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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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Public comments will be critical for getting Bonner Bridge replacement project finally moving forward

Saturday 26 June 2010 at 5:11 pm If you thought you had done your civic duty submitting public comments on the National Park Service’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement on off-road vehicle rulemaking on the seashore, think again.

In fact, 2010 might be the busiest year ever for making public comment on projects and issues that will have a profound effect on our life and lifestyle on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.  And they will also affect our visitors and off-island property owners.

The comment period on the Park Service DEIS ended May 11.

No sooner had we put that behind us than the North Carolina Department of Transportation issued its latest in a long line of environmental studies on the replacement of the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.

It is imperative that all islanders and visitors make comment to NCDOT about this environmental assessment.

“I’m worried that people think this time, it’s a done deal,” said Beth Midgett, chairperson of the Dare County Citizen’s Committee on Replacing the Bonner Bridge.

She emphatically says that “this is far from a done deal.” Read More

Replacing the Bonner Bridge may be back on track

Friday 04 June 2010 at 5:29 pm The off-again, on-again project to replace the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet is on again.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation signed off on yet another Environmental Assessment (EA) on the project last month.

And the conclusion is that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) believes that that new EA and the 2008 Final Environmental Impact Statement “adequately document the range of impacts that could be anticipated with the Preferred Alternative” and that “the changes identified in the EA would not result in new, significant impacts not previously identified.”

In other words, the bridge replacement project is moving along again.

Now, the FHWA wants the public to comment on the new environmental study to determine whether a supplement to the FEIS is needed.

Public meetings for input are scheduled for the first week of July.  And the public can comment by mail, e-mail, or phone call to the Department of Transportation.  (Details are available in an article on the Local News Page of this website.)

After the FEIS was issued in September, 2008, we all thought the project was heading for a Record of Decision (ROD) by DOT. Read More

Help wanted: The Island Free Press needs an ad sales manager

Wednesday 02 June 2010 at 07:52 am

This is a help-wanted ad.

But first, let me boast a bit.  

We started The Island Free Press on Sept. 5, 2007. There were three of us -- Donna Barnett, Web master and graphic designer, Pam Stoffel, who handled advertising, and I was the editor and publisher.

In the last months of 2007, we were averaging about 1,000 readers a day.

In 2008, Pam left to devote full-time to her fledgling (and now very successful) business – Shore Details. Evan Smock took over advertising in April, 2008. By then, we had about 1,500 readers a day and growing.

Last month, we had a total of 98,300 readers from 26,000 individual computer addresses.  We averaged 3,170 readers a day during May. And on May 3, we had 6,000 visitors in one day. (Our highest one-day visitor total, by the way, was 12,000 during last November’s northeaster.)

There’s no doubt, we are the fastest growing newspaper in North Carolina.

Read More