June 2012 Letters To The Editor

New Letters to the Editor....06.29.2012  10:30 am

Supporters of bill to overturn ORV rule find a friend on Senate committee
I am so happy we found an unexpected friend today. I just e-mailed Sen. Manchin's office to thank him for his support and asked him to find another Democratic buddy to vote with him. Please consider thanking him too. It just takes a minute and he needs to know how important this issue is to all Americans.

Suzanne Markham
Virginia Beach, Va.

Way to go, Joe. Montani semper liberi -- mountaineers are always free. As should be the OBX beaches.

Danny Culver
Bluefield, W. Va.

Home run, Warren!The best statement I have heard and a great response to Derb's regurgitation of what has been their boilerplate. Thanks for reminding the senators that the piping plover is NOT endangered. Nothing new from Derb. I would like to have asked Derb what SELC, Audubon, or Defenders have ever done to protect wildlife or preserve the beaches at CHNSRA. The dweeb from DOI looked like all the others so far removed, uninformed, ill prepared, and stumbling to answer the questions, especially those from Sen. Manchin. Glad to have it pointed out that this is a bipartisan bill.Thanks Senators Burr and Hagan!

Mike Metzgar
Roaring Spring, Pa.

Once again, more outright lies by the SELC. How much longer do they think they can fool the mass majority? They take simple statistics and turn them completely around every time. It's good to see that some Democrats are finally realizing America does not want their National Seashore Recreational Area closed. Voters will remember too.

Kevin McCabe

Please support S 2372. The park rangers on the beach are good people trying to enforce lousy rules. Please pass the bill and allow common sense to once again prevail.
Thank you for your service to our country.

Andrew J. Male
Export, Pa.

As a lifetime North Carolina resident and life-long user of the national seashores, I am so glad to see some political backing to turn our parks back over to the people for recreational use as it was originally intended. There are few coastal areas left like this for the public to enjoy. Sensible management can be restored to these areas that allow for the protection of the wildlife as it always has been and at the same time give full and free access to everyone. Thanks for your support.

David Howell
Wilson, N.C.

Thanks for keeping us informed, Irene. I assume this is also an op/ed column. If my assumption is, in fact, correct, can you suggest how to find the Democratic senators on the committee that we should contact?

Don Cable
Powhatan, Va.

(Editor’s note:  At the end of the article on the Senate committee hearing, there is a box on more information, including a link to the Energy and Natural Resources website, through which you can contact the members.)

Please help us remove these unfair restrictions on our Hatteras Island beaches.
Thank you very much.

Frank E. Laughon
Richmond, Va.

I am incensed that outsiders who have little or no economic stake in the outcome of damaging Outer Banks jobs and incomes will, nevertheless< spend big (tax deductible?) bucks to cause negative economic dislocations by opposing S 2372. And even more incensed that the Park Service, far from considering the economic impacts and doubtful alleged environmental impacts and the original purposes of establishing the seashore park (recreation), has become an avid supporter of those who care less about the economic welfare of thousands of people and the recreational rights of additional thousands of people who visit the Outer Banks from all over the U.S. and abroad. They come to recreate, not to exist under the arbitrary thumb of the federal government.

I have read the intent of those who donated land to establish the park and I have read the executive order (EO) establishing the park. What the outsiders and the Park "Service" are doing is inconsistent with the original purposes of establishing the seashore. Neither the donors nor the original EO envisioned having a federal police department controlling the beaches, nor did they envision a process of using lawsuits to undercut their original public recreational purposes. I implore Chairman Bingaman and all the committee members -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- to support S 2372. Please make Hatteras free again.

A.B. Siebert
Scotland, Md.

Guest Column: Special interest groups are destroying Hatteras Island

I agree 100 percent with everything that this article says. I am not originally from here, but my wife is. She is from a long line, no pun intended, of commercial fisherman whose livelihood is getting flushed down the drain. Her father, brother, uncles, and cousins (even the females) have been involved in fishing their whole lives. Whether it be tending shedders, packing crabs or fish, mending nets, the whole family is helping somehow or another. This profession has totally amazed me at how close the bond is with these fisher-families. There is no other job like that -- except possibly farmers.

I come from a broken home in Richmond, Va., so I hated shows like "Leave it to Beaver" as a kid because I was like "that ain't real, nobody's family acts like that." Well, I was wrong. I'm not a tough guy by any means, but I definitely never back down from a fight and it brings a tear to my eye to see these families struggle and lose their closeness. If you want to do a great story on this, drive down Colington Road and talk to a Mr. Carson Beasley, my father- in-law. He is one of the toughest, kindest, most honorable men I've ever met in my 31 years, and  he doesn't deserve to see everything he's busted his hump for get taken away by some suits in a corner office.

