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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One more time with Judge Boyle, soundside access, and other ORV plan info

Friday 17 February 2012 at 4:03 pm

Federal District Judge Terrence Boyle has scheduled a status conference on the consent decree that settled a lawsuit over off-road vehicle use at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for Friday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse in Raleigh.

Boyle scheduled the conference on Jan. 27 – before the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA) filed suit against the Department of Interior, the National Park Service, and the seashore to stop the final ORV management plan and special regulation.

The seashore issued its annual resource and law enforcement reports for 2011 at the end of January, and each year, Boyle, who has overseen the consent decree, has summoned the parties to his court to discuss the reports.

Past status conferences have been fairly brief, with seashore superintendent Mike Murray answering the judge’s questions about the report and the judge asking lawyers for the Southern Environmental Law Center if they were satisfied with the progress protecting nesting birds and turtles at the seashore.

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Final ORV rule will be still be effective Feb. 15 – with a few more details on fees and permits

Friday 10 February 2012 at 7:14 pm

The National Park Service said today that the final off-road vehicle regulation and management will still be effective on Wednesday, Feb. 15, despite a lawsuit that beach access groups filed yesterday to stop it.

The Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA) filed the complaint yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in an effort to stop the Park Service from implementing its plan and rule.

CHAPA is a project of the Outer Banks Preservation Association, a group dedicated to preserving and protecting the historical use of the beach on the Outer Banks and specifically the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area (CHNSRA).

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The new normal: Where we can drive and where we cannot

Monday 30 January 2012 at 5:00 pm

My son was here this past weekend to help me with cataract surgery.  On Saturday, the day after the surgery, the day was sunny and unseasonably warm, so we took a late afternoon drive on the beach.

We made our last trip by vehicle from Ramp 49 in Frisco to Cape Point.

It’s a favorite beach “tour” for many islanders and visitors.  It’s about 5 miles from Ramp 49 to Ramp 44 north of Cape Point.  As usual, we stopped along the way to get out and walk, do some shelling, watch the dolphins frolicking in the breakers and the birds that were everywhere.

We got to the Point just about sunset and watched the sun sink into the western horizon and the sky turn bright colors of pink and orange.

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