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Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!

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Beth Midgett (Fuming over Outer…): Good editorial Irene. The article that commenter Kyle Kirk posted was also a very good read and cov…
PH (Fuming over Outer…): What they charge for gas is only wrong if the store owners get together  collude and conspire to set …
Karenmf (Fuming over Outer…): Gases prices are determined by the zip code/wealth in many areas. In Conn., prices can vary as much …
Ginny (Fuming over Outer…): Conservatives—free markets and competition. Price gouging and collusion=restraint of free markets a…
Wired In (Fuming over Outer…): If it’s so bad now, why didn’t we hear about the “gouging” when the gallon cost on Hatteras was north…
ron/avon (Fuming over Outer…): ADDITIONAL COST to the oil companies for delivering a tanker of gasoline to Hatteras Island…… 8000 ga…

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Fuming over Outer Banks gas prices

Friday 23 January 2015 at 4:50 pm

Folks have been watching the new Republican-controlled Dare County Board of Commissioners since the members were sworn in Dec. 1 to see what changes there might be after the power shift -- the first one in several decades.

And some observers find one of the board's first high-profile actions a curious one for the newly empowered Republicans.

At its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 20, the board voted unanimously to send a letter to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, written by board chairman Bob Woodard, asking him to investigate "exorbitant" gas prices in the county.

This action comes close to opposing free enterprise and even asking for some government oversight, if not control, on pricing -- not usually very Republican sentiments.  

The commissioners were spurred on by an outcry about gas prices on a Facebook page that first appeared this month -- OBX GAS 2 HIGH.

The Facebook group is protesting the fact that gas prices on the Outer Banks are higher than the North Carolina average and higher than other areas in the region. The price difference, the groups says, is because of price "gouging" in a resort area.  Some members have made posts accusing the owners of gas pumps of price-fixing, collusion and some other pretty nasty and illegal moves.

The national average price for unleaded regular gasoline in the U.S. yesterday was $2.04 per gallon.  In North Carolina, it was $2.10.  North of the bridge, prices varied, but lower prices were in the vicinity of $2.25 to $2.27 a gallon.

On Hatteras Island, some sampled prices included $2.30 in Rodanthe, $2.48 in Buxton, and $2.49 in Hatteras village. On Ocracoke, regular gas was going for $2.89 a gallon.

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A conversation with the new seashore superintendent

Friday 16 January 2015 at 3:40 pm

Dave Hallac, the new superintendent of the National Park Service's Outer Banks Group, which includes the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, says he has been busy since he started his new job the first of the year.

On the day of this interview, Hallac said he had been making phone calls to seashore stakeholders and users to introduce himself and set up meetings to hear what's on their minds. And he and his wife, Robin, registered their children in school in Nags Head.

The Hallacs have four children -- a 10-year-old and two 7-year-old twins in elementary school and a preschooler who will be in kindergarten next year.

Hallac was named to his new position on Nov. 13 and made at least one visit to the Outer Banks in early December before relocating here with his family and getting down to serious work.

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The three R's of our new year: Recreation, restoration, replacement

Friday 09 January 2015 at 5:49 pm

As we look forward into 2015, we have three R's on our mind -- recreation, restoration, and replacement.

To be more specific, we want to see some movement on three issues that have plagued us for too long.

In the area of recreation, we hope that the legislation passed last month by the U.S. Congress that will require the National Park Service to consider some changes to its off-road vehicle plan to give more reasonable public access to the seashore's beaches -- for drivers and for pedestrians.

In restoration, we look to state and federal agencies to streamline the permitting needed for Dare County to proceed with its planned 2016 restoration of the badly eroding beach in north Buxton.

And in replacement, we want to see an end to the impasse between the state Department of Transportation and environmental groups on the replacement of the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.

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