Derek Gilbert
Kill Devil Hills

Thanks, Malcolm. It is the community that has been the original protector of plant and animal wildlife, not NPS. I have been visiting for 40 years and have seen that firsthand. Never lose your passion for these islands.

Sandi Jones Garrison
Scottsville, Va.


Jessie McAninch
Pittsburgh, Pa.

I spent many wonderful days on the beachess of this beautiful place. My truck, surfboard, and fishing poles were all that was needed. The memory of these days are as clear to me today as they were the first time I drove over at Ramp 23. I'm glad I have these memories, and it’s too bad my kids and their kids will never have some of their own. Will someone please take off the blinders and help us get our beaches back?

Jack Phillips
Coinjock, N.C.

Absolute best article I've read about the craziness going on here on the OBX. Wonder what Dr. Beach would say about our beaches now?

Rusty Purser

This is the most well written commentary I've read yet on the subject and every word of it rings true. Congratulations to Mr. Peele for putting it all so perfectly clear without one ounce of bitterness.

Billy Griggs
Nags Head

Well said!  Much of my ancestors' land in Kentucky was taken from them to form Mammuth Cave National Park.  Fortunately, we can still access some family cemeteries, but not all of them.  I sympathize with the residents of Hatteras.

Sarah Church
Montgomery, Ala.

Our family has been vacationing on OBX for 15-plus years. We were always able to count on the atmosphere not turning into a ripoff like the Jersey and Delaware shores but it seems greed and ignorance has found its way to the beaches of North Carolina and it will only get worse.

Michael Kovtonuk
Ridley Park, Pa.

Well said, as usual, Malcolm.  Unfortunately, mismanagement has been the rule here on Hatteras for quite a while.  Cape Hatteras National Seashore would probably have been better off as a North Carolina State Park.

Liz Browning Fox

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

Obviously the Obama administration is owned by the special interest groups. This is another proof of their unwillingness to listen to the people of this country.

Johnnie Baum

All I can see now is that the Obama administration is trying to control everything in this country and its people like a dictator with absolute power to a total economic disaster on the Outer Banks and the rest of the country.

Lynn Sherrill
Granite Falls, N.C.

The President is wrong again! Somebody needs to listen to the average citizen and open the parks of our Nation back up to the people.

Jim Dunlo
Chesapeake, Va.

Thanks for posting. It would be nice to see the whole bill to see what our Congress is up to now. I hope there are no provisions for driving on the beach.  Hatteras Island has become more of a sandbox highway, sometimes hard to navigate between tire tracks and vehicles. It’s devastating for critters depending on that terrain for survival, and they are too, a part of the food chain. 

Swansboro, N.C.

Vote this administration out of office!

Hawk Hawkins
Mechanicsville, Va.

Why do I get the feeling that if H.R. 2578 affected golf courses, that our masquerading President would push to pass it? I doubt that he even knows what the bill is about.

Steve C. Sin
Linwood, N.C.

It just makes me angry!


The administration is working, according to the release through balanced and community-based decision-making, to maximize the benefits of the outdoors for all Americans. The Department of the Interior advises that hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation alone contribute an estimated $730 billion to the economy each year. With this said, the current regulations and laws are crippling the local economy and restricting access to the beaches which feed the economy.  Please reconsider!

Surry, Va.

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

This is not a must vote on party lines, but is totally about doing what is right for once! Please vote for this bill for reasonable access, and for the people of Hatteras Island!

Lee Browning
Climax, N.C.

Thanks.  Keep up the good work!

Doug Wehner
Belle Haven, Va.

Let’s have those names of the 19 Republicans that voted against H.R. 2578!

Mark Carter
Charlotte, N.C.

Having been born here some 56years ago, I can’t beleive that the NPS has finally shown its true face. The Bible is true when talking about the dark falling angles to wreak havoc on the people of this world.

Raymond Austin

UPDATE: Redevelopment of old Coast Guard housing gets commissioners’ approval

This is great news. We stayed at a house that backed up to the old Coast Guard site, and it was just a terrible shame to have all those empty, broken houses sitting there! Renovating the site and bringing it back to life will be a terrific thing for the area -- so much better than the vacant, creepy site it is now! I hope it all goes through!

Barbara Granquist
Brick, N.J.

Night driving and beach fire restrictions go into effect

I was wondering if metal detectors are not allowed on any beaches. We were planning on bringing one on vacation.

Linda Gough
Greenbay, Va.

(Editor’s note: Metal detectors are not allowed on the seashore beaches.)

 A tribute to my brother, Stewart Couch

Well written for an ECU boy -- some stuff I didn't know.  I'm not surprised by any tale I hear about Stewart.  He could be so "off the wall" that people would not know what to think when they first met him - my San Francisco daughter-in-law experience.  He was one of a kind.  With love to you two brothers.  Danny, Thanks for writing this.     

Bobby Terrell
First Cousin
Durham, N.C.

