Shooting The Breeze


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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Remembering 20 years ago and wondering why anyone thinks ferries are a possibility again

Monday 25 October 2010 at 10:08 pm

Twenty years ago in the early morning hours of Oct. 26, a dredge working in Oregon Inlet was torn from its moorings in a nasty northeaster and slammed into the Bonner Bridge

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified about 1 a.m. from crew members of the Northerly Island who radioed that the dredge was dragging its anchor and was within 50 feet of the bridge.  The barge collided with the bridge at about 1:30.

Dare County deputies and Highway Patrol officers raced to close both ends of the bridge and even picked up several crew members who had scrambled up the crane of the 130-foot-tall vessel and jumped onto the 90-foot tall bridge.

All of the vehicles were reported off the bridge by about 2:14 a.m., and the first section of the damaged bridge fell into the inlet at 2:18.  Eventually four more sections collapsed and by daylight there was a startling 370-foot gap in the span.

We are always hearing about how we can remember exactly where we were when we learned of traumatic or important events in our lives.

I was a senior in high school between 5th and 6th period classes when we heard the news that President John F. Kennedy had been shot on Nov. 22, 1963. My sister was driving me home from Chowan Hospital in Edenton after hip surgery when we heard on the radio about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

And on Oct. 26, 1990, I had just arrived at my office at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., when I heard that the Bonner Bridge had collapsed – or partially collapsed, as it turned out.

My executive assistant came rushing into my office to breathlessly give me the news.  A colleague, who was quite familiar with my attachment to Hatteras, had called to leave me the message.

I laughed. I thought it was a joke.

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Will the Park Service meet the consent decree deadlines?

Friday 08 October 2010 at 4:46 pm In a meeting with reporters yesterday, Oct. 7, Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent Mike Murray updated the steps that the Park Service must still take to meet the terms of a consent decree that set down a time line for the park to produce an off-road vehicle management plan for the seashore.

The consent decree settled a lawsuit against the National Park Service for its lack of an ORV management plan at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The lawsuit was filed by Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society, which were represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center.  Dare and Hyde counties and the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance were allowed as parties to the lawsuit by U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle.

The consent decree was signed by Boyle on April 30, 2008.  It manages some areas of resource protection – such things as buffers around bird and turtle nests and a ban on night driving during the nesting season – until the park has a Special Regulation on ORV operation on the beaches. Read More