Community News

Commentary & Guest Columns 
Free speech: Christians occupy the full political spectrum

Local elections this year were relatively mild as far as political mudslinging was concerned. Sure, there were a few mailers, radio ads and, in the state Senate race, some over-the- top television commercials.

But real fireworks were noticeably absent.

Yet one word seemed to inspire a lot of conversation: Christian.

Read the commentary by Russ Lay in the Outer Banks Voice.

You didn't ask for it, but here's free advice for the new board

There’s a new sheriff in town.

Don’t panic. Doug Doughtie is still Dare County’s sheriff, returned to office by a comfortable margin on Nov. 4.

But at the Dare County Board of Commissioners, the new sheriff is the Republican Party, which wrested control of the board for only the second time this century from the Democrats.

Here’s some friendly advice for the new board from the peanut gallery. The advice is free, so take it for what it’s worth.

Read the commentary by Russ Lay in The Outer Banks Voice.

Second opinion on Nags Head nourishment would shore up public confidence

Eyeballing the beach along Nags Head’s oceanfront leads to no clear conclusions on how well the town’s 3-year-old widening project is holding up against the elements.

Looking north of the Nags Head Fishing Pier, you get a sense, particularly when the wind is brisk off the ocean, that the beach is about the same as it was in 2011, when the 10-mile, $36 million project was finished.

The view is better from Jennette’s Pier toward South Nags Head, where much more sand was pumped onto the beach from offshore.

Recent months have been especially rough on the new beach as an unusual number of days with high surf and east winds have challenged the project.

The town’s contractor, Coastal Science and Engineering, has acknowledged that as much as half of the visible beach has slid back into the surf zone. But engineers say that was part of the plan to build an underwater cushion to take the punch out of storm tides.

However, Outer Banks Voice editor Rob Morris writes in a recently posted commentary that a second opinion on the project's success would go a long way toward reassuring the public that the deal was a good one as the town goes forward.

This is a timely article as Dare County and other towns move forward with beach restoration project.

Read the Commentary in the Outer Banks Voice.

Guest Column: Evacuation Vacation 

Michael Letso writes that he is planning to come back down to Hatteras because he feels like he has some unfinished vacationing to take care of. That's because of Hurricane Arthur, the storm that came on the Fourth of July and ruined everything.

He says that "We visitors keep coming back, too, in spite of trips cancelled, evacuation vacations, or riding out storms ourselves, and this actually makes us part of the Hatteras community, with the common bond of love for all things Hatteras -- the water, the people, the peace and quiet, and storms that come and go."  
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Guest Column: Houston, we have a problem!

That short statement from astronaut John Swigert Jr. brought the 1970 Apollo 13 moon landing to an abrupt halt and caused the hundreds of brilliant minds in Mission Control and NASA support agencies to start brainstorming to come up with a time-sensitive solution to get the crew of the Apollo 13 back home again. Time was indeed of the essence.

Now time is of the essence on a very large problem for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands -- the erosion of the Hatteras spit and the widening of Hatteras Inlet. We need a solution that will include a new channel between the islands and nourishment of the south point of the Hatteras. It might take a proclamation from the governor and an Act of Congress to get it done.
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