Island Living: Rules of the road to the beach

I wish this could be printed off and be put into the packets of information that you are given when checking into cottages and also given at hotels/motels and also printed  in the free  newspapers!  Very well written!

Island Resident

Late summer and fall surfing on Hatteras

Take some shots of windsurfing at Windmill Point (next to Millers Waterfront Restaurant) usually Friday afternoons, Saturdays, and Sundays. You will catch a friendly group of locals and a few visitors enjoying the water there. Would love to see some great shots of us and the kiters also in on of the articles -- down south also at Canadian Hole.

Kathy Oppenheim
Kill Devil Hills

The cloud over Hatteras that had everyone buzzing

These pictures are incredible. Never have I see a cloud formation of this magnitude and beauty.  It is breath-taking.

Nancy Poythress
Atlanta, Ga.

State sea-level rise policy won't affect insurance rates

It is only a matter of time before we see rate increases by the private insurers despite their thinly veiled assurances to the contrary.

Abby Hancock
Barco, N.C.

Property rates at the coast have already been raised due to irresponsible building practices along the coast. Pay attention to history. More houses along the coast, especially pertaining to this new decision, why consider hopeful thoughts that the insurance industry will not have to raise rates again - when disaster strikes again. The state is responsible for voting this decision.

Swansboro, N.C

New Letters to the Editor....06.21.2012  11:45 am
UPDATE: Jones’ bill to set aside ORV plan passes in U.S. House

I have owned a home on Hatteras Island for more than 11 years and have seen a decline in my summer rentals since the access to the shore has been restricted.  Opening the seashore to more public access would be a great boost to the economy of Hatteras Island.

Buddy A. Pruden
Bracey, Va.

The current beach closures and permit requirements of Hatteras beaches are the worst government actions I have witnessed in 57 years. How NPS can justify changes of rules without adequate public input is a criminal act. Any government official, federal or state, who supports these closures will not get any local support and be voted out during the next election. I am currently not buying a fishing license or beach permit until the issue is resolved. Hatteras Island's way of life is being ruined by out-of-state groups and the federal government. Please do all you can do to prevent the closure of our beaches and way of life.

Robert Allen
Nags Head

Thank you!  I can't tell you how upset I was to hear about the half-hearted effort of the Park Service to close these areas to ORVs.  I've NEVER witnessed destructive behavior from these people, but rather seen these folks cleaning up the beach where "things" wash onshore from boaters and owners of beachfront property and hotels.  Anyway, thank you for reversing the imposing previous decision and returning the beaches to good, honest, taxpaying voters. 

Timberlake, N.C.

It is great that HR 2578 passed today’s vote. But a real shame that on a bill that was important to people's lives the elected officials could only vote with their parties. I guess it just goes to show you they just don't give a hoot about who elected them into office. 

Dave Paulick
Allentown, N.J.

I hope we are on our way back to open access to paradise and fishing the rip at dusk. Keep up the great work and thank you.

Annette Barr
Petersburg, Va.

Great! This bill is still a really long shot from passing the Senate and on to President Obama for signing. As I understand, this whole issue dates back to 1972 and an executive order issued by President Nixon. It is my understanding that executive orders can be rescinded by a president -- maybe Mitt Romney! Please correct or add to my understanding or lack thereof.

Clark Fortney
Stephenson, Va.

The people of Hatteras Island deserve a supported living and to have the best for their families.  The visitors who provide those jobs need to find a friendly tourist place.  Everyone needs to understand the effects on wildlife and do their part while still having access.

Anne Andrews
Hampton, Va.

Everyone please contact your U.S. House representative to ensure this bill gets passed by the House and then contact your U.S. senators (Richard Burr and Kay Hagan) to get it passed there. For most readers, your representative is Walter Jones, author of the bill. Call to thank him for taking action to help us. This is a critical and timely issue for our hard-working citizens. 

Mattie Lawson
Kill Devil Hills

About time! Many of my friends have been going to the OBX for years with their children, just as their fathers did with them. The wildlife has always adapted to people being in their environment. The Park Service was dead wrong and has become overbearing and too restrictive. Let’s stop them now before it's too late!

Jim Dunlo
Chesapeake, Va.

Walked to the Point today, sat, and cried a little.  Remembering the 20-plus years I used to go with family and friends and fish the Point, and enjoy the south shore.  There would be hundreds of Americans enjoying their freedom the right way, on our national seashore.  Now, no more, thanks to some special interest groups.  Pleas support HR 4094, if not for us visitors, but for the locals and all of our children.  Very sad that it has come to this.  Please keep up the fight. Thank you.

Mike Bick
Norwalk, Ohio

God bless U.S. Rep. Walter Jones.

Ron Muccie
Levittown, Pa.

Thanks. Keep up the good work!

Doug Wehner
Belle Haven, Va.

