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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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FKAA (We are not alone,…): salvo jimmy There’s about 30 years of data and additional data from Lookout, since it’s a shared ne…
Billfish (We are not alone,…): Dave H, I think you’re flat-out wrong on so many levels. Fortunately, we live in a democracy. The w…
Dave H (We are not alone,…): Ever notice how AS,DOW,SELC, and the left generally cite statistics when the stats support their posi…
FKAA (Don't believe eve…): More personal attacks. Guess I win twice.
Dave H (We are not alone,…): Billfish- highly unlikely that I will thank a park ranger for their hard work. They are merely doing …
salvo jimmy (We are not alone,…): “And this years turtle nests (122) have already exceeded the record (99) prior to the Consent Decree …

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A closer look at final decisions on beach access and replacing the bridge

Thursday 30 December 2010 at 5:57 pm

I continue to be amazed and astounded that two projects that will have enormous impacts on the future of Hatteras and Ocracoke and have been mired down in discussion, negotiation, bureaucratic wrangling, and even a lawsuit took a big step forward on the same day last week.

On Monday, Dec. 20, the National Park Service issued a Record of Decision on its final draft of an environmental study that will be the basis for off-road vehicle regulation, which is expected to be in place sometime in the fall of 2011.

The park has been required to have an ORV regulation since the 1970s.  One was prepared in 1978 and sent to Washington, D.C., but, for reasons that remain unknown, it never was approved, published, or implemented – though the park has been operating more or less under those rules ever since.

Also on Monday, Dec. 20, the Federal Highway Administration signed a Record of Decision on the Bonner Bridge replacement project.  

Planning for that project began in about 1990 and has been bogged down by an outlandish number of environmental studies that mostly concerned the impact of the bridge and road improvements to Highway 12 through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

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Friends at Fox¦.WITH VIDEO

Monday 20 December 2010 at 9:10 pm

The effort to restore reasonable access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches got some national attention today -- at long last.

“Fox and Friends,” the early morning news show on the Fox News cable network, featured a segment on beach access this morning.

The segment was part of Fox’s “It’s Your Land” series of articles and was titled, “Environmentalists’ Crusade.”

John Couch, president of the Outer Banks Preservation Association, appeared live in the show’s studio in Washington, D.C., to talk about the extensive beach closures under the 2008 consent decree that settled a lawsuit against the National Park Service by Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society over what the environmental groups say were inadequate protections for nesting birds and sea turtles on seashore beaches.

Couch was interviewed by Brian Kilmeade, one of the hosts of the show.

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Christmas at Serendipity….WITH A SLIDE SHOW

Tuesday 14 December 2010 at 5:34 pm

On a cold and windy Sunday afternoon earlier this month, I leaned over the second floor balcony at the beach house known as Serendipity and watched a steady stream of excited visitors come through the door for a house tour.

They were wide-eyed and full of anticipation.  Many carried cameras, ready to capture the moment, their first glimpse inside the cottage that competes only with the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for the title of the most beloved landmark on the island.

The occasion this weekend was the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation’s holiday house tour.

The tour was the first time the public had an opportunity to see the inside of the house they had so admired from the outside.

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