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Shooting The Breeze

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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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J. Albrecht (The Rules of the …): This is going to be a horrible disaster!
Devidog (Are There More Ri…): Last parting gift concerning the recently departed Redfin/Billfish/Pussycat, promise! In yet anothe…
Salvo Jimmy (The Rules of the …): The enforcement of not allowing golf carts to cross NC 12 will be interesting to watch. For decades …
bbc (The Rules of the …): with the way visitors and locals alike speed through buxton both on 12 and the back road, this is a …
Steve (Could pathways, t…): Yes Hondo7, the outer banks do end at the bridge. Then begins the barrier island system. After all w…
NRO asking for a … (Could pathways, t…): Will the pathway make it up to the community center?

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The Island Community Gives Back

Saturday 22 September 2018 at 5:59 pm

Hatteras and Ocracoke islands were gratefully spared the bulk of Hurricane Florence – a fact that was lost on no one in the community. Even the Dare County Board of Commissioners focused on the sheer luck that moved Florence away from a direct hit to the Outer Banks at their Monday meeting, with Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson commenting that the line between minimal damage and devastation was “a matter of 50 miles to the right.”

But because this is a community that is all too familiar with the destruction and months of rebuilding that a storm can cause, islanders from Rodanthe to Ocracoke turned their attention inland. The Down East region was hit hard by Florence, and it did not take long for grassroots and more organized support efforts to start popping up in abundance.

On the Sunday following Florence, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative sent four volunteer linemen to Carteret County to help with the roughly 30,000 folks who were still without power after the storm, while organizations like the North Carolina Fisheries Association asked for both information on damage and assistance in providing help and supplies to those affected. CHSS Foods and Nutrition Teacher Evan Ferguson and her class prepared comfort food to send along to East Carteret County High School, while the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men – a longtime resource for islanders after a storm – started planning a large relief effort, asking for both volunteers and funds. Local businesses like the Cape Hatteras Motel started fundraising campaigns as well, asking visitors staying at the motel to bring along a non-perishable item or two for folks in need.

Hatteras and Ocracoke islands were gratefully spared the bulk of Hurricane Florence – a fact that was lost on no one in the community. Even the Dare County Board of Commissioners focused on the sheer luck that moved Florence away from a direct hit to the Outer Banks at their Monday meeting, with Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson commenting that the line between minimal damage and devastation was “a matter of 50 miles to the right.”

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Reviving the Commission for Working Watermen in Dare County

Friday 07 September 2018 at 10:08 pm

By JOY CRIST

Editor's Note:  The Commission for Working Watermen reorganization meeting scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, 2018 is cancelled due to the possibility of bad weather associated with Hurricane Florence.

On Thursday, September 13, a meeting will be held at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center at 7 p.m. to discuss the reorganization the Dare County Commission for Working Watermen.

Open to the public, (and especially commercial fishermen with new voices to add to the conversation), the meeting is the first step in reviving a commission that has been quietly overlooked for years.

This new interest in jump-starting the commission began with Susan West.

West, a journalistand researcher with a particular focus on commercial fishing communities, was fresh off a project for North Carolina Sea Grant, where she interviewed and talked with commercial fishermen, community leaders, and elected officials from Colington to southern Brunswick County. (A fantastic article by West about the project, which was called Next Generation Coastal Communities, can be found online here: https://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/coastwatch/previous-issues/2018-2/spring-2018/charting-the-course/.)

During her extensive research, West uncovered a few themes that directed her focus to the Commission for Working Watermen – a commission that she actually used to cover regularly for, (you guessed it), Irene Nolan and the Island Free Press.

“[The commission] has been at the back of my mind for the last couple of years,” she said. “What happened to the commission? Why haven’t they met?”

“During [the project], I interviewed a lot of community leaders and elected officials, and something I heard over and over again from elected officials is that they often don’t hear about issues or problems until fishermen have been working on them for months, if not years.”

“This is a great way for the county to be more proactive in working on ideas to sustain the fishing industry in North Carolina well into the future,” she added. “The county does a great job supporting commercial fishermen on local issues, but a more proactive approach really would be valuable at this time.”

After talking with Hatteras Island County Commissioner Danny Couch, West spoke during the public comments section of the August 20 Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting in regards to revisiting the Commission for Working Watermen.

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The Rules of the Road for Golf Carts, and What’s Happening Now, Part II

Friday 24 August 2018 at 6:24 pm

By JOY CRIST

On August 20, the Dare County Board of Commissioners (BOC) unanimously voted to allow golf carts in Buxton on a number of side streets that curl around the borders of N.C. Highway 12, and where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.

Allowing golf carts in Buxton has been a controversial issue since it was first presented to the BOC in 2011, and there are locals on both sides of the fence when it comes to whether golf carts will help or hurt the village.

Per the resolution, golf carts may now be operated in Buxton Village on the following streets where the speed limit is 35 mph or less: Old Lighthouse Road; Cape Point Way, Diamond Shoals Drive, Buxton Back Road, Dippin Vat Road, Cross Way Road, Lost Tree Trail, Rocky Rollinson Road, Webb Lane, Middle Ridge Trail, Crooked Ridge Trail, and Light Plant Road. So essentially, this includes the Hatteras Pines subdivision, and the side streets that border Buxton Woods and the northern motels.

“The good outweighs the not-so-good. For example, you have people who live in Hatteras Pines, and they don’t want to crank up the Suburban or pick-up truck to head to the clubhouse,” said Commissioner Danny Couch in a post-meeting interview. “Visitors will also now be able to take a golf cart [along Lighthouse Road] to Red Drum without clogging up the road and the parking lot.”

“You also have a number of people trying to get their kids to school in the morning, and this reduces the traffic in that area,” he added. “The benefits are there for the local people, no question about it.”

But there’s one concern that looms large for locals – the potential for golf carts on N.C. Highway 12.

Several county officials, (including the sheriff and planning director), noted that golf carts should not be allowed on Highway 12, and while this is indeed the case per the resolution, a number of folks are concerned that this is going to be ignored.

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