Let’s have those names of the 19 Republicans that voted against H.R. 2578!

Mark Carter
Charlotte, N.C.

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

The latest and most destructive move by the single most disappointing administration in recent history.

Todd Phillips

This is completely disheartening and comes from those who have no connection to Cape Hatteras, its people and livelihood.
I don't believe they have all their facts straight. People are fighting for the right to their livelihood, freedom to have clear access to the beaches without the Audubon Society or other bird conservation groups dictating when and for how long beaches can be open. Does the Obama Administration know that hundreds of little mammals, including fox, otter and even dogs are being maimed and killed in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore through steel traps that the conservationist have placed on the beaches to protect the bird species? Should we stand by and tolerate the obliteration of many species to protect just one? President Obama should go to Cape Hatteras and talk to the locals, shop keepers and long-time lovers of fishing and recreating on the Outer Banks so he can truly know what he or his "administration" is talking about before he publicly announces opposition to this bill. I support my President but he is way off base on this one and I am truly disappointed.

Helen Campbell
Richmond, Va.

With the state of the economy these days, I am having a really hard time with this one. Jobs are scarce enough on a good day in Hatteras, why would you further this problem? You are supposed to be "for the people," helping make for a better economy for all. You lost my vote on this one. Would have voted for you because I do not like your opponent, but your lack of understanding of economics and wanting to keep Hatteras Island’s economy and people on the endangered list -- I just won't vote at all!

Carol Williams
Tappahannock, Va.

Science-based NPS plan? Developed after a lengthy public engagement process? What? When did the government include anyone in a lengthy public engagement and actually listen to anyone? Looks as if someone got to the administration first (Audubon?) and squealed like a pig!

Mark Carter
Charlotte, N.C.

I sure am glad that this is an election year. We just need to let him know that this will be an issue for this state and if he can't carry the coast, he can't carry North Carolina.


Time to stand up fight, folks, and this means contacting first and foremost those senators on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in the Senate. Link here:
It is imperative that we all contact the senators on this committee ASAP and to further that request. I would like to plead with all of you to contact every last senator.
Chris Worthington

Guest Column: Special interest groups are destroying Hatteras Island

This brought tears to my eyes. It is well written and factual. I’m hoping the latest legislation will make it through the Senate and give you back some of your rights. Stay strong!

Sarah Foutz Collier
Free Union, Va.

Mr. Peele, thank you for your words which express so well what so many of us are feeling. This working man's "Paradise" must be saved forever. I will fight along with you. Thank you for writing those wonderful words of wisdom and insight.

Bunn, N.C.

Malcolm Peele's guest column, "Special interest groups are destroying Hatteras Island," is one of the most thoughtful, well reasoned, and well written articles that I have read on this issue. I agree 100 percent with what he says.

Tom Nance
Charlotte, N.C.

A very well-written article! I agree with it 100 percent. Not addressed is how these atrocious rules deprived the handicapped access to the oceanfront. This is the second season that we have not rented a summer cottage on Hatteras Island. Why should we, when we cannot be assured that we will have access to the oceanfront? There were years when we came down to Hatteras about three fourths of the weekends during the summer. As elevators became more imperative to our visits, those numbers decreased. But we still loved to sit at the ocean's edge, where we could actually see the sun set on the Atlantic. We have photos of pelicans spending the day with us, and even trying to get into our Jeep. Would we harm a piping plover or a turtle? Absolutely not!

So instead, we have been relegated to the strip at Virginia Beach. I've taken a walk at daybreak there, and it just is not the same. Hopefully sanity will be returned to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands’ beach access. Our tax monies pay for free access to these gems. All we want is access to what we have been paying for for years!

Jeanie Wright
Chesapeake, Va.

Future of the Frisco Pier is still uncertain

Have fished the pier for many years, including the last year of operation. Its a great pier andwell worth saving.

Ken Conklin
Carrolltown, Pa.

Monitor Marine Sanctuary's possible expansion raises suspicions

 I took several dive parties to the Monitor in the late ‘80s out of Hatteras. We had to have a NOAA observer onboard. They check to see if there were any rust marks on the wetsuits. We had to set a free-standing, bouyed line for decompression. I had to bring the boat in to retrieve the divers and drift towards the shoals until they finished their ascent  It took Gary Gentile seven years to get that "free permit."

The job of professional diver masters and dive boat operators is already a high stress job. The government is not your friend. Good luck and choose wisely next time you vote.

Tom Bibbey

Island Cooking: Adventures with yogurt and Middle Eastern spices

Lynne, can't find your fish batter recipe. Ernie told me about it in May when I was there.  Can you send it to me?

Liz Plummer
Duncansville, Pa.

