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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Come the new year, we will pay to drive on the beach

Thursday 15 December 2011 at 12:01 pm

Anyone who has followed the National Park Service’s efforts to formulate an off-road vehicle plan for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore knows that far-reaching changes to the traditional use of our beaches are coming.

They are changes that will affect the culture and the economy of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

It’s also been apparent for at least the last decade that one of the biggest of those changes will be the requirement that we buy a permit to drive on the beach.

However, these changes have always been out there somewhere on the horizon, down the road, as the rulemaking effort proceeded in stops and starts and stalls along the way.

Now we are about to reach the end of the road, and the changes are just around the corner.

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Why we need the Hatteras Island Ocean Center

Tuesday 06 December 2011 at 4:40 pm

Several weeks ago, I wrote an article about a part-time Hatteras Island resident and his plan for a fishing pier and ocean center in Hatteras village.

Eric Kaplan of Charlottesville, Va., who also has a home in Frisco, is the man with the vision for the Hatteras Island Ocean Center.

Kaplan’s idea is that the Ocean Center will be an island-wide attraction, a place where locals and visitors can go not only for the fishing but also for other forms of recreation, education, dining, and shopping.

In his description of the project, Kaplan says the Hatteras Island Ocean Center would be “much more than a replacement for the Frisco Pier,” which is in poor condition and has not been open for several years.

It will be, he says, “a place for everybody to enjoy the ocean, play, learn, and have fun.”

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Don't expect a final ORV rule from the Park Service this year

Wednesday 30 November 2011 at 1:19 pm

The National Park Service has pushed back its target date to implement a final special regulation for off-road vehicles on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore until Feb. 15.

The date has been pushed back numerous times as the Park Service, local governments, pro-access groups, islanders, and visitors try to come to terms with the contentious issue of regulating ORV use on the beaches.

The latest delay of the final rule barely caused a ripple on the Outer Banks, where folks are looking at increasingly limited use of the seashore beaches and the economic consequences that will follow.

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