The Night Sky:  Look for the Geminids meteor show in mid-December

Our columnist offers kudos to Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative for its plans to help reduce light pollution, shares a prized photo from November, and looks ahead to December's highlights, including the Geminids meteor shower. 
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Toasting and raising up Hatteras Islander Ray Gray as he recovers

On Monday night, Nov. 23, the Hatteras Island community descended on a beautifully decorated Hatteras Village Civic Center for a Masquerade Ball benefit to both toast and raise up Ray Gray of Buxton.
Now if you don’t know Ray Gray, you should.

Ray is a local legend around these parts. In addition to being a world-class surfer, he was an avid volunteer fire department member and a school teacher and principal at the Cape Hatteras Elementary School for 30 years – more, if you count all the times he came back to lend a hand after he “retired.” 
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Cape Hatteras School students give thanks for veterans....WITH SLIDE SHOW

Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies students honored Hatteras Island veterans with a special program on Friday, Nov. 13, at the school.

The day started with a special breakfast for the guests  -- about 60 Hatteras islanders who served in all branches of the military and several honored guests, who are both current and retired military members.
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Local artists have opportunity to turn shingles into art

Outer Banks artists will have a unique chance to combine their creative talents with local history in the coming year as part of a joint venture between the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) and the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station.

Artists will be able to take the shakes from the historic lifesaving station and transform them into a work of art.
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UPDATED: 'To the Point' radio interviews  focus on veterans during November....WITH AUDIO

"To the Point," the Radio Hatteras interview show hosted by Island Free Press editor Irene Nolan, focused on veterans during the month of November with interviews on two different island vets groups.

On Sunday, Nov. 15, the interview was on the Hatteras Island Wounded Warriors Vacation Project. 
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'To the Point' radio interviews  focus on veterans during November....WITH AUDIO

"To the Point,"
the Radio Hatteras interview show hosted by Island Free Press editor Irene Nolan, will focus on veterans -- especially Hatteras Island veterans -- during the month of November with interviews on two different island vets groups.

The focus comes as the country gets ready to celebrate Veteran's Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11.  
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Offshore oil industry ads promise jobs and revenue

An oil industry lobbying group is fighting back against mounting resistance in coastal communities to proposed Atlantic offshore oil and gas drilling with a multi-state advertising blitz touting the potential benefits, but environmental advocates aren’t backing down. 
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Keepers of Light Amphitheater dedicated in Buxton....WITH SLIDE SHOW

It would be hard to imagine a more fitting outcome to the saga of the storm-tossed Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stones. Remnants of the foundation at the original location on the beach of the 1870 lighthouse, 36 huge blocks of granite engraved with the names of the lighthouse keepers, now serve as natural outdoor seating in front of the relocated tower.

On an unseasonably warm and sunny morning, about 100 folks, many of them descendants of the keepers, attended a brief ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 7, formally dedicating the Keepers of the Light Amphitheater on the grounds of the Cape Hatteras Light Station in Buxton.
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Island Living:  A newcomer's guide to surviving Hatteras in the winter

The winter is actually a wonderful time to be on the islands and is filled with veritable months of fun, provided you embrace all the weird ways the islands are different. To this end, columnist Joy Crist is providing a list of all the reasons why life on Hatteras Island is truly fantastic in the winter months and how newcomers can get out and make a community connection.
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Hatteras Island Life:  Riding out the Storm

This is a story about a few of the men and women whose Hatteras Island home is a fleeting sandbar, whose lives are dictated by the wind and the water, whose resolves are unshakable. These are the men and women who have weathered the storm. 
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The Night Sky:  More meteor showers for November

Our columnist shows up some highlights from the October sky and previews sky watching for November. 
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Scientists say seismic testing needs world's attention

To put this in some kind of human frame of reference: Imagine a crowded bar and a bad rock band so loud you can’t make a pass at the girl on the bar stool next to you. Doug Nowacek, a marine ecology and bioacoustics expert at the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, is pretty sure that’s what whales and other sea creatures that rely on sound to communicate or navigate are faced with when high-decibel sound waves are used in the ocean to test for oil and natural gas. 
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The extent of seismic testing gives feds pause

Exploration for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic Ocean will cover more territory than any previous modern-day seismic testing, giving pause to environmentalists and federal regulators.

With such an expansive area of ocean floor to survey, companies currently seeking permits to conduct seismic surveys in the Atlantic will likely be working over long periods of time, raising the potential to exposing marine mammals and other aquatic life to extended periods of acoustic blasting. 
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Where eagles dare, scientists now watch...WITH VIDEO

Yangchen, a young female bald eagle, recovered from lead poisoning and now leads the life of a soaring starlet as her GPS tracker allows you to follow the flight of an eagle. 
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Pinked-out people run and walk to help Hatteras cancer patients ...WITH SLIDE SHOW

A sea of people in pink brightened up a gloomy morning in Avon on Saturday, Oct. 10, as 78 island residents and visitors ran, jogged, walked, biked, and pushed strollers in the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation's 12th annual Fun Run.

The 80 percent chance of showers forecast by the weathermen held out until later in the day, and the race was run under cloudy and breezy conditions with the temperature at about 70 degrees. 
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Study says polluted runoff is reaching Outer Banks beaches

Septic tanks and bird droppings contribute to the stew of pollutants that pour into the ocean during and after storms on the Outer Banks, but measures to remediate the toxic flow could prove to be costly and politically difficult.
A draft report on a stormwater pilot project almost a decade in the making details episodic elevated levels of bacteria from fecal contamination at Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills beaches in the vicinity of nine ocean outfalls – large pipes maintained by the state Department of Transportation. 
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El Niņo and Hurricanes

Along much of the North Carolina coast, the first week of March was ushered in by intermittent rain and fog, with a stiff, offshore breeze. But on the other side of the world, in the Pacific Ocean, the trade winds were dying. When they revived, instead of blowing east to west, their usual direction, they reversed in strong bursts.

This about-face and a confluence of other meteorological events have triggered one of the strongest El Niņos seasons since 1950. It is likely to peak in late fall and early winter before ending next spring. As a result, the Pacific has spawned eight hurricanes and 11 typhoons, while the Atlantic has experienced a quiet season. 
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A sure sign of fall on the coast

Early September has already ushered in milder weather as the cool fronts begin to drift across the country. This time of year, these pushes of northern air are usually escorted by a variety of migrating birds and butterflies fleeing south to warmer latitudes.

The movement of these animals is triggered, instinctually, by air temperature and shorter periods of day light. The day of balance is upon us, equal day and equal night, the symmetry of the autumn equinox. For those observant enough, a messenger has for weeks been spreading the word of its impending arrival.
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Ocracoke's Street names: Who are Nubbin, Ikey D, and the Poker Players?

Who is “Mark,” and why does he have a path on Ocracoke? Where’s the poker game on Poker Players Lane?

Streets in Ocracoke have sometimes quirky, sometimes obvious (Creek Road), even ho-hum names, such as North Street or Middle Road. While Ocracoke has had European settlers since the 1700s, the island got official street names only in 1999.
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