(Editor’s note: The recipe for Capt. Ernie's Beer Batter includes 1 bottle or can of beer, flat and warm; 1 egg, beaten; 1 teaspoon salt, and about 2 cups flour. Mix it up and dip your fish in it.)

First piping plover nest hatches, closes Cape Point and Ramps 44 and 45

With all of these lost nests, maybe if they let the ORVs drive the beach they could find some of them.

John Dumbleton
Franklin, Pa.

UPDATE: Visitor recalls her close encounter with a shark on Avon beach

Sharks are everywhere.  They are always among us while we swim in the ocean. I am from the north.  I love swimming in the ocean.  And while I never think about sharks, I know they are there.
I vacationed in Avon back in April.  On my first day, I landed a 61/2-foot shark on the beach in front of my house in Avon.  As alarming as that seems, it's not unusual at all.   It was a total accidental catch --just as accidental as a shark attacking a human. 
Enjoy the ocean.  Use common sense, but enjoy the ocean.

Todd Long
Catasauqua, Pa.

New Letters to the Editor....06.15.2012  11:15 am
UPDATE: H.R. 4094 is headed to the House floor for a vote

Do they honestly believe they can legislate this away? Dumb as a box of hammers. Shameful!

Bob Bauer

This shoreline means a lot to me and I consider myself a responsible fisherman at OBX. Please do what you can to allow for better access as the best fishing spots have been taken away

Michael Calkin
Chesterfield, Va.

We need to band together along the whole East Coast for beach access! We have been putting up with beach closure throughout the whole Cape Cod National Seashore for many years! Beaches closed June and July -- prime time fishing lost. Fed-up!

Robert Moitoza
Staunton, Mass.

I have vacationed in North Carolina for many years and love to fish the coastline as it has some of the best fishing in the country.  I have not returned there in years since laws have been passed to restrict access to people making surf fisherman feel unwelcome.  The National Parks Service was set up to preserve areas of the country for people to enjoy not restrict its access.

Donald McCarthy
Hamden, Conn.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area was set aside for recreational purposes for the citizens of the United States by the citizens of the United States -- not as an asset of the Park Service and exclusively for special interest groups.  It should be noted that handicapped access has been made clearly impossible. 

Please restore our rights to the pursuit of happiness on this Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area as previously voted upon and approved by Congress and allow us to exercise those rights guaranteed by our fundamental governing documents.

Respectfully signed by a fellow citizen of the United States of America.

L. Alan Collins
Charlotte, N.C.

I have vacationed in the Outer Banks for the last 20 years sometimes twice a year.  It is important to me that the beach be open for off-road vehicles as I like to fish, grill, and enjoy the beach. In the past, areas were marked when birds and turtles needed protection and I and my friends respected the wildlife and the closed areas.  A happy balance should be able to be found.

John Williams
Salisbury, Md.

This bill needs to be approved!

Tom Stahr
Salisbury, Md.

Accessibility to the seashore is what has attracted us to the Outer Banks for over 30 years. Without being able to drive to the beaches, I fear that we would look elsewhere to vacation. I love the seashore and being able to drive to the water is unlike any other place as far as I am concerned. Please don’t take that away.

Karen Laughlin
Pittsburgh, Pa.

I am a dedicated liberal Democrat, but Jones has my vote this November.

John Winnicki

Okay, everyone get on the phone and e-mail to your representatives to pass bill HR 4094 and the Senate bill, S 2372. Stress how important beach access is to you and your freedom is to you, all you from our state and all the other states. Let’s go. Make your voice heard.

Pat Conley

Thank the Lord. Let's hope it gets through  the Senate. Vote Republican in the fall elections.

Trent Smith
Mooresville, N.C.

Hallelujah. Thank you everyone supporting this bill!

Horace Bell
Currituck, N.C.

You can bet Audubon and the SELC are already sneaking cash into the Democrats, pockets. Too bad all the teachers across North Carolina can't figure out that when our beaches close, so does the flow of tax dollars that pays their salaries. Watch the layoffs begin next week and thank Audubon!

Kevin McCabe

Please seriously consider passing this bill, H.R. 4094 as quickly as possible. The citizens of Dare County, specifically Hatteras Island, have suffered enough. They have demonstrated a great respect for wildlife for years without the currently imposed severe restrictions.

Holley Pearson
Hopewell, Va.

 First piping plover nest hatches, closes Cape Point and Ramps 44 and 45

Although I live in central North Carolina,  I am from and my home is coastal North Carolina. I have enjoyed recreational activities, such as fishing on Cape Point and surrounding areas, since I was a small child before the Oregon Inlet bridge was ever completed. In the mid ‘70s dad finally bought a place to live in Buxton and finally we were in fisherman’s paradise with a place to stay whenever and for life --so we then thought.

