Jeep Wrangler in 1995, and have had the joy of taking my family, or just myself and my yellow Lab, Pooh Bear, driving the beach, fishing, camping Every time I have gone, I said a prayer as I left the islands, "Dear Lord, please don't ever let anybody stop the joy of visiting these islands as I have. Please allow my grandchildren to see it as I've seen it."

I've followed the battles that have taken place over the years. The NCBBA has done a fantastic job of helping to police the beaches as well as keep them clean, not the government. Each time I would go, I would make sure that nobody was driving their 4-by-4 in any area not designated and would call the authorities if the person would not comply.  However, power and control seem to be the issue as I see it, not the turtles and birds.

I'm a West Virginia Independent, but I have observed Sen. Joe Manchin very close, both as governor and now as a Senator, and although we might disagree on some things, he has shown a real independent spirit. If all Republicans and sane Democrats would do as Joe Manchin has done, we could get a lot done in D.C.  I will thank Sen. Manchin for his help for "my" islands, too.

I was not aware of this particular situation, but I am very proud of him and hope some other Democrats on the committee will join him as the Outer Banks, that I have always known, is being destroyed by people who don't give a hoot about the islanders or the treasure that the islands have.  God bless you in your fight for sanity.

Jim Sandefur III
Bunker Hill, W.Va.


 I think that the state of North Carolina should have the say-so over this matter. The birds hatch in early spring. In summer months, they are usually gone by then. They don't nest in the area where you would drive at on the beach. Just got back from a fishing trip to Hatteras and looked to see if I could see any birds nesting. I did not see any.

Allen  Morrison
Prince George, Va.


This is very hopeful news! I have contacted my senator and pray that we win this very, very important battle.

Kathleen B. Murtaugh
Newbury, Ohio


I used to come to the Outer Banks every year to fish and drive on the beach. With the closing of the points, there is no point in coming because the fishing is no longer worth the trip. The birds will be there even if people are fishing the points. We no longer make this trip, even though we love the island. If the rules were overturned, it would bring back a lot of business to the locals who live there, including myself.

Mike Schultz
Fairview, N.C.



Update on bird and turtle nesting at the seashore
 
And this is it? This is why we're compromising our culture, our economy, our lives? At the risk of restating the obvious, this is a mighty mediocre yield for the oppressive regulation and $4 million added annual cost of the "final rule."

In "best science" terms: the cost/benefit ratio is exorbitant!

Fred Westervelt
Ocracoke



Guest Column: Special interest groups are destroying Hatteras Island
 
I feel terrible that the island suffers from the same bureaucracy that the cities and other beautiful places suffer. The permanent hand and control of our government are slowly but surely taking away our rights, our land, and our freedom, and there is no stopping here. The government is an oversized bully that knows no one attacks them due to the fear factor. Sahme on our politicians -- yes, the ones we elect and put in office. They strike deals and become the elite once they get a taste of stardom and power. Vote ‘em all out, but half the people in America aren't paying attention. They are too busy with their head in the sand if it doesn't affect them!

Nery Ragno
Ringoes, N.J.



DOT plans a permanent bridge at Pea Island, but long-term fix for Rodanthe not decided

Smart move! Then don't build the dune back up. Leave a stretch about a mile long as a spillway -- low, two feet above sea level, or even less, or even a waterway 2-4 feet deep and a hundred yards wide. If it fills in naturally, no problem. Now do the same thing at Rodanthe, maybe even one at Avon. This may not solve the beachside erosion, but it will certainly help relieve the soundside flooding from hurricanes such as Irene. People from Currituck south will appreciate this.

Prince of Peeps
Kill Devil Hills


$100 million for another bridge for and area that will be underwater in 20-30 years? When is enough enough?

Ron
Jacksonville, N.C.


UPDATE: Plans for the Hatteras Island Ocean Center moving forward


Your economy is crashing because decisions like this pier were made in the past.

This is great because Virginia Beach, Daytona Beach, Ocean City, and Miami Beach, are too far for me to drive. Now I can get all that garbage in Hatteras village!  Through 40 years of watching the island change, you folks have not learned anything. Your island is not the mainland. The Gingerbread House and Quarterdeck are business models to be followed if you want to sustain your island economy. Keep up the short term thinking - and you will get just what you deserve. You are being bamboozled. Just so that you may see, my family has spent money at the above mentioned restaurants, as well as The Hatterasman, Sonny's, the reopened Channel Bass, the Dancing Turtle, the and village fire department fish fry. We used two marinas, found Steve at the Pelican's Roost (again), bought the saltwater license, tackle, bait (a lot). We paid rents and shopped at The Red & and White, and The Frisco Market, and eaten snowballs -- too much money to detail -- and have done it for 40 years. Yes, we bought things from the shops and drove on what beach we could. Wake up. I am your market.

Clark Bury
Avon, Ohio




Hatteras Island Real Estate: Rising sea level
 
Thanks to Tom Hranicka for his thoughts and comments. I generally agree with them. However, it might be that wind and wave motion has even more of a contribution to the way the barrier islands are changing. It is generally observed, and I am sure Stan Riggs would agree, that the island is moving to the west. On Hatteras Island we can see it move on any day where the sand is being blown over Highway 12. This is a constant tendency, for the sand to move east to west, to erode the oceanside and fill the soundside. If we did not have the clear delineation of Highway 12 and oceanfront houses, perhaps we would not notice it as much, but it constantly moves and has done so for centuries. Severe storms accelerate and alter the process somewhat, by creating some inlets and filling others, but really, I think the wind and wave action that moves the sand has more of an impact on the island than a rise in sea level, though that will, over time have a compounding effect to steal away the land on both
the ocean beach and the sound shore.
 
Stan Riggs presented a lecture in Rodanthe several years ago. He started by effectively setting aside the entire question of sea level rise. At that time there was perhaps more of a debate concerning rising sea level and the causes of that, and he just did not want to get hung up on that question. Without addressing sea level rise at all, the crux of his talk concerned island movement, prevailing winds, hot spots where future inlets were planned by Mother Nature, and a general presentation of past geologic evidence to back it all up -- the island is in motion frm east to west. I don't even think that the word "erosion" is a good one to use because it has more of a real estate connotation, i.e. a loss of property. This is certainly the case, especially if you happen to own a beachfront house in north Rodanthe, and it is unfortunate to see one's real estate disappear, but that is the way of the island. The real and continuing force is the shifting land, and all planning should regard that as an even greater force than sea level rise. At least for now.

Steve Pollock
Rockville, Md.



Intensely private Griffith was one of Dare’s own

Just as the Outer Banks will always be one of my favorite places, Andy will always be one of my favorite actors.  Rest in peace, Andy.

Charlotte Woody
Prescott, Ark.


Independence Day 2012 on Hatteras Island

You folks at the Island Free Press had a lot of ground to cover on the 4th, and you did well! Donny's photos turned out great, as did the first annual golf cart parade in Hatteras and the fireworks display in Avon. We had the privilege of watching them from the balcony at Spa Koru's Beach Klub while listening to the live concert. How beautiful to watch an almost full moon rise at the same time. To everyone who contributed to a perfect 4th, thank you!

Liz Browning Fox
Buxton


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