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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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Salvo Jimmy (Hurricanes: Our r…): Another thing to consider, and Isabel is a good example, is storm surge does not fall off like wind s…
Bud (Rip Currents, Mis…): Folks need to realize that these are not swimming beaches. Proven every season with multiple lives lo…
Bill W (There's trash eve…): How sad that people feel it is okay to just dump their garbage on the side of the highway. I hope tha…
Salvo Jimmy (Hurricanes: Our r…): Diver The Safir-Simpson scale is based on wind speed and was introduced in the early 1970s. Since …
Anonymous (Rip Currents, Mis…): Interesting article, SJ. Thanks.
Bob (Rip Currents, Mis…): I think Elizabeth has a great idea. Film it and place a DVD in each rental home and strongly encoura…

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Are ferry naming opportunities to raise revenue in our future?

Friday 29 April 2011 at 09:46 am

We may have dodged the bullet that aimed to place a toll on the free Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry.

Democratic Rep. Tim Spear managed to get an amendment passed to the proposed Republican budget that would have added a toll for residents and visitors to travel to and from Ocracoke -- $10 was the cost being tossed around.

The amendment was passed by the state House Appropriations committee Wednesday night, and now goes to the full House for its approval.  Assuming the amendment survives a vote in the House, it goes to the Republican-controlled Senate for its approval.

So, it’s not a done deal yet, and residents and visitors who have been slamming Raleigh lawmakers with phone calls and e-mail need to keep the pressure on.

It’s only fair that the only free ferry in the state should stay free for the safety of visitors and residents and for the islands economy. 

If they don’t own a boat or a plane, residents have no other way to get on and off the island for shopping, medical appointments, and the like. How would you like to pay $20 for a trip to Food Lion or your doctor’s office?

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Odds and Ends: Stupid stories, useless brochures, and losing legislation

Friday 15 April 2011 at 10:08 am

Today’s blog is a roundup of short items that have been on my list to tell you about. 

They are:

  • An article from a national website that a news colleague has nominated for stupidest story of the year.  It names Dare County as one of the Top 10 American Ghost Towns of the 21st century. The writer uses census figures in a totally erroneous manner and won’t say he’s wrong.
  • A new off-road vehicle brochure produced by the Park Service that has some access advocates unhappy because it uses a controversial photo.  And it just so happens that NPS published the brochure as part of a settlement of a lawsuit – by environmental groups. Sound familiar?
  • And the loser legislation on a gamefish bill in the North Carolina General Assembly. The bill would declare striped bass, red drum, and speckled trout as gamefish, which reserves them for recreational fishermen and makes them off limits for commercial fishermen and perhaps charter boats.
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All about Crotalus

Tuesday 12 April 2011 at 5:27 pm

If you read the comments on this blog – or on other Outer Banks message boards – then you know Crotalus.

Crotalus is, of course, his screen name.  His e-mail is crotalus horridus, which is the scientific name of a species of rattlesnake.

He’s been posting for several years now on blogs and message boards.

He’s arrogant and condescending and fond of lecturing and getting into food fights with advocates of more reasonable beach access than is allowed under the consent decree or the National Park Service selected environmental alternative for off-road vehicle rulemaking on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

He likes to take me to task for the blogs I have written on such things as the 1,000-meter buffer for piping plovers.  Check out that one for his smart-aleck retorts.

Another one to check out is my blog about the April Fools’ Day attempt at humor, which wasn’t very funny.

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April Fools' Day attempt at humor about Cape Hatteras access isn't funny

Friday 01 April 2011 at 5:42 pm

National Parks Traveler, a magazine-style website that covers the National Park system and the National Park Service on a daily basis, had to backtrack today and issue a statement on an April Fools’ Day story about the beach access situation at Cape Hatteras that was yanked from the site this morning after just a few hours online.

Complaints that it was not very funny were sent to the website, to the National Park Service, and to Cornell (University) Lab of Ornithology.

Message boards and blogs were brimming by mid-morning with comments from advocates for reasonable beach access who were outraged and insulted by the article that was posted in the early morning hours

The headline on the article was “At Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a Startling Revelation Forces a Rethinking of Piper Plover Protection.”

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