As the years progressed, we never lost the desire to fish the area when we visited Dad. Even in the dead of winter, we’d go oyster-tonging in the sound. After I was married, my wife had never seen such a place for recreational fun on the beach. In the years to follow, my daughter came to love the place and relax with such admiration for the freedom of driving on the beach, taking in what nature had provided. Ever since I can remember Hatteras Island was always promoted as "The Fisherman’s Paradise," promoting tourism -- but not now. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, my dad, brothers, and friends enjoyed many-years and many hours towing the 16-foot aluminum skiff to the Point. To us, it was not only fun of a lifetime but, it was dinner too.

In June 2002 the ol’ aluminum skiff took its last journey to the Point with dad. My brother and dad launched in the Hook on the Point, hoping to catch dinner but, shortly after leaving shore, dad had a heart attack, so my brother beached the boat. But, Dad -- Tootie as many in the area knew him -- passed away later that evening at Albemarle Hospital. From that day on, the Point has somewhat been to us sacred ground. 

All of my family continued enjoying the area with numerous spring, summer and fall visits right up until Thanksgiving – three to five days at a time, sometimes staying on the Point until sunset. And in 1937 (or there about) when all this land was donated to the National Park Service, this is exactly how the land and miles of beaches were intended to be used.  Shortly after dad passed, my wife and her family started going for a week’s stay in June and then July. However, in 2008 all nine of them were rudely run off the beach mid-week by the Park Service for what we all know today as the ill-fated, brainless decision made by a judge that has demonstrated plenty of book sense but not a single gram of common sense whatsoever. Some may even question if he even has the authority to put such restrictions or alter land use that our ancestors donated intending for it to be used without restrictions.

Since 2008, I now visit only once or twice a year because Hatteras Island just isn’t a fun place anymore. My wife’s family has not returned a single time since 2008. Over the past few years, I have continued to see the areas declining economic health. I look at Judge Boyle in many respects as a doctor who obviously has the power to alter the areas economic healing process but chooses to care not. We have always approached beach driving with respect for wildlife. However, it has become a sad day in America when a human authority figure allows a bird to become the basis for an areas economic death.

Bill Palmer
Asheboro, N,C.

Swimmer bitten by shark in shallow water in Avon

Great! We'll be there Saturday. I will catch and destroy him.

Rick Evans
North canton, Ohio

This is an amazing article, especially since I was on vacation close to Avon.

Iris LeCates
Cincinnati, Ohio

Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy is Dare Citizen of the Year

Congratulations! Mary Helen represents what a true Dare County citizen is all about. I’m very proud to have her as a friend.

Mike Martin

Wow!  What a special person.  Thank you, Mary Helen.

Barbara Ackley

Congratulations, Mary Helen!  We know you are deserving, and we don't know the half of it.

Liz Browning Fox

Hatteras village takes first step to reopen vacant medical center

I would love to know an update about this clinic and if it has reopened. I learned of this clinic in early May 2012 and wondered if anyone had made progress towards opening the clinic.  Thank you so much for your time.

Anderson, S.C.

(Editor’s note:  Efforts are still underway to recruit a physician and reopen the Hatteras Medical Center.)

The cloud over Hatteras that had everyone buzzing

Love the picture!

John Workman
Lynchburg, Va.

Coast Guard rescues sailors 30 miles off Cape Hatteras

God bless the brave men and women that make these rescues. It's nice to know someone is there when there is trouble. Thank you from one waterman to another

Eric Harmon

Senate committee supports bill that restricts sea-level rise definition
“We know why they're rising because of warmer temperatures and ice melting. This bill basically says we can't use the best scientific information to protect people along the coast of North Carolina."
Here are some scientific facts for the good professor:
Current global sea ice extent anomaly = zero
Current global air temperature anomaly = + 0.1C
Lots of warming and melting going on here. He should try actually looking at the real data instead of parroting myths so he can protect his grant programs.

Stewart Lovell
Newark, Del.

 UPDATE: Redevelopment of old Coast Guard housing gets commissioners’ approval

 It's disappointing to hear that housing that belonged to the government will be used for accommodating more tourists rather than locals.  Dare County should have tried a little harder in securing the property to turn it into low-income housing for year-round locals instead of giving more to those who only vacation here.  In this day and time, there are many families that go without and struggle with the extreme prices on Hatteras Island.  Every year businesses capitalize on making more money, increasing the prices of everything from a gallon of milk to a gallon of gasoline.  Yet we're expected to live here and work to cater to these guests and pay the same over-inflated prices year-round with no help from the state or county.  How unfortunate that once again we've let down the large majority of families who struggle to pay the high price of rent instead of trying to help with affordable housing! 

Hatteras Native
New Letters to the Editor....06.08.2012  10:30 pm

Bodie Island Lighthouse restoration resumes

I was recently told that the Bodie Island Light was not currently wrapped for restoration. I have had many conflicting reports. It is the only one of which we do not have a current picture.  Please, please let me know if it really is wrapped, as we will be there soon and again in the fall. Thanks much!

Marrion Beers
Chardon, Ohio

(Editor’s note: As the National Park Service announced in April and we reported in Island Free Press, the Bodie Island Lighthouse Lantern Room has been bubble-wrapped for restoration.  Here is a photo.)

UPDATE: CHAPA lawsuit over final ORV rule moves along – slowly

I'm never coming back to the Outer Banks until I can drive like it was when I first went in 1982. The U.S. government has let too many small-minded persons dictate who can do what
Where concerning the driving on the beaches. I used to spend a good deal of money while at the beach, but that will not happen while the new restrictions are being enforced. Also, it is killing all businesses on the Outer Banks. It seems to me there ought to be a law against that.

Charles Mullins
Salisbury, N.C.

UPDATE: H.R. 4094 is headed to the House floor for a vote

Please! Help us keep beaches open and free for everyone.

Randy Miller

Please help the visitors to the Outer Banks enjoy what made us start coming to begin with.  We do not destroy the dunes. We only drive along the beach edge.  We only want to continue to enjoy fishing and the unique opportunity to ride on the beach.

Joseph A. Riddick
Virginia Beach, Va.

The laid back atmosphere of Cape Hatteras and other previously open beaches are the reason that people visit the area.

Belmar, N.J.

Return access.

Carla Schiefer
Miami, Fla.

I always enjoyed the Outer Banks for the fishing and the open and free beaches.  Humans have rights to0. This is our world. Let us enjoy it.

Brandon Jenkins
Kill Devil Hills

Give us back our beaches, and Hatteras it livelihood. This has cost way more than the money the NPS will make on its permits. We may not have deep pockets, but we have deep hearts and roots that run way deeper than what money can buy. Give us back our beaches.

Christina Murphy
Morris, Ill.

The companion Senate measure is S2372, introduced on April 26.

Joseph Beauchamp
Richmond, Va.

I am so gratified to hear this. When you have an out of control situation, it is very hard to restore sanity. My hat is off to the many, many people who have dedicated themselves to restoring beach access. They know who they are!

Deborah Bair
Sanford, N.C.

Passage of this bill is paramount. The slow usurpation of power by the federal government is ever increasing, and it is time to halt further intrusion that debilitates local economies, such as Ocracoke and Hatteras. Closing of beaches that have been accessed by locals and fisherman for generations has definitively had an unprecedented impact on tourism and the general welfare of locals who have raised their children on these beaches. It's a tragedy to the highest degree, and these beaches were always intended to have free and open access. Protecting a species is well and good, but the economic impact far outweighs the spending of government money and the closure of pristine parts of the beaches that have and should still be enjoyed by all. To close entire sections of beach with the hopes of preserving one or two birds is ridiculous. I have talked to thousands of people concerning this matter, as well as the new charge for vehicle access. Over 95 percent are in agreement t that the government has over reached its powers and are in favor of locals in repealing these laws.

Carmen O’Neal

I have great hope that this bill will pass and the beaches will be returned to the public, not restricted for the tree-hugging extremists. Common sense will prevail.

Mark R. Binebrink
Strasburg, Va.

UPDATE: Visitor recalls her close encounter with a shark on Avon beach

I am going to Avon next week with family and friends. We spend a lot of time swimming with the kids and boogie boarding. This article was reassuring, stating that you are more likely getting struck by lightning and also that the shark was small.

Dawn Rodkey
Fayetteville, Pa.

We are visiting in one month. My 10- and 8-year-old children and I love to play in the waves. I don't like seeing these articles. We had just left when the young girl was attacked on Ocracoke last summer. Very concerning.

Paul Kelley
Snellville, Ga.

This incident of a shark bite is just another instance where a vehicle on the beach is needed.  Quick action, not walking over a dune, is required for injuries such as this.

Barbara Ackley

Please be aware that once you enter the ocean you become part of the food chain, whether on purpose or by accident.

Mark Carter
Charlotte, N.C.

This is just one more reason to vacation in Avon.  With children and older adults, a medical center is a plus when booking a rental cottage.

Debra Scalia

Ramp 27 closes to ORVs on the eve of holiday weekend

It seems as though we have forgotten that God gave us dominion over all the creatures of the earth as well as a responsibility to protect them. I find it disturbing that we have allowed the government to come between a community and their livelihood for the sake of these birds. They still have their hand out at tax time. I just hope that their will a beach for us to come to in July.

Gary Nichols
Boones Mill, Va.

A promising new clue to the fate of the Lost Colony

I recently came across an old John White print of the map. I don't know if it will help or not. I will gladly send you a picture of it.

Monica Harmon
Indianapolis, Ind.

The cloud over Hatteras that had everyone buzzing

How awesome! I do miss North Carolina.

Trisha Lane
Whitesboro, Texas

I have some pictures I took with my iPhone.  I can send along if you a link or e-mail.  Those clouds were some of the strangest I've ever seen. We were coming home from the beach near Sutton

John Caron
Millbury, Mass.

First piping plover nest hatches, closes Cape Point and Ramps 44 and 45

It is mighty funny that Ramp 27 as well as 44 and 45, along with the NPS campground in Buxton, got closed right at Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the summer season! I can see where the NPS is really showing the public that we are not welcome on Hatteras Island. Has anyone seen the plover nests out on the Point? I mean the Point is a long way from the Narrows, which was closed a while ago anyway. I wish the public organize a rally to just take 10,000 trucks or more out on all of our beaches and reclaim what our tax dollar have and are paying for.

Greg Dorn
Corapeake, N.C.

Future of the Frisco Pier is still uncertain

Good Luck to you and your family, Tod. I pray that someone will find it in their heart to help you and Frisco Pier.

North Beach, Md.

The plan to build a concrete pier on an island that is constantly shifting defies logic. Our family purchased a house in Nags Head years ago when it was a third row beach house. We sold it when it was first row, and now the structure is gone completely. When will Outer Banks residents stop ignoring science. The pier should just be torn down completely.

Arlington, Va., and Kill Devil Hills

Lobbying in Raleigh against increased ferry tolls

We travel to the Outer Banks once each year.  This always includes at least one trip from Hatteras to Ocracoke.  If a toll on this short ferry ride, it will solve one thing -- we won't need to wait in line as long.  This will certainly discourage the tourist travel to this wonderful island.  It is discouraging enough all the beach/fishing restrictions that have occurred in the past few years.  It is making your wonderful vacation land more unappealing, especially if you are driving 11-14 hours to get there.

Carol B. Jackson
Annville, Pa.

UPDATE: Dredge working in Hatteras Inlet channel; ferries are running again

Any more news on the Hatteras to Ocracoke Ferry?  Up and running normally after Beryl?

David J.
Cleveland, Ohio

(Editor’s note:  Yes, the ferries are running on their normal summer schedule with no problems.)

New Letters to the Editor....06.01.2012  5:15 pm

The cloud over Hatteras that had everyone buzzing

Boy, I would have liked to have been there to see that.  Once in a lifetime experience, I would guess.

Pat Rosesteel
Arlington, Va.

Absolutely wicked! Wish I'd been there to see it up close and personal. When I first saw it on Facebook, I, too, thought it had been Photoshopped.

M. Breeden
Virginia Beach., Va.

First piping plover nest hatches, closes Cape Point and Ramps 44 and 45

These closures are totally uncalled for. But if it was not these birds, it would be something else!

Jimmy Clay
Forest City, N.C.

Ramp 27 closes to ORVs on the eve of holiday weekend

Just who is at the top off the food chain? There’s more concern for the birds than the citizens or their livelihoods. Let's hope the bill will pass.

Ken Conner
Seaford, Del.

This absolutely makes me sick. Close another ramp, close the campground, all on a major holiday weekend. Nice going, NPS. I totally agree with Mr. Keene. Spiteful and totally unnecessary. Oh, and let's not forget the NPS effort to restrict air flight over NPS land. My heart goes out to the residents and business owners on both Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

M. Breeden
Virginia Beach, Va.

I have taken two vacations a year at Hatteras for 22 years. I come to fish and enjoy the ocean. The closing of beach access for vehicles is sad but to close also for humans to walk on is even sadder. I am going to Hatteras for two weeks at end of June. When I booked this rental, the NPS rules had not taken effect. After reading the beach closures in effect today, I would get a refund and go further down the coast, if possible. I feel bad for the residents who rely on tourism as their income because the way I see it, the NPS only wants birds to live on the island. I will contact my elected officials in Washington, D.C., to see where they stand on the Bill HR 4094.

John R. Wagner
Martinsburg, W.Va.

Maine students’ sailboat is lost and then found on Hatteras

Our granddaughter, Audrey, is in the fourth grade in Yarmouth, Maine We have been following the path of the Yarmouth Clipper and are so glad it was found! Onward to Europe, we hope!

Sue Ball
Marblehead, Mass.

If the students would like, I could redeploy their boat in the Gulf Stream off of Cape Hatteras.

Barry Peele Jr.

July 4 fireworks may be returning to Hatteras Island

Love coming to the OBX an have been coming down since 1985.  Hope you all have a good season.

Susan K. Fanning
W. Farmington, Ohio

Hyde County budget call for six-cent tax increase

"We’ve balanced the budget under unprecedented circumstances,” Hyde county manager Mazie Smith said. “We have $14.7 million in expenses and $13.9 million in income.”

How is this a "balanced" budget? It looks like expenses are greater than income even after collecting money for trash pickup but no longer providing it.

Bill